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Is a Topgolf Coming to Midtown? It Sure Seems Like It.

Topgolf's Chesterfield location opened in the summer of 2018. Photo from the Topgolf website.

The long-rumored Midtown St. Louis Topgolf has been more or less confirmed by FAA applications for the facility's net poles and clubhouse.

The St. Louis Region's second Topgolf location has long been rumored to be planned, and eventually built, on a series of St. Louis University owned parcels between the Steelcote Lofts and Compton Avenue and between the railroad tracks and Chouteau. You may also know the land as the baseball fields at the northwest corner of the Compton and Chouteau intersection. The site also includes former industrial buildings. But now, we have a pretty good idea that Topgolf is indeed coming to Midtown, just an official announcement has yet to be made.

A series of FAA applications (33 total) were made on May 14th for the coordinates that directly center on the proposed Midtown site. Those applications reveal pole heights between 90ft and 190ft in height as well as a 53ft tall clubhouse structure. When the coordinates are placed on a Google Map, the outline of the planned facility takes shape with views from the main clubhouse structure facing east towards Downtown (as seen in the screenshots below). When overlaid with the Topgolf in Chesterfield, the alignment of the dots makes sense. The request to the FAA is common for buildings and structures within flight zones. In this case, the applications were made due to the proximity to the St. Louis University Hospital, which includes a helipad, and the ARCH Medical Helicopter facility on Scott Street near I-64. The FAA applications also reveal that the construction work schedule is from March 1st 2022 to December 31st 2023.

The alignment of the clubhouse building, if it follows the same layout as the Chesterfield location, means that the large Topgolf sign over the main entrance would be visible straight down an extended Papin Street. If Papin is ever extended to Grand, which would cut through a SLU owned parcel, the Topgolf name would be visible to visitors walk or drive down Papin. The alignment of the facility also makes it seem like a parking lot would replace the two buildings to the southeast of the Papin and Theresa intersection. SLU owns those too. With or without those buildings though, the Topgolf branding would be visible from Chouteau and maybe even Grand. Regardless, people would know the location is here due to the nets and poles. This location would also benefit Pier Property Group's developments at Steelcote Square (Lofts, Crossing and Mill Creek Flats). Between those three properties, there's room for a micro brewery/distillery at Steelcote Crossing (right across from the potential clubhouse entrance) and 10,000sf of retail space at Mill Creek Flats along Theresa.

Other behind the scenes, but pretty obvious moves, towards making this project happen was the vacation of a small section of Virginia Avenue that ran through the site. Additionally, SLU purchased additional properties within the development area. Then the pandemic hit, pushing the project back.

A second St. Louis area location makes a good deal of sense when you consider the success of the Chesterfield Topgolf. Just drive by the location any day of the week in the late afternoon and evening and you'll see a packed parking lot. The second location will serve City and Metro East residents as well as students at St. Louis University. Close connections to Interstates 64 and 44 in addition to the MetroLink being a short distance open this planned location up to the Metro area, so it's clearly not just limited to just City or Metro East residents, but that's who's most likely to visit Topgolf.

The land falls within the Midtown Redevelopment Zone, which was implemented by the City of St. Louis in 2017 and is overseen by St. Louis University and SSM Health. Between the City Foundry, Rec Hall at City Foundry, and now maybe Topgolf, it's becoming clear that beyond revitalizing the area near the SLU Campus, the goal is to create a regional destination based around food, shopping, and entertainment options. I also can't help but get "Collegetown" vibes from all of this. All the area needs is a Target.

At this time, a formal announcement about a TopGolf has not yet been made, but it does seem like Topgolf is in their "due diligence" phase and inching closer to a formal announcement. If not Topgolf, this could very well end up being a "T-Shotz" or "DriveShack", which are similar to TopGolf, but not 100% the same. Still, the basics are there (clubhouse, multi-level driving range, food, etc).

The potential Topgolf site in Midtown at Compton and Chouteau.
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