Mackay Quarter of Lafayette Square (Praxair Site)

Discuss renovations and new residential construction in South City -- defined by the area south of Interstate 44/55.
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As Lafayette Square builds out, industrial is likely not the best use for Chouteau anymore. The truck lot at Mississippi already has its days numbered to be replaced by numerous, new replica rowhouses.



The Praxair explosions were nothing to take lightly, but maybe the timing is right to have even more infill on this changing stretch of Chouteau.



As a secondary discussion, and maybe this portion of my post should be in the transportation section, there is a similar gas tank storage facility dangerously close to the Grand Metrolink station. Maybe the Mayor should talk to these folks too, an added benefit possibly being a formal park'n'ride lot for the Grand station.

Southslider, It isn't just the real estate boom of neighborhoods along Choteau, if they are going to invest money in Choteau Lake, they are not going to want it surrounded by industrial. Especially scary industrial things! I saw it on TV - I am certain it was horrible to have been there. Of course, those industrial companies provide jobs and the city will need to help find the right places for their location if they are forced out by changes in the neighorhood or investment by the city.

Just a few blocks east, the Mississippi Walk townhouses will be built on a former vacant lot bordering Chouteau - it would be great to have a similar development on the Praxair site.

^ yes, wouldn't it be great if Choteau was a beautiful street lined with nice homes. It would tie things together nicely. As it is, Choteau is a real deal breaker!

Slay: City won't let Praxair reopen plant

By Jake Wagman

POST-DISPATCH

09/30/2005



St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said today the city will not allow Praxair Distribution Inc. to reopen its plant near Lafayette Square, the site of a raging fire this summer that propelled containers of acetylene into the surrounding neighborhood.



Praxair, whose plant has been closed since the June 24 explosion, had expressed optimism that the city would give the company approval to repair its building. The firm?s president, Wayne Yakich, said Thursday granting of the building permits was ?imminent.?



But today, Slay said the Praxair plant will remain closed until the company improves its safety plans ? and that they pass neighborhood muster.



?I am not supporting the reopening of the facility until the people in the neighborhood are comfortable with the plans,?Slay said today.



A spokesman for Praxair said today that the company was aware that their permit request had been denied and they would continue to work with the city for approval.

[url=http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/377BD6B23D8392838625708C0074F212?OpenDocument]Read More

[/url]
I heard a report on the radio this evening that Praxair is asking the city to rezone its property to make it easier to sell. Does anyone know what type of rezoning they're asking for? This could make an interesting location for a retail/residential development.
stl555 wrote:
I heard a report on the radio this evening that Praxair is asking the city to rezone its property to make it easier to sell. Does anyone know what type of rezoning they're asking for? This could make an interesting location for a retail/residential development.




From the Mayor's Desk

Wednesday, February 15, 2006




<A HREF="http://www.mayorslay.com/desk/display.asp?deskID=325

">Praxair Update</A>




We have made progress with Praxair: we have jointly agreed to an indefinite continuance of Praxair?s appeal.



Moving forward:



Praxair has agreed that if their Chouteau property is rezoned to maximize the value in a sale, they will drop their appeal and move their operations.



We have agreed to support a change in the zoning (or a variance) as long as the new use for the Chouteau property is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.



We continue to work with the company on a new location.

Good news. That's a pretty good location to expand Lafayette Sq.

The change in zoning mentioned on Slay's blog worries me. Since the site is already zoned industrial, I question what zoning Praxair then seeks to maximize the sale value of their property.



With the residential infill boom of Lafayette Square, I imagine buyers would be interested in turning this site into more residential infill, just like the former industrial property at Chouteau and Mississippi now seeing townhomes built.



Of course, demand is so high in Lafayette Square, that a residential developer would likely be willing to assume demolition of the current building and open storage yard, or could even pursue TIF to finance such site preparation. But I suspect Praxair is thinking that they need industrial zoning to maximize the sale of the property as-is to another industrial operation.



Still, I'm puzzled. If Praxair wants industrial zoning, they already have it, and then should be asking that no change in zoning will occur. But if Praxair realizes that the value in their property is residential and wanted re-zoning for that, then the blog shouldn't have to stress that the new use be compatible.

That area would work with another mixed use development. The new townhouses are just down the road...



I think Chouteau should be more residential, especially with the coming of the Lake and Greenway. Less surface lots and industrial, more residential mid-rise buildings. I'd like to see some residential buildings along Chouteau reach the 10 story mark, but nothing higher than that. Mostly because I think a lot of density along that corridor would be awesome.

Any information on the meeting tonight (4 Sept.) about the Praxair site?



& who is Universatile Development, Inc.?????

Developer unveils plan for Lafayette Square

By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

09/05/2007




ST. LOUIS — A developer on Tuesday night presented plans for a $41.6 million residential and commercial development in St. Louis on a site that encompasses the former Praxair plant in Lafayette Square.



The plan — called the Mackay Quarter of Lafayette Square — calls for nearly 90 residential units, including town houses and condominiums, as well as more than 74,000 square feet of retail space along Chouteau Avenue.



The development company, Rothschild Winzerling LLC, is working to purchase the vacant land from Chouteau Avenue south to Hickory Street, stretching from Missouri Avenue and just east to Mackay Place.



The developer presented its preliminary site plan Tuesday night to more than 50 residents of Lafayette Square's neighborhood association.



