The Armory - $83M - Health Spa, Retail, Hotel, Offices

Construction activity, major renovations, office projects, etc. in the Central Corridor -- defined by the area south of Delmar Avenue and North of Interstate 44/55.
chriss752 wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:57 pm
I think it would be beneficial to at least reconstruct some of the street grid. The Elevated 564 bridge in the neighborhood is a mess and needs to be lowered/eliminated. The Market Street-Forest Park-64 Interchange also needs to be redesigned to restore a street grid on the East side of midtown by Harris Stowe. Some train tracks could be removed. Taking my brother down here to rail-fan makes me think that not all of these tracks are needed. Rarely will I see tons of trains parked and waiting. Most of the time, only three of four are occupied. The Steelcote area is ripe for development but I only see the Steelcote Loft Building staying with the other buildings going away if any more development is to take place here. I never heard of the massive mixed use project that SLU hinted at Grand and Chouteau (if I am getting my directions correct). If that project is real, then some of the streets over by the Armory need to be connected to Chouteau somehow for the sake of pedestrians being able to move around without having to walk to the Grand bridge, cross and have a hell of a time getting to the Armory and City Foundry.
Given the amount of state and federal funding that was sunk into reconstructing 40 through town I don't think eliminating it is an option. Further, of all the highways in town that one is probably the least disruptive, since it's at a place that's always been a natural barrier: first the Mill Creek and later the railroad yards and surrounding industry. At no point as the city ever been particularly well connected north to south through that corridor. And the highway is mostly just along the edge of it where it does little to no additional damage. Unless you close it removing the elevated highway structure just means it takes up more space, which sounds like a bad idea to me.

There are some lightly used railroad facilities in the area, but I don't know that they're the ones you think they are. The old Frisco yard just to the south of Central Industrial, which I believe is officially the 39th Street Yard, is pretty quiet now. And the old MoPac intermodal facility colloquially called the "circus ramp" (officially the Sarpy Avenue Yard) is probably not long for this world. But eliminating both of those in their entirety wouldn't really do anything to fix access, since they're both situated in the heart of what is otherwise active industrial super-blocks sited east/west along the tracks and blocking north/south communication anyway. It's not until you get east of Spring that it's really the railroads blocking things. And that? That is one of the busiest rail junctions in town. Easily the busiest west of the river crossings. The overwhelming majority of east/west traffic through town goes through that interlocking. It'd be a multi-billion dollar project to close that and move things elsewhere, since you'd have to build new bridges across the river and at least two major new railroad yards. And new lines to connect all of it. And as an added bonus you'd probably lose some of the industry that's still there or you'd see more truck traffic to serve it or both. (Probably a mix of the two. Which has been happening anyway.)

All of which is a long way of saying the yard tracks aren't in the way and the mainlines are fairly busy. (There aren't really that many yard tracks there anymore anyway. Most have already been torn out. What's there is much more mainline than you might guess, and there really shouldn't be anything "parked" on a main anymore than on an interstate highway. It happens. But it's usually a bad sign for all concerned.)

Anyway, don't get me wrong. I want to see more N/S connection through there. But the right way to do it is replacing things like the Spring Street viaduct. Even as expensive as that is, it's probably the cheapest solution. And quite likely also the best. That's probably about the limit of what you can accomplish there without tearing down the very buildings that make the area worth restoring.
I agree with the points above.

What needs to happen is a complete redesign of Market/FPP/Grand/64 Interchange. It's a horrible design. And in opinion, dangerous as hell. I think when that happens, you can restore a lot of the street grid. A Spring viaduct would help even more. Also, with a complete Jefferson interchange, it more or less eliminates the need for the 64 West to Market exit.

I don't know. It's all just really messed up. We don't need exits every 1/4 of a mile..
I mean this is just...wow! Completely unexpected out of this site. This obviously represents a significant investment but what a game changer this could be. TOD development around a metrolink stop, awesome opportunity for Hotel/Residential with the right walk/bike/street connections and upgrades. And these renderings are just jaw-dropping when you apply the context of what this area of the city has been for the majority of anyone on this forums lives.

