Updated: Jul 2, 2021
LuxLiving, the Central West End-based developer behind many apartment complexes in the City of St. Louis and inner-ring of the county, has proposed a 7-story, 177-unit apartment complex in the Grove along Kingshighway.
The development will replace 15 parcels that were previously owned by Drury Development Group, which once intended to build twin hotel towers here. However, Drury has not sold all of their parcels to LuxLiving, opting to instead hold on to some parcels, to the north of Arco, for a potential future hotel development. The new building, proposed by Lux, will stand 7-stories tall and will require the demolition of the multi-family buildings fronting Kingshighway, which have long been an eyesore, as well as a mix of single, two, and four family family buildings on both Oakland and Arco. As part of the project, the alley between all 15 parcels will have to be vacated and rerouted along with all parcels will being merged.
The new building will include a 177 space parking garage that will be accessed from the Oakland and Kingshighway intersection. This would prevent residents's cars from adding traffic on Oakland and Arco. The entrance and exit to the garage will utilize the Oakland stop light. A secondary exit, for right turns only, would be located near Arco. It appears that one level of the parking garage will be underground with the other being at the ground level, but concealed. There will be no ground floor retail space.
Above this, there will be 163 apartments and a sky lounge in the northeast corner of the 7th floor for residents. The remaining 14 units will be in two, 2-story buildings designed and built to match the surrounding neighborhood's multi-family buildings. These units will be walkup style and accessed from either Oakland, Arco, or the amenity areas. Residents in these buildings can either park on the street or in the main building's garage. Behind these two buildings are some amenity spaces. Amenities include a pool deck, grills, cabanas, TVs, a fitness center and more. The apartment unit makeup across all three buildings will be 70 studio, 85 one-bedroom, and 22 two-bedroom units.
The buildings will be clad in brick of different colors, metal panels, metal siding, and glass with the smaller buildings featuring decorative cornices.
The building is set to be the second tallest, or the tallest depending on final height, building in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood behind the office building at Manchester and Hemp (Chouteau Building - 1921), which is also 7-stories. Despite all the development in the neighborhood over the past several years, all built projects haven't cracked the 5-story range. Former proposals at 4101 Manchester were for a 7-story, and then 6-story, building but that plan didn't pan out as many had hoped. This would be the first building over 5-stories built in the neighborhood in approximately 100 years if built.
In a phone call, LuxLiving promised that they will go through a neighborhood review process to get feedback from neighbors about different aspects of the development. It's likely that the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood association will host their own meetings about the development to gauge feedback from residents as will Park Central Development. As for incentives, Lux has yet to clarify to me if they will seek incentives for this development or not.
A timeline on the project is not yet known. VE Design Group is the architect. VE previously worked with Lux on the Mckenzie project in University City, the Hudson and Chelsea in Debaliviere Place, the Steelyard on 7th in Soulard, and the Edison on Broadway in Kansas City.
Looking at the Forest Park Southeast Form Based Code District rules, implemented through City Ordinance #70732 in 2018, the project mostly complies. The properties along Kingshighway fall into the "Neighborhood Core" rules while the parcels along Oakland and Arco fall into the "Neighborhood General Type 2".
For the "Neighborhood General Type 2" rules, those buildings must be set back a minimum of 10ft and no greater than 20ft from the property line, be no less than 2-stories and 25ft in height and no greater than 3-stories and 35ft in height, and parking can be on the street or in a garage but there are no minimums. The small buildings on Arco and Oakland seem to comply with the Form Based Code rules since they're retaining the same setbacks, general massing, and usage as the current buildings.
For the "Neighborhood Core" rules, which apply to the building along Kingshighway, the building must be set back at least 10ft from the property line and no more than 30ft along main roads. On secondary roads the building must be set back at least 10ft from the property line and no more than 20ft. Building height cannot be more than 7-stories and 90ft. So for the main building, it seems to comply with those regulations.
When it comes down to building facade material, the buildings along Oakland and Arco seem to be allowed since they are clad in brick. The building along Kingshighway complies with the regulations as it falls under the "podium building" rules, which allow for facades to be clad in brick, metal, and curtain wall.
The plans featured in this story are dated March 22nd 2021, are conceptual, and subject to change.
Development Address: 1070-1092 South Kingshighway, 4459-4575 Oakland, and 4562-4570 Arco, St. Louis, MO 63110