Ever since mid-April, when the full website for MOFO was launched, I had a feeling the units there would go fast. The reasons behind my feeling were these...
Located in the “hot” Tower Grove South Neighborhood.
Close to Tower Grove Park.
In the middle of the Morgan Ford business district which includes bars, restaurants and a grocery store.
A quick bike ride away from South Grand.
Short drive to the Central Corridor.
And for most of the new residents at MOFO, that may be why they are moving in there.
Of the 26 units in the building, about 60% are occupied according to moforesidences.com. The smallest units, the minimalist 1:1, went quick as there were only 4 available. Now, One Bedroom units are being leased out really quick with Two Bedrooms just now starting to gain some traction. Of the 26 units, 10 are available with 16 being leased out. That equates to 61.5% leased. While the apartment units are going quick, retail leasing is going slow, but that could change.
According to a recent story by the Southsider, a coffee and bike shop has signed a lease to occupy part of the building’s 6544SF of space. Looking at the ground level site plan, and seeing that 4400SF of space is still available (including the restaurant bay) I have figured that the bike and coffee shop will occupy the retail bay at Morgan Ford and Connecticut and take up just a sliver of the middle retail bay. That space is roughly 1986SF. Overtime, I see other tenants signing on, including a restaurant because of the new residents living here, future residents at the future 3201 Morgan Ford project and a general boost in population on the surrounding streets.
In addition to the increase in residents, Morgan Ford will see more outside the neighborhood visitors as Alpha Brewing and favorite, Amsterdam Tavern, continue to do good business. The other restaurants are also draws to the business district. So the more people there are, the better your business has at being noticed. For MOFO, it is one of the more noticeable buildings on the stretch because of its architecture and size. As time goes on, I would expect that other developers will come into the neighborhood and build new, but that will come over time.
Right now, construction costs, labor costs and interest rates are high and so that prevents smaller developers, and even bigger ones, from building something new. So that pumps the breaks a bit in new construction everywhere, including Tower Grove South. For now, MOFO is a solid addition to the neighborhood and all the home renovations are great additions since they keep character.
In the end, I see MOFO as a prime example of urban infill projects. It’s interactive at the street level and functional all the way around. It’s also not to big to handle and can add more than a large scale project. In my opinion, I see more developments similar in size to MOFO popping up around town over the next several years, especially in areas that are booming or are getting close to booming.