Incentives for $200 million plan moves forward for Locust Street Downtown

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -The City of St. Louis is moving forward with a multi-million-dollar development Downtown. A city board signed off on incentives for a $200 million-dollar mixed-use development Tuesday night.

“It’s encouraging to see and hopefully we get more of it.,” St. Louis resident Dan Birkenmeier said.

Renderings of the five projects to revamp Locust Street were unveiled Tuesday night. AHM Group is the developer in charge of the project. The group previously developed MOFO Urban Residences off Morganford in Tower Grove South.

This new proposal includes as many as 500 apartments, some in a 29-story tower made of mass timber. The material gets recognition from developers because it weighs less and costs less. Also, how the material is used in construction is similar to how LEGO blocks connect.

The development also has 30,000 square feet for retail space, 30,000 square feet for office space, and a parking garage to hold 750-800 cars.

“Oh my gosh, how exciting it could be to wake up in your apartment, go down to Schlafley’s, go and see a game - you could spend your entire day downtown, that’s fantastic,” Resident Julie Childress said.

Here are what the five projects look like:

Project One: 2011-23 Locust. This 29-story tower will hold roughly 280 living units, retail, food, and at least 350 structured parking spots. The building will be constructed out of mass timber. That’s a LEGO-like material that is a strong low-carbon alternative to concrete and steel. It also weighs 50 percent less and can be constructed faster.

Project Two: 2101-07 Locust will reimagine The Lambert Building (Constructed in 1902) as 30,000 square feet of creative, flexible office space. It is designed by Trivers Architects.

Project Three: 2109-15 Locust takes the Lambert Pharmacal Company building and Columbia Incandescent Lamp Company building and converts them to 45 units of affordable and workforce apartments. The design is created by studioDVLP.

Project Four: 2025 Locust will be 55-65 apartment units with possible retail and commercial space on the first floor. The design is from Arcturis.

Project Five: : 2100 Block of Washington Ave. This is a new construction with 100 apartments and 400 parking spaces. This design is also from Arcturis.

“It’s all about building a city. Not just one part of the city, but the whole city,” Alderwoman Marlene Davis said.

Alderwoman Davis is the Chair of the Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee.

She said the area needs new residents and businesses as caretakers for the neighborhood - creating a better quality of life and less crime.

“We have to make sure it’s balanced,” Alderwoman Davis explained. “That it’s equaled, minority participation is where it needs to be. We are doing all of those things.

She said the construction of Centene Stadium is a major influence to reimagine the surrounding parts of Downtown.

“This is just the beginning,” Davis shared. “When you look at these types of investors when they can work well with a community, they will find ways to get more investors here and they will be in all parts of the city.”

News 4 couldn’t confirm the amount of investment any of the partners of the project made.

News 4 did confirm Arch to Park Equity Fund, which is affiliated with Greater St. Louis, Inc., loaned AHM the funding it needed to acquire the properties for this project.

“I think it’s exciting and great,” resident Birkenmeier shared. “A good example of the opportunities that exist in the area and the investments that need to be made to revitalize St. Louis.”

The St. Louis Development Corporation will prepare a development analysis to the HUDZ committee.

That group will determine voting it out of committee for the full board of aldermen to vote on.

Alderwoman Davis said she hopes that happens within the next couple of months.