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newstl2020 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:43 pm
I mean this is just...wow! Completely unexpected out of this site. This obviously represents a significant investment but what a game changer this could be. TOD development around a metrolink stop, awesome opportunity for Hotel/Residential with the right walk/bike/street connections and upgrades. And these renderings are just jaw-dropping when you apply the context of what this area of the city has been for the majority of anyone on this forums lives.
I must stress that this is just a concept right now but could come at a later date. I think Green Street is moving into the direction of Towers on site considering that the taller one by the Metro Station as in a promotional video some time ago. Now, these buildings are great and are a big upgrade to what is currently there but I think we may have to wait a little longer for our excitement over the rendering with the Towers. I see tis as a "Phase 2" development and depending on whether or not our local market can take all of this new development remains to be seen. I ultimately think that the success of the Armory, City Foundry and whatever else is in the works for Prospect Yards will be determined by SLU itself.
^Yes, the tower concept is splendid. Fan-frigging-tastic. I hope they go that direction. Yes, we need to rework the Market Mess (tm) pasta plate. (FPP, Market, 64/40 and surrounding interchanges.) Both dead true. Puh . . . Per . . . Prosp . . . Bridge too far there. Just can't do it.
^ I don't think this rendering is too far fetched. When you consider the growth of Cortex, synergies built off the Foundry investment, and the fact a half a billion dollar hospital is being built on Chouteau. Throw in that SLU has full autonomy over the whole Mill Creek Valley, with tax breaks into infinite....I think we are looking at a potentially hot area in the next coming decade. A place that will look completely different by 2030. I see this as SLU finally "getting it" and trying to emulate what Wash U has done further west, which is a smart move in my opinion.
Love the circular tower as well. Love the midcentury aesthetic with modern flair. Come on Millennium!
I think Chris nailed it. Lewis and Clark Tower:

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^ RIP, old Rodeway Inn (or whatever it was at Jefferson and Market)
^And "the marshmallow" building on West Pine in the CWE.

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New renderings. The curved tower is happening in Phase 2 and Phase 3 will include the larger tower along the back. That is a concept right now that will evolve overtime.

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chriss752 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:08 pm
New renderings. The curved tower is happening in Phase 2 and Phase 3 will include the larger tower along the back. That is a concept right now that will evolve overtime.
Is the curved tower the hotel? Or is the hotel in phase 3?
stlien wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:34 pm
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:08 pm
New renderings. The curved tower is happening in Phase 2 and Phase 3 will include the larger tower along the back. That is a concept right now that will evolve overtime.
Is the curved tower the hotel? Or is the hotel in phase 3?
The curved tower is a residential building. Phase 3 will include the hotel, more parking and potentially more office space. That's why the back tower is still in development design wise. It can go either way.
One priority I'd like to see with this development would not only be emphasis on the Grand MetroLink station (of course), but also connections to the street deck of the Grand Viaduct. I know the old hotel rendering showed a garage base with vehicular connection to the viaduct deck. I was actually pretty disappointed with that solution as there appeared to be a large lawn facing Grand and it was just generally uninspired.
There was an Urban Land Institute study and presentation done on the Grand MetroLink district a few years ago.
http://stlouis.uli.org/wp-content/uploa ... -print.pdf
If you scroll down to page 54 & 55, you can see what I thought the hotel was really getting at, but missing the mark.
chriss752 wrote:
stlien wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:34 pm
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:08 pm
New renderings. The curved tower is happening in Phase 2 and Phase 3 will include the larger tower along the back. That is a concept right now that will evolve overtime.
Is the curved tower the hotel? Or is the hotel in phase 3?
The curved tower is a residential building. Phase 3 will include the hotel, more parking and potentially more office space. That's why the back tower is still in development design wise. It can go either way.
Anyone have thoughts on when next residential/mixed use will break ground in the immediate area? I believe CORTEX still pursuing as such, Koman has rendered residential on its CORTEX development, and now Green Streets appears to have put residential ahead of the hotel in its phasing where as Lawrence Group pulled its residential tower but added office space to its Foundry footprint.. I like the idea and mix that Foundry & Armory offer but certainly some competition within CORTEX from Wexford and Koman.

