Iron Hill, Mixed Use Development Planned at Grand and Chouteau

More renderings will be added if and when they become available.

On September 10th, St. Louis University (SLU) and the Midtown Redevelopment Corporation (MRC) issued an Request for Proposals (RFP) for the long vacant, and unsightly, lot at the corner of Grand and Chouteau. Proposals were due back October 19th. After nearly 5 months of reviewing plans from multiple developers, SLU has selected Peoria Illinois based Cullinan Properties as the developer to develop the land. The project's name - Iron Hill and it fulfills the requirement specified in the Midtown Redevelopment Plan that calls for a mixed use project on this site.


Cullinan Properties’ plans call for an exciting mix of office, retail, residential, a hotel, meeting areas and commons spaces totaling 850,000SF. The project is designed to link SLU's North Campus with it's Medical Campus along with connecting the Steelcote Square District to the Armory, City Foundry, the Grove and Cortex via the Chouteau Greenway. Further, Iron Hill is meant to be a catalyst for future development in the near vicinity of this location.


The plans call for a "block" layout with each block consisting of some sort usage. There are 7 blocks to this project with them being organized in the following manner:

  • 1 Block: Hotel, Conference and Retail

  • 2 Blocks: Office and Retail

  • 2 Blocks: Residential and Retail

  • 2 Blocks: Commons space, Residential and Retail

As far as parking goes, a parking garage of 2000 spaces will border the three northern blocks of the development and be located along Gratiot. On the streets within the development, 45 degree angle parking spaces will be included. The hotel will also include a small surface lot.

Iron Hill's buildings will range in height from 2 to 12 floors with office space square footage reaching over 144,000SF. The two office buildings position themselves on the Western and Eastern sides of the development in order to maximize views of Downtown, Midtown, Central West End and the city in general. Along Grand, a 4 floor, 78,000SF office building, reminiscent in design of Koman's Cortex K, will rise creating a street wall that hasn't existed in decades. On the Western side of the development, along Spring Avenue, will rise a 6 floor office building with 66,000SF of space.


The two Class A office buildings join a series of new office buildings being constructed or created in the Midtown area. Others include the Armory (170,000SF) and City Foundry Phases 1 and 2 (225,000SF+) for a grand total of 535,000SF of brand new, Class A office space in a small area of the City's Central Corridor. Rent for Iron Hill's office buildings is expected to run at $30 SF/Yr.


When it comes down to new residential space, Iron Hill offers plenty of it with two 10 floor residential buildings on the Northern end of the site and 4 smaller buildings along the commons area in the heart of the development. The 10 floor building along Grand will bring retail space to the Grand facing sidewalk and further create a street wall. The 4 smaller buildings, of three floors each, will look out onto the commons area. These buildings will feature two floors of apartments on top of retail space. All of the proposed apartments will be high end and will number above 300.


The hotel building is an interesting concept as the nearest hotel, to this location, will be the Element Hotel across the street from the City Foundry. Iron Hill's hotel will be a modest 9 floor hotel that is "L" shaped and will have roughly 250 rooms. According to plans, the hotel is to be up scale but no name brand has been mentioned as of this time. The hotel will include a rooftop deck for guests and meeting rooms for business events. Retail is also included at the base. The hotel will form a street wall along Chouteau Avenue, the first since the Pevely Dairy complex came down for the new $550 Million SSM SLU Hospital.


Now onto the commons spaces otherwise known as a public park. The commons area is reminiscent of the new Kiener Plaza design in terms of design and functionality. The design includes granite pavers of different colors and grass areas. Tables and chairs will line this area to promote a gathering place atmosphere. The only downside urbanists will see, at least I think they'll see, to this commons area is the gap in the Chouteau street wall created by it. Retail and restaurant space will equate to 140,000SF when complete.

One final piece to the Iron Hill plan is the addition of new streets within the development. A total of four new streets will be created as part of this development with 4 new curb cuts being created around the site. One will be on Grand, two on Chouteau and one on Spring. The street connecting Spring to Grand could be considered Papin Street, but the streets haven't been named yet. Parking garage access will be via the streets within the development.


Iron Hill will be considered a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) due to it's quick access to the MetroLink system via the Grand Avenue viaduct. This development becomes the second TOD planned along Chouteau with the first being at Jefferson and Chouteau at the former Praxair site. While Iron Hill sits next to an existing Metro line, Jefferson and Chouteau is banking on the future Northside-Southside MetroLink line to eventually be built thus classifying it as TOD. For the bike riding, walking/running crowd out there, the eventual Chouteau's Greenway will connect nearby, so this site will be connected to the greater city for savvy pedestrians. The site will also be connected by car as Iron Hill is just a short drive away from Interstates 64 and 44.


The project's architect will be St. Louis based BatesForum Studio. The general contractor will be Clayco. As for a start date, Cullinan Properties' desire is to break ground in March 2020 on the full development, which means no phases, and be completed by late 2021-early 2022. Other parts of the development could open sooner based on whether or not the smaller potions, like the commons area, begin at the same time as the larger buildings.

Cullinan Properties has found great success in their Streets of St. Charles development which Iron Hill seems to be loosely based off of. Density in that development is on the lower end for such a large piece of land. The FAR (Floor Area Ratio) there is 749,400 sq ft over 20 acres (871,200SF) or 0.86 FAR. Iron Hill will be 850,000 sq ft over 14 acres (609,840) = 60,714 sq ft per acre or 1.39 FAR. So the property, more will be built here. Iron Hill also becomes the densest development in the near vicinity. For example, Cortex is a dismal .22 FAR while the Foundry is .78 FAR.


Parties interested in moving into the office space are encouraged to reach out to Colliers International, who has been retained as the exclusive firm to market the space.


PROJECT SNAPSHOT

  • Developer: Cullinan Properties

  • Architect: BatesForum

  • Builder: Clayco

  • Cost: Not disclosed

  • Usages: Residential, Office, Retail, Hotel, Parking and Gathering Space

  • Construction Begin on Phase 1: Q1 2020*

  • Construction End on Phase 1: Q1 2022*

*- Determined through phone calls an typical timetables of similar developments. Could be phased.

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