ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a drive down Locust Street in Midtown St. Louis City, you might have missed a few things.
At 3108 Locust, the exterior is now painted a light pink and a sign says Golden Gems, Summer 2021. The retail boutique run by sisters Susan Logsdon and Amanda Helman has outgrown their shop on Cherokee Street and will move to Midtown Alley in the coming months.
The plan to bridge Midtown and Downtown is part of an ambitious development taking shape
“The energy over there was really cool, it felt like a lot of stuff was happening. A lot of activation and the new soccer stadium and new stuff going in, and we wanted to be a part of it,” said Logsdon on the move to Locust.
That’s exactly what developer Jassen Johnson has been working to create over the last two decades.
“It’s such a different neighborhood than it was five years ago,” said Johnson with Renaissance Development.
News 4 has covered the progress over the years as he’s worked to connect Grand Center to Midtown to Downtown West. From Red Flag, a new music venue filled with shipping containers to retail like Golden Gems and Collections by Joya, new office tenants are moving in and the renovated apartment complex, The Malone, is already half leased.
A plan years in the making is beginning to come to reality this spring as the historic Beaumont Telephone Exchange reopens after sitting empty for 25 years.
“The pandemic hasn’t really slowed us down,” said Johnson, who is working to complete his 60th project in Midtown Alley.
He credits the new MLS stadium, the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) and the thriving start-up scene with bringing new residents to the area.
“It’s been really interesting to see the empty nesters, the students, the start-ups all meld together in these projects,” he said.
And the prices are luring those from out of town, eager to open businesses in St. Louis.
“Chefs from the coast that have shut down because of the pandemic that are now interested in St. Louis,” explained Johnson.
There are five restaurant spaces that are currently in the works with hopes of announcing who might be filling them soon.