CORTEX: St. Louis' Life Sciences and Technology District

The thriving technology scene covering startups, incubators, investors, etc.
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dredger wrote: Any thoughts if any new announcements will come out of Gov Parson's CORTEX visit for Microsoft opening?
Announce the state is taxing the dickens outta Square until they put some technical/innovation positions in Cortex?
rheights wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:03 am
Speaking of the garage, is there a rendering anywhere of it? It's going to be so visible from the highway, I hope it has some inkling of design atheistic.
I just saw the first rendering that I know of: https://rebusinessonline.com/tarlton-to ... -st-louis/

It looks more functional than stylish.
Vandergrand wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:12 am
It looks more functional than stylish.
Why would it be stylish? It's only facing a rail station and the future greenway that will "transform the city."
I agree with sentiment; it's sad to lose prime real estate to a parking garage. And there are going to be two more?

I had high hopes for some dense TOD in this area. Cortex in my opinion is already fairly suburban in design.

Just goes to show that there really isn't going to be any movement towards changing the car-required-city mentality here. They just got a brand new station, and are developing this area for commuters. Encourage people to live closer, in the city, and take the MetroLink that drops them off virtually in front of their building. Worst case, you have a 5-10 minute walk but you get to save hundreds every month spending on a car.

Worst part is, these garages are going to sit there forever, like every garage does in Downtown, just taking up space, and abandoning the thought of ever seeing or having transit oriented development sprout up along MetroLink through Cortex.

Ugh.
^i will take garage over surface parking but the street sides needs to be built for people.

This does align its hat cortex was always advertised to be. None of this should be particularly surprising.
Here on this thread for the first time and also expressing my distaste for the urban design of Cortex. Is this dead greenery and lack of sidewalk-hugging buildings due to zoning, uninspired architects, whoever's directing the "master plan" for Cortex or what?
southcitygent wrote: Several female friends that work in the district have expressed concerns with the parking being temporarily moved several blocks east along with observations that there are more unsavory characters hanging around with the new metro station. They are keeping the mace handy and dreading the fall when the shortened days will mean longer walks in the dark to their cars.
This is definitely a concern. Would feel much safer in a more urban-integrated station like CWE (which also has a lot of people) than an "island" like Cortex (or other stations like Grand or Union or Delmar) and unfortunately building more dead greenery/parking structures that force people to continue hiding in their cars is not a long term solution. Metro/the city seem to be concerned about the optics of this station in particular seeing how I've seen more consistent security at it than other stations (though I see it mainly during commuter hours).
Per Biz Journo, Koman is finalizing plans with Cortex on the 126k sq. ft. spec office building; no date announced but it appears they are prepared to pull the trigger.

It also reported Ascension Health tech subsidiary is taking up 17K sq. ft. If space in the 4240 building; 20 employees to start but sounds like that's plenty of space for more.
^ Good to hear. That Koman building is going to look great from 40.

Here's the link for those that have a subscription.
https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/new ... ortex.html
Koman's original Phase One called for 94,000 sq. ft. Looks like they've upped the size by 25%; maybe added another floor?
framer wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:54 pm
Koman's original Phase One called for 94,000 sq. ft. Looks like they've upped the size by 25%; maybe added another floor?
It will remain 4 floors, just got longer. Design is also different which I like better than the previous version.
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Then there is this interesting pathway. I guess this will play a role in future phases.
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I feel every proposed building in St. Louis should be two storiels taller. 2 stories should be 4, 6 should be 8, 10 should be 12, 33 should be 35...
^^ Did Koman reference/rendered a future mixed use building where the surface lot is in the latest rendering and therefore the pathway. I would assume that the mixed use would also have to incorporate some structure parking.

Agree with Shadrach. Would be kinda neat if some of the proposals would incorporate the ability to add a couple of stories after the fact. Undoubtly add some up front costs but I wonder if any developers wish they had that option after ground was broken and foundation put in please to add some floors, lease space.

But the interesting part to me is Koman is looking at spec office/commercial space before adding residential. That has to be a good sign for the city.
dredger wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:22 pm
^^ Did Koman reference/rendered a future mixed use building where the surface lot is in the latest rendering and therefore the pathway. I would assume that the mixed use would also have to incorporate some structure parking.

But the interesting part to me is Koman is looking at spec office/commercial space before adding residential. That has to be a good sign for the city.
Koman referenced a future residential building in the previous design from late May. They also referenced a future build to suit building with a garage next door to Ronnoco. So the parking lot in the renderings above, will be where the residential tower goes.

I guess office demand is strong in Cortex while residential has't been tried yet. I think they are waiting on Chroma to go it's path leasing wise before pursuing a residential building. So as far as office building construction goes, it's a great sign but one that needs to examined closely for future's sake.
Chroma is >$1k for a studio. And it has the aesthetic of a college dorm. Hope they aren't banking on the success of that to weigh into new residential.
PD article on Koman development as well as some other items. Crescent Building already 85% pre leased and CORTEX in talks for residential development on the surface parking lot next to CORTEX 1

https://www.stltoday.com/business/local ... 326ac.html
^Wait, what? On a surface lot? That is pleasant news! Hope that goes through quickly.
Awesome to hear about the residential building. I hope they don't start building on that lot until the parking garage is completed, though. Parking is pretty tough already. A coworker of mine had to park at Ikea the other day because the three lots available to her were all full.
That can be frustrating. The parking garage probably should've entered the scene the same time as Tech Shop or Microsoft bldg.
The parking garage is being built so a future building can be built concealing it. I think that has always been the plan but it will be great once it happens. So thoughtful thinking here on their part. I hope residential building has some height to it. Nothing more than 10 floors just to add to the neighborhood.
I'm happy to see that the elevator core for the A Loft hotel is going up right next to the sidewalk along Forest Park Blvd. Based on earlier renderings, I thought it was going to be set back quite a bit.

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Cortex has an open call to artists to develop a scheme for the treatment of the exterior walls of the parking garage. There is a development map of future building sites tucked in there

https://artist.callforentry.org/fair_plans/6232.pdf
^ can't believe grand center didn't try to incorporate art like this into its crime against the public sphere.

Anyway, that development map is really intetesting... I try not to read too much into things on what's to come from these releases but things certainly have evolved over time that's for sure.
^ It will be interesting to see how the year plays out for CORTEX. I get the following possibilities just from understanding of reported tidbits and some healthy dose of speculation

- Koman breaks ground on its CORTEX footprint this year, Will this be Google?
- Wexford breaks ground on 4200 with its current space pretty much leased out and parking garage well on its way. If it does break ground, will we see lab space or the open tech/co-working office space as 4220? Seems like CORTEX is a ready made for Microsoft to quietly expand if it wants
- I assume we will finally get to see the mixed use/residential proposal for the surface lost next to CORTEX I. Talk about a nice infill
- I'm curious if Aloft construction is a shift in the site plan or if actually a mod to add rooms? or maybe just a misreading of site plan?
- I can see Koman moving up phase II development of its CORTEX property by end of year if both Wexford & themselves break ground on next round of commercial space/job centers.

I do agree that Square moving downtown to accommodate a bigger work force is good for St. Louis and much needed for downtown. Even hoping that Twitter is quietly entertaining a St. Louis presence & Entreprise and WWT are looking hard to expand downtown. In the meantime, the wishful thinking for CORTEX

- Microsoft going beyond Midwest office and looks at Wexford to build out a full on corporate satellite office (think how Amazon picked Nashville). I think that would give a huge boost to Foundry and Armory future phases. Maybe, Just Maybe you might see a legit high rise proposal from Koplar on their Lindell/Kingshighway site or someone willing to buy them out for such..
I've actually heard from someone at Cortext they already have the building on that plan closest to the parking garage (north of the garage, east of the Microsoft building) already in the works... or at least its next on the plan.
This rendering of the Crescent Building is neat.

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