January 04, 2018

The biggest downtown St. Louis developments planned for 2018

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Three new commercial developments that are expected to start construction this year figure to drastically alter the downtown St. Louis landscape for years to come.

Combined, the projects represent nearly half a billion dollars in new development in downtown after years of inactivity. The projects are also bringing in a good chunk of out of town money, and in one case a hefty amount of international investment, into St. Louis. 

Here’s a look at where each one stands in the development process. 

Ballpark Village Phase II

The St. Louis Cardinals and their development partner, Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., broke ground on the $260 million second phase of Ballpark Village Phase II in December. 

The project, which is expected to be fully complete in 2020, will include a 29-story, 297-unit apartment tower that will be called One Cardinal Way; a Live! By Loews hotel; a 117,000-square-foot Class A office building; and 75,000 square feet of new retail space, including a 31,000-square-foot Onelife Fitness gym.

As was reported by the Business Journal in early 2017, PwC will be the anchor tenant of the office development, taking up roughly half of the building. Fox Sports Midwest, which has its headquarters near Union Station, and a retail component for Rawlings, which has a corporate office in St. Louis County, have also been linked to the project.

Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said in December that additional office tenants will be disclosed at a later date, and that the organization is in talks with companies from outside the city of St. Louis to fill at least some of the remaining office space. 

The Ballpark Village office space would be among the most expensive in the region with a rent ask of $27.50 per square foot — a 34 percent premium over similar downtown office space and on par with Class A office space in Clayton, the region’s most in-demand submarket.

The office building was designed jointly by HKS Architects, HCM and Tao & Lee. The hotel is being designed by HKS Architects. Hord Coplan Macht designed the apartment tower. 

Paric is the construction manager on the project.

Jefferson Arms redevelopment

Nearly two years after putting the historic Jefferson Arms building at 415 N. Tucker Blvd. under contract, Dallas-based Alterra International officials expect to start remediation on the project early this year with construction on the first phase of the project expected over the summer.

Development plans include a 200-room Marriott-branded AC Hotel and more than 200 single-family apartments to go along with retail on the street level. 

In December, Mike Sarimsakci, founder and president of Alterra, said he plans on using the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ EB-5 program, an investor visa program that seeks to stimulate the United States economy through investments in U.S. companies by foreign investors, to help fund the project. 

Sarimsakci said he’ll look overseas — particularly in markets such as China, Vietnam, India and Latin America — to raise $49.5 million to help pay for the $104 million historic rehab.

Alterra is also using $17.4 million in tax increment financing (TIF) to help fund the historic redevelopment. Sarimsakci said the firm also hopes to utilize between $15 million and $18 million in state historic tax credits. Federal historic tax credits are also expected to be secured, along with financing through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE).

Alterra’s redevelopment of the building is also expected to include: A Motopia Café, inspired by the high-end motorcycle club of the same name that serves light fare for dine in or grab and go; a Mademoiselle Colette’s Brasserie, a French/Belgian concept where guests can taste authentic food such as steak frites and house-made sausages; a George & Eddie’s Diner, serving comfort food like burgers, milkshakes and homemade pies; and a Turkish furniture shop called Koleksiyon.

Alterra has brought on [dtls] as the landscape architect and GLASPER Professional Services as the civil engineer. Other contractors have not yet been announced.

300 S. Broadway

A new $100 million, 33-story apartment high rise being planned by HDA Architects across the street from Busch Stadium will add 254 apartment units to the downtown market by summer 2021.

The HDA project will take the place of St. Louis Community College’s Joseph P. Cosand Community College Center, which houses the district’s chancellor’s office, marketing and communications, human resources, purchasing, IT, payroll, and academic and student affairs departments. HDA, with roughly $300 million in construction revenue, has the building under contract for $5.8 million, and the transaction is expected to close in May.

The new apartment tower will include 3,000 square feet of ground-level retail, an outdoor rooftop pool, a 254-space parking garage, and a 16th floor community area and outdoor terrace featuring views into Busch Stadium.

The building should be similar to Two Twelve Clayton, a luxury apartment high rise in downtown Clayton that HDA completed in 2017.

And just like with Two Twelve Clayton, HDA is working with Chicago-based real estate developers White Oak Realty Partners and CA Ventures on the downtown tower.

The group has hit a slight snag with the city of St. Louis’ Preservation Board, which in mid-December granted preliminary approval for the demolition of the 300 S. Broadway building with stipulations that some of the current building’s facade be incorporated into the new building’s design.

HDA President Jack Holleran said the firm is evaluating the Preservation Board conditions to decide how to proceed.

The developers are also seeking 20 years of tax abatement from the city: 10 years of 90 percent abatement, five years of 85 percent abatement and five years of 80 percent abatement.

Demolition of the building could start in June with completion of the project expected in mid-2020.

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