Ranken Expanding Campus

Discuss construction activity, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc. in North City -- defined by the area north of Delmar Avenue.
Ranken Tech is planning a new job training facility just east of it's campus around Page and Newstead. The new building will be in the 4300 block of Finney, and they hope to spur additional construction.

“Just like Cortex is to the tech industry, I’d like to be the same thing to the manufacturing industry,” Shoun said, referring to the complex of labs and offices in the Central West End. “We’d like to turn that whole block there into a manufacturing corridor.” He thinks Ranken can build more training and learning centers as well as attract private businesses looking to expand with a new shop or facility. There’s an available workforce ready to be taught right next door.

Ranken’s construction project is a bright spot in part of St. Louis that sees precious little investment. But it’s not the only project proposed in that area right now. Just to the east of where Ranken wants to build its new center, another developer is proposing to build 38 homes for $8.8 million along and near Finney Street. Finney Place Developer LLC would buy the land from the city’s land bank and use low-income housing tax credits and Community Development Block Grant funds for the project, as well as private funds, according to the LCRA.

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http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 0f413.html
I read that article last night. I was a little depressed looking at the street view of the old warehouses to be demolished. I think there's a real opportunity to get something like Hollis Street in Emeryville...kind of a mixed use light industrial corridor, but one that eventually has actual housing right next to it.
I think those warehouses would be such good additions to that idea, especially when Ranken has plenty of other holdings in that neighborhood.


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^I agree. I love the General initiative and expansion of Ranken, but demoing century old industrial buildings on both sides of the street seems a bit unnecessary.
Ranken has been enthusiastically razing single family homes around there for quite some time now.
Is anyone else shocked at the almost 232K construction costs of the homes proposed? Can't they get a developer who is willing to build for less or is this another example of tax payers subsiding politically connected developers who are not beholden to market reality. Would love to see some architecturally unique housing targeting first time urban buyers willing to take a chance on a transitioning neighborhood. Something like Rocco Romero might do but in the under 150K range, so sick of the faux suburban crap being built on the northside.
southcitygent wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 8:59 am
Is anyone else shocked at the almost 232K construction costs of the homes proposed? Can't they get a developer who is willing to build for less or is this another example of tax payers subsiding politically connected developers who are not beholden to market reality. Would love to see some architecturally unique housing targeting first time urban buyers willing to take a chance on a transitioning neighborhood. Something like Rocco Romero might do but in the under 150K range, so sick of the faux suburban crap being built on the northside.
Believe it or not, that's not bad nowadays. Especially on a Davis-Bacon job. Building a house has gotten rather expensive no matter the architectural style.
Earlier, I dissed Ranken for tearing down so many houses around their campus. In all fairness, they've replaced quite a few of those with new ones, too.
I am happy for Ranken and this will be a great addition - but - you would think with all the cleared land they have you would think they could figure out a way to build this with out tearing something down
MattnSTL wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 10:56 am
southcitygent wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 8:59 am
Is anyone else shocked at the almost 232K construction costs of the homes proposed? Can't they get a developer who is willing to build for less or is this another example of tax payers subsiding politically connected developers who are not beholden to market reality. Would love to see some architecturally unique housing targeting first time urban buyers willing to take a chance on a transitioning neighborhood. Something like Rocco Romero might do but in the under 150K range, so sick of the faux suburban crap being built on the northside.
Believe it or not, that's not bad nowadays. Especially on a Davis-Bacon job. Building a house has gotten rather expensive no matter the architectural style.
There are numerous new subdivisions in Lincoln and Jefferson counties that sell homes lower than that price point while making a profit. Those locations also include the cost of infrastructure like streets and utilities that this north city site already has.
southcitygent wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:12 pm
MattnSTL wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 10:56 am
southcitygent wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 8:59 am
Is anyone else shocked at the almost 232K construction costs of the homes proposed? Can't they get a developer who is willing to build for less or is this another example of tax payers subsiding politically connected developers who are not beholden to market reality. Would love to see some architecturally unique housing targeting first time urban buyers willing to take a chance on a transitioning neighborhood. Something like Rocco Romero might do but in the under 150K range, so sick of the faux suburban crap being built on the northside.
Believe it or not, that's not bad nowadays. Especially on a Davis-Bacon job. Building a house has gotten rather expensive no matter the architectural style.
There are numerous new subdivisions in Lincoln and Jefferson counties that sell homes lower than that price point while making a profit. Those locations also include the cost of infrastructure like streets and utilities that this north city site already has.
Yes, there are some subdivisions that are cheaper, because of things like economies of scale when building cheap tract homes, better ground conditions, no costs that come along with using the government funding, no Energy Star requirements so the cheapest builder grade crap that can be used, no poor infrastructure that has to be repaired, non-union labor, a lot of additional factors. I'm not making things up. There are also a lot of subdivisions out there now that start at $350k for not much of a house. I can speak from direct and varied experience from both the developer and gap funder side of building new construction homes in North St. Louis City. I also would never buy one of those tract homes because I know that quality that comes at that price point for new construction.
Ranken has received a $2.3 million federal grant to proceed with the manufacturing incubator:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 9c9cf.html
This is a great project. But, did you see the buildings they are knocking down? I'll never understand why all the vacant lots are not targets for development vs. demo and development.
I don't get it. With just a bit of TLC those buildings ought to be about perfect for a manufacturing campus. Should be able to put lots of light and air in them for good workshops. Lots of open floor space. High ceilings. Is there something deeply wrong with the buildings that doesn't show? Is there any chance at all they are in a preservation area? They're almost in Gaslight Square, which should have been a preservation area but clearly wasn't in time, anyway. Also not absurdly far from the West End. Maybe there's something I'm missing here, but yes, these don't seem like terribly necessary demos.