The plan includes 45 town homes and up to 36 condominiums with estimated values between $280,000 and $500,000, the developer said Tuesday. Much of the proposed retail space would be built along Chouteau Avenue.



The former Praxair plant was destroyed by fire June 24, 2005. The fire sent metal gas cylinders rocketing into the air, landing on rooftops and cars in Lafayette Square.



Read more

See breaking news about the Praxair site as it happened on MSNBC.



**Video**

Arch City wrote:
Developer unveils plan for Lafayette Square

By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

09/05/2007




ST. LOUIS — A developer on Tuesday night presented plans for a $41.6 million residential and commercial development in St. Louis on a site that encompasses the former Praxair plant in Lafayette Square.



The plan — called the Mackay Quarter of Lafayette Square — calls for nearly 90 residential units, including town houses and condominiums, as well as more than 74,000 square feet of retail space along Chouteau Avenue.



The development company, Rothschild Winzerling LLC, is working to purchase the vacant land from Chouteau Avenue south to Hickory Street, stretching from Missouri Avenue and just east to Mackay Place.



The developer presented its preliminary site plan Tuesday night to more than 50 residents of Lafayette Square's neighborhood association.



The plan includes 45 town homes and up to 36 condominiums with estimated values between $280,000 and $500,000, the developer said Tuesday. Much of the proposed retail space would be built along Chouteau Avenue.



The former Praxair plant was destroyed by fire June 24, 2005. The fire sent metal gas cylinders rocketing into the air, landing on rooftops and cars in Lafayette Square.



Read more




The site encompasses not only Praxair, but some vacant lots around it to the south and east. Basically, 3 different sizes of town homes, located in 3 "rows" on the southern edge of the parcel. The town homes are projected to start at $280,000. There is one condo building being proposed on the western edge of the development that will likely have lower price points.



Last night was mostly discussion on site plan, so not a lot of talk about design yet.

Seeing the recent new construction in and around the area, I'm pretty confident that this will be some pretty good stuff. Especially since it's starting at $280,000.

Does the site plan include the gas station on Chouteau?

I have seen old pictures of Chouteau from the 1910's that would blow your mind. Three-story row housing on both sides and a street car running up the middle. Amazing. I sincerely hope they are required to build the retail up to the street instead of placing it behind surface lots. That would really be a missed opportunity. Unfortunately, the northern half of the area (along Chouteau) is beyond the LF Square District boundaries and therefore not subject to any kind of review. Lets hope they do it right. This is a real opportunity to build density back into an area that has suffered mass demolition in the last 50 years.

TGE-ATW wrote:
I have seen old pictures of Chouteau from the 1910's that would blow your mind. Three-story row housing on both sides and a street car running up the middle. Amazing. I sincerely hope they are required to build the retail up to the street instead of placing it behind surface lots. That would really be a missed opportunity. Unfortunately, the northern half of the area (along Chouteau) is beyond the LF Square District boundaries and therefore not subject to any kind of review. Lets hope they do it right. This is a real opportunity to build density back into an area that has suffered mass demolition in the last 50 years.




The site plan currently calls for 2 story retail/commercial buildings up against Chouteau. It won't be completely unbroken, but the current plan shows parking/plaza areas behind the buildings, and not a surface lot on Chouteau. For what it's worth, the architect stressed the desire to create a "street wall" of buildings as being important to an urban environment. Also stated a desire to have street parking along the curb on Chouteau.



The neighborhood wants to avoid the issues with Lafayette Walk that stem from a lot of it being turned against the prevailing street grid and thus creating a private neighborhood instead of being a part of the larger neighborhood.



Circulation and street grid issues will be up for future discussion.



And no, the plan does not include the gas station that is currently on Chouteau, nor the Mack Truck lot at Chouteau and Jefferson.

Excellent. Very good news. Side note: I'll have to check, but I am pretty sure that there was a Civil War gun emplacement where that Mack Truck lot is now. Off topic, but interesting.

Sounds like this could be a good project. Hopefully we will see a site plan soon. If the retail is put right up against Chouteau, this project would make a big stride in reurbanizing that stretch.

LS

Lafayette Square residents have always done a good job at making sure new development is appropriate. However, when I see the Rothschild name as the developer, I hope they don't take their eye off the ball for even a second.

DeBaliviere wrote:
Does the site plan include the gas station on Chouteau?




I hope not. I like that gas station, especially when compared to the ones on Jefferson/Lafayette, 14th/Chouteau, or Gravois/13th.
Maybe the plans will include a new station that is nice and includes some amenities?



Energy Express on [email protected] is good. I've been boycotting the [email protected] station for years. Is it still a circus?
Matt wrote:
Lafayette Square residents have always done a good job at making sure new development is appropriate. However, when I see the Rothschild name as the developer, I hope they don't take their eye off the ball for even a second.




Pete Rothschild and Jeff Winzerling partnered on the Catlin Townhomes (nice infil townhomes at W. Pine & Boyle) http://www.urbanstl.com/viewtopic.php?t=1982, which I think turned out great.



This development sounds like a perfect addition to the neighborhood and I am anxious to see the site plan.
Matt wrote:
I've been boycotting the [email protected] station for years. Is it still a circus?




If by that you mean a circus of danger to you, then yes.