Catty Corner from the soon to be “Link in the Loop” and nearly directly across the street from the Moonrise Hotel is one of the Loop’s most prominent surface lot. The former site of a Church’s Chicken has long been an eyesore of sorts for the Loop and the visions of what to put on this site have come and gone. Some included apartments and retail space and an outrageous one included a Ferris Wheel and Beer Garden. Now, the future of this key site has been determined according to city records and a document obtained by CityScene STL from an unnamed source. Ladies and Gentlemen, the St. Louis Region's first Chase Bank branch is planned here.
For a site that poses one of the greatest opportunities to enhance this corner and make it vibrant, a car centric project is planned and is almost destined to happen. According to the City of St. Louis Building Permit records, a $800,000 building permit application (zoning) was applied for on December 28th, 2018. It hasn’t been issued as of this writing but is almost certain to be issued. It has been speculated that JPMorgan-Chase would expand to St. Louis after company CEO, Jamie Dimon, stated to look at the 50 Largest Metros in the United States and assume we will be in all of them one day. That time has come for St. Louis, who was the second largest Metro area on the list behind Minneapolis.
The Preservation Board will have to review the project and will most likely do so at their upcoming meeting on Monday, January 21st. The design of the building (as seen in the elevations below) is vastly underwhelming and is more or less an insult for the rapidly urbanizing Loop. Ideally, a bank here should be at the base of a mixed use building but that hope seems to be lost. If anything, the Preservation Board should request that this bank is built in such a way that it mimic's neighboring buildings and adds other space besides just a bank.
But for $800,000, what would you expect?
In my opinion, this project is a wasted oppurtunity to help rebuild this intersection into an urban one but at least Chase's building has windows and a door facing Delmar. It's also a plus that it is built up the sidewalk but sucks that there will be 2 curb cuts. I guess we will have to see if any revisions come along.