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AHM's Transformative Downtown West Project is Moving Forward

2100 Washington Avenue looking southwest from 21st and Washington. Rendering by Arcturis.

Just one block north of St. Louis City SC's CityPark, on some grave lots on Washington and Locust, AHM Group is moving ahead with their series of developments. The first phases are up for review at the City's Preservation Board next week and will be the first new-construction residential projects in Downtown West in decades. Sure, buildings like Monogram, MacDonald, and Butler Brothers have been redeveloped recently, but new construction has been lacking in Downtown West.

The first two phases of the AHM plan involve constructing a new parking garage to serve the buildings at 2100 Washington, 2151 Locust, the renovation of the vacant building at 2109 Locust into 44 residential units, and the renovation of 2101 Locust into approximately 35,000sf of office space. While urbanists might cringe at the inclusion of a large parking garage, it's important to note that it'll be nearly entirely hidden except for a small section on 22nd Street. The new building on Washington Avenue will hide the parking garage entirely while the new building on Locust, along with the existing old buildings, will block the entire parking garage from that angle.

The buildings at 2100 Washington and 2151 Locust will both include ground-level retail/restaurant space. In my opinion, the inclusion of these spaces will prove to be successful. With CityPark a few blocks away, these spaces will give restaurants, bars, and shops the opportunity to open up and serve the greater neighborhood and guests to City SC games.

2151 Locust looking northeast from 22nd and Locust. Rendering by Arcturis.

The new buildings will be clad in a mixture of brick and metal panel. Neither 2100 Washington or 2151 Locust, will exceed 6-stories in height. AHM Group's largest component of this project in Downtown West is the 29-story mass-timber residential tower at 21st and Locust. While not part of the initial phase, AHM plans to construct the tower, which will be the tallest mass-timber hybrid building in the world, at a later date. Trivers and Milwaukee-based Korb and Associates architects are the architects on that component. Arcturis is handling 2100 Washington and 2151 Locust.

When the plan was initially announced in June 2022, the buildings at 2100 Locust and 2151 Locust were to include up to 165 total apartments between them. The parking garage was to include 400 spaces and the tower would include up to 290 apartments and 350+ parking spaces. The development was to cost over $200 Million. At the time of this post's writing, it's unclear if any of those numbers remain the case.

AHM has been active in the City for several years now. Their first project was the MoFo at 3172 Morgan Ford in Tower Grove South. Also in Tower Grove South is the Y|O Apartments at 3201 Morgan Ford (wrapping up construction). They had proposed a 4-story apartment building at Morgan Ford and Juniata, but the City shot that one down after opposition from some over it's required demolition of a structure on site. Opponents of that project failed to recognize that the project wouldn't seek any incentives from the City, meaning that there would've been a higher usage on the property paying more on property tax that contributes directly to public safety, public schools, and infrastructure.

At 1500 South Grand, the Nicholas residences recently opened and have been doing well. AHM also has an active proposal for a multi-family building at 4100 Manchester in the Grove. Catty-corner from 2151 Locust, "The 22" Lofts are a part of the AHM portfolio. The firm's exclusive focus on projects in the City Limits sets them apart from other local developers who balance projects on both sides of the City-County line.

2100 Washington looking southeast from 22nd and Washington. Rendering by Arcturis.

A while back, AHM won incentive approval from the City of St. Louis on all components of the Downtown West projects. All that's left now is for these buildings to be formally approved by the City and begin construction.

I'll continue to keep people updated on this exciting development as progress is made. For those interested in the Preservation Board meeting, the project will be reviewed on January 29th at 4pm. Details on how to attend and, if you wish, participate are available HERE.

In a difficult economy for developers, it's great to see a project of this scale take a step forward. I'm personally hopeful that it's just one of many significant projects that advance across Greater St. Louis throughout 2024.

Additional renderings of the Downtown West project, including the 29-story mass-timber hybrid tower, are included in the gallery below.

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