Chouteau Lake District - Chouteau Greenway

Downtown construction activity, including hotel projects, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc.
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First of all, a warm hello, as this is my inaugural post. Look forward to many more conversations with you all and to watching this board grow in activity - just like the city!



Hopefully, you won't shoot me after this, but I had to get something off of my chest. I, like most, was very excited when I first heard the inklings of the Chouteau lake district downtown. But since the plans have been refined, and the renderings released, is anyone else just a little underwhelmed with this project?



To me, the lake is awesome, and then they are going to surround it with what looks like a low density suburban office park. I guess when I first heard I was expecting a plan that incorporated more mid-rise residential, retail and entertainment overlooking and highligting the lake. Now I should clarify that I am talking about the south of 40 part of the plan. Even though it technically is, I have a hard time considering Cupples and Ballpark village into the same project.



I look at some other urban infill developments, specifically ones like Victory in Dallas, and I saw so much potential with this to really add a WOW factor to the area.



Am I the lone voice of disappointment? Can anyone give me some encouraging news on this project that I am overlooking?

I am not as familiar with the specifics of this projects as others on this board, but I do know it is supposed to be a mixed-use development including offices, residential and retail space.



It was also just announced today that U.S. Senator Kit Bon is working to secure more funding for the project. He secured $1 in federal funding for the project last year.

^I hope he secures more than $1 this time. :D



This is a mixed use project. While there is only a couple of highrises in the renderings, once this thing finally gets built, I would bet that $1 from Bond that there will be many more to come. If they put too much into the renderings and something does not get built, then people would be screaming even more than if the renderings don't contain enough.

From the renderings i've seen it has its pros and cons. The buildings follow the grid to a certain extent (some have no relation to the grid or the street though), it has a lot of surface lots, and many are fronting streets. My main concern is that it is a MASSIVE piece of real estate under the control of one developer (McCormack Baron Salazar), and that's never good (in terms of design homogeneity and quality). The city should really try to break this project up into smaller pieces, develop it's own master plan (under the guidance of Rollin Stanley, who really seems to know his sh*t with regards to real urban design and planning) and start divying up smaller chunks to different developers.

ComandanteCero wrote:
From the renderings i've seen it has its pros and cons. The buildings follow the grid to a certain extent (some have no relation to the grid or the street though), it has a lot of surface lots, and many are fronting streets. My main concern is that it is a MASSIVE piece of real estate under the control of one developer (McCormack Baron Salazar), and that's never good (in terms of design homogeneity and quality). The city should really try to break this project up into smaller pieces, develop it's own master plan (under the guidance of Rollin Stanley, who really seems to know his sh*t with regards to real urban design and planning) and start divying up smaller chunks to different developers.




The renderings are over 4 years old are just ideas, shown as what could happed, and not actual plans, I would not read too much into them. The lake is actually the only development that MBS would control, or that they have been trying to achieve the rights to, though they have done work in the adjacent Cupples station, they have some development rights there, but do not own the property.



The project was never concieved as a development onto itself, but rather an element to set the stage for fruther development on adjacent properties. That development would go well beyond housing which is MBS prime interest.



This is actually one of the bolder urban redevelopment plans out there in the country now, as the ultimate plans have the confluence greenway connecting into it and extending all the way to Forest Park, and even beyond. It will be interesting to see if it all comes together, and how long that will take.

Actually, Chouteau Lake got $1-million dollars in 2003.



Source: Area projects to get millions in federal appropriations



I believe the district got another million this year, but I can't find that article.

hehehe... yeah, that is what I meant to type... I forgot to type "million" after $1. That makes a bit of a difference, doesn't it?!

I would like to see Chouteau Lake become reality one day. :)

This is by far and away the greatest idea any developer has had. Look north, see city rejuvenating itself, look south see sh*t. I like the entire idea but how it turns out, if it turns out we'll see. Baron is a savvy guy and I think he may be the one to get this done, but Railroads are notoriously defensive of there right of ways. I think they feel like onec they move one everyone will want the railroad out of sight. In the past its been said they'll fight tooth and nail over it ...unless someone come sup with a really sweet offer.

This is excess capacity for Union Pacific, That is why it is never full. In fact, they have already cleared some areas. Union P acific has said that they would be willing to sell if the price was right, and 2 or 3 through lines have to be kept to keep BNSF and UP connected to the Mcarthur bridge, along with all the lines that come in from the west.

TheWayoftheArch wrote:
Railroads are notoriously defensive of there right of ways. I think they feel like onec they move one everyone will want the railroad out of sight. In the past its been said they'll fight tooth and nail over it ...unless someone come sup with a really sweet offer.




They are hard to deal with. And very well connected in Washington. I had some run ins with them in Phila. on a greenway project. But $$ can move mountains.



This project excites me too. and remember...



"Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir mens blood"

-Daniel Burnham

<A HREF="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/columnists.nsf/Columnist/Martin+Van+Der+Werf">Martin Van Der Werf</A>, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, today reported that the last $800,000 needed to build the first part of the Chouteau Lake project is being raised.

what would be the first part?

I would assume the first part is either the lake, or property aquisitions for the lake.

This is from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article dated 11/19/2004



How long will this project take?



It is our hope the water and the pond will be done first ... that would be adjacent to the new ballpark. The rest of the greenway would be developed over time. We think that the whole thing could get done over a period of, say, eight years or so. It will be a combination of federal, state and local and private financing. I think over the course of this coming year, we should have a much better sense of how all of that is going to fill in.



entire article can be found at:



<A HREF="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/columnists.nsf/story/C10E177DC89F316A86256F5100383BF0">Developer sees a bright future for downtown St. Louis</A>

By Mary Jo Feldstein

Of the Post-Dispatch

11/19/2004
I heard from an engineer working on the project that it is just about a done deal. Evidently, there are several federal agencies putting money into it for the benefits it will have environmentally.

Ya, last I heard we should be finding out some info soon. When soon is, I don't know. But it sounds like it is full steam ahead.

Any news on the Chouteau Lake District?



This image from the HOK website is pretty amazing:



Image

Not to be pessimistic but when would that be finished, 2035? I mean the whole southern half of that picture would have to be redone because as of now it's all blighted industrial. The rendering looks awesome though. I think this, the lid over 70, and the new bridge are great ideas, but to this point they just seem like alot of talk. I hope I'm wrong though.

I'm not sure how long it will take to get some actual highrises south of 40 like the picture shows, but it should not take too much work to just get the lake in place. The area is pretty much just a flat train yard. This is nothing compared to what Chicago did with their old train yard, so I have faith that it will happen in my lifetime...that is, if Missouri doesn't have any conservation issues with it :wink:

I would bet that the whole plan (if started at the same time) could be done within 5 years. The lake itself could probably be completed in 1-2 years.

I remember reading an article a month or two back that made it seem like all the federal money was in place and their was just some more private money needed. I also remember that the developer felt the whole area could be redeveloped in 10 years, but what that probably means is the lake in place 3 - 4 years from now, and the next 6 years properly zoning the land and getting developers interested.



I know one of the big holdups was/is how to redirect the Amtrak trains that go right through there. This also is partly why the Multimodal center is taking a while to get off the ground.



This will be an incredible project when it takes off, and it sure sounds like a done deal from what I've read.

metzgda wrote:
I also remember that the developer felt the whole area could be redeveloped in 10 years, but what that probably means is the lake in place 3 - 4 years from now, and the next 6 years properly zoning the land and getting developers interested.




This is posted above, but states the same thing. Yet he talks about the greenway, and not re-zoning, new construction, etc... It sounds like he is just talking about laying the foundation for everything else. Here is also a link to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article dated 11/19/2004...



How long will this project take?



It is our hope the water and the pond will be done first ... that would be adjacent to the new ballpark. The rest of the greenway would be developed over time. We think that the whole thing could get done over a period of, say, eight years or so. It will be a combination of federal, state and local and private financing. I think over the course of this coming year, we should have a much better sense of how all of that is going to fill in.



entire article can be found at:



<A HREF="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/columnists.nsf/story/C10E177DC89F316A86256F5100383BF0">Developer sees a bright future for downtown St. Louis</A>

By Mary Jo Feldstein

Of the Post-Dispatch

11/19/2004

Yeah, that was the article I was referring to. Developing the lake and time to zone was just my own opinion.

The Chouteau Lake when finished will add a Manhattan like sense geographically to Downtown. Manhattan is an island and is bordered on three sides by large bodies of water, and although this natural occurence cannot be repeated in the midwest.



The new lake will serve as a large enough body of water to give a feeling of enclosure. The lake will effect us psychologically like how highways divide neighborhoods in the same way, but a lake will be an enhancing barrier. This will distinguish St. Louis in a different way from other major cities, and if marketed creatively this lake will cause an upsurge in the Downtown south's residential market.