So plenty of both, residential and office, proposed & rendered. Just curious if anyone has thoughts on the likely hood of more to come after a round of building and units coming online.

I also think Aprice brings up a great point. Phase II & III success would seem to hinge on a good connection to metrolink but with Grand Ave viaduct itself if not more important considering that more people come by their car, uber, lyft, so on.
aprice wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:30 pm
One priority I'd like to see with this development would not only be emphasis on the Grand MetroLink station (of course), but also connections to the street deck of the Grand Viaduct. I know the old hotel rendering showed a garage base with vehicular connection to the viaduct deck. I was actually pretty disappointed with that solution as there appeared to be a large lawn facing Grand and it was just generally uninspired.
There was an Urban Land Institute study and presentation done on the Grand MetroLink district a few years ago.
http://stlouis.uli.org/wp-content/uploa ... -print.pdf
If you scroll down to page 54 & 55, you can see what I thought the hotel was really getting at, but missing the mark.
I actually like the idea of connecting to Grand. Currently, it's a pain in the ass to get down to the Armory. The main entrance is to come off of Vandeventer and go way down to Grand (if driving). Plus, it would look better if the buildings are pushed up to Grand. As the rendering on Page 56 shows, it will be significantly more Urban. Plus that bridge was built not too long ago, so it will stay for some time. With the Armory and the vacant lot at Chouteau and Grand tapped for development, this plan makes even more sense. But sadly, I know that this won't happen because GreenStreet wants what they see fit here and building a road up to Grand isn't in their plans. Hopefully whatever comes out of the Chouteau and Grand thing will make GreenStreet think about building up to Grand. At very least, SLU should demand it.
dredger wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:35 pm

Anyone have thoughts on when next residential/mixed use will break ground in the immediate area? I believe CORTEX still pursuing as such, Koman has rendered residential on its CORTEX development, and now Green Streets appears to have put residential ahead of the hotel in its phasing where as Lawrence Group pulled its residential tower but added office space to its Foundry footprint...
I think the next major residential component to break ground will be GreenStreet. Koman hasn't even begun on their Cortex K development so that right there is a sign that residential won't come for some time. I also figure that GreenStreet will come first because the design is so far ahead in the process. The renderings were made available so it all makes sense.
Reminds me of this project. If it ends up even half as active, will be a huge success!

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The Armory itself is really coming along this past week. Most of the windows are gone and you can see inside from from the highway.
^If I didn't know better I'd think they were demolishing the darned thing. It's good to see progress . . . but I do hope they will actually save some part of the building. ;-)

In all seriousness, there was once a nice little mid-century modern library in Columbia Missouri. We the voters authorized a bond issue so that they could "remodel" it and add a tower. They slowly picked it apart, saved a half dozen i-beams, and built a new library. Same thing happened to Brady Commons at the University. It was sold as a remodel. Well . . . it wasn't. Again, they saved a small part of the structural skeleton and built an entirely new building on that.

I do not believe the Armory folks are doing that. But, man, that's a lot of demo! (Same for the foundry, actually.)
Some great interior shots during demo - this is going to be great space

https://fox2now.com/2018/10/08/old-armo ... onversion/
So very St. Louis/Fox News that I was forced to watch 5 seconds of an add for some kind of gun holster called "Urban Carry" before seeing the Armory video. :roll:

Anyway, it's going to be an amazing space. I hope it can succeed given its proximity to the highway and electrical station.