St. Louis Port Authority approves agreement for $1.2 billion project

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The St. Louis Port Authority voted to enter a redevelopment agreement with the Good Development Group on a $1.2 billion dollar redevelopment project south of Downtown. Developers say they’ve secured 50 acres for the Gateway South Project which will be south of the Poplar Street bridge and along the Mississippi River. It’s an area known as Chouteau’s Landing.

Ryan Binkly owns The Honky Tonk country music bar on South Broadway which sits just a block north of the redevelopment area.

“It’s exciting that people want to invest in an area, you know, that’s been blighted for a long time,” he said.

The project includes a residential district, which will have affordable housing as well as market housing. Developers say an entertainment district will benefit from three or four major national providers of entertainment. The project also includes an innovation district for the building design and construction industry.

Former Cortex Innovation Community President and CEO Dennis Lower is a consultant on the project.

“They’re taking a systematic approach to this and they have a vision that’s a unique vision that differentiates itself from other developments,” said Lower.

Developers hope the innovation district will lead to new start-ups that create new types of construction techniques or materials. Plans also call for two large manufacturing facilities where new building components will be shipped, assembled into large modular units and then shipped by barge, rail or truck to the site of major construction projects. Lower said it’s a new trend in construction that can cut costs 20-30 percent.

Chouteau’s Landing is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis. In the 1800s it was home to factories stores and homes. In the 1900s the residents moved out and left an area of mostly factories and warehouses.

The developers said they plan to renovate the historic Crunden-Martin buildings, which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1990.

The Good Development Group is headed by Greg Gleicher, formerly with JDS Development Group and a graduate of Washington University. JDS has been responsible for a number of significant projects. Its portfolio includes the $2 billion, 84-story 111 West 57th residential building, The Brooklyn Tower and The American Copper Buildings, a pair of luxury residential skyscrapers in Manhattan.

Alderman Shane Cohn sits on the port authority board.

“I think it’s an exciting and ambitious project,” he said.

At the port authority meeting, Cohn asked whether there would be any development on the river side of the flood wall because the area’s prone to flooding.

The developers said the project will need improvements to infrastructure and that they’d be working with the port authority and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to identify and meet all subsurface and levee wall requirements.

The project is expected to take 10 years to complete.