If all goes according to plan, Indianapolis based Pearl Companies, could break ground on their long awaited Forest Park-Debaliviere TOD project in the 2nd Quarter of this year.
At a Skinker-Debaliviere neighborhood meeting last night, the updated plans were presented to neighbors and the public. The full scope of the project became clear as multiple new renderings, including the one at the beginning of the story, was shown off. The one aspect of this plan that is different now than the last update in the Summer is that the Kiss & Ride lot portion of the project has been scrapped. It wasn't feasible to build a restaurant/commercial building on that parcel due to the complex web of utilities underneath it. Instead, the project now focuses entirely on the Metro parking lot and strip mall.
Neighbors, and the public, can expect around 275 apartments to rise in this development along with a significant amount of retail. A grocery store is still planned and according to Pearl, multiple grocery store parties are interested in the space. The grocery store will either take up the whole first floor retail space of the North building or half of the space. The Southern building will include additional retail space ideal for shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Another big change to the most recent plan is parking. While retaining free spaces for Metro patrons to park in, the apartment unit to parking space ratio is not less than 1 sitting at .85. Because this is a transit oriented development (TOD), less parking spaces are needed since it's the hope that residents will choose to use Metro over driving. It's a concept that has been pioneered and pushed in many middle and upper-tier cities across the country. St. Louis is a recent addition to the list.
Façade material wise, the buildings will be primarily clad in a thin gray Roman brick, Corten steel and corrugated metal paneling. There will also be some cedar wood accenting throughout the development. Overall, the materials will give this stretch of Debaliviere a modern feel upon completion.
Other interesting aspects of the project is that the designed is stepped in all directions to connect with the surrounding neighborhood better. When heading North, the buildings will step down to where the furthest Northern part will be a floor taller than the Busey Bank/Dorze at Waterman and Debaliviere. On the South end, the complex will rise to it's highest point of 89FT 9IN and 7 Floors. On Degiverville, there will be townhouse style entries into the units.
The parking entrances have also been moved around to create less of an impact on the pedestrian experience. Based on the site plan, the parking garage entrance will be on Degiverville and will only create one curb cut. That is down from the existing three. All parking spaces will be below-grade.
The Forest Park-Debaliviere TOD did seek TIF funds to cover the cost of the parking garage and other infrastructure. The City of St. Louis TIF Commission reviewed the request at their October 2019 meeting. The commission recommended $14 Million in TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for this project. In December, the Board of Aldermen passed Board Bill 168, which authorized the TIF for this project. The last reported cost of the development was $91.5 Million.
Debaliviere has seen it's ups and downs over the past several decades but now it all appears to be looking up. The recently completed Dorze apartments was the first commercial to apartment building conversion completed on the strip between Forest Park Parkway and Delmar. Recently, LuxLiving announced the 150-unit "The Hudson" project at 310 Debaliviere. That site was home to Talayna's. Combined, the TOD and Hudson will add 425 Apartments to the neighborhood as well as a great amount of new retail space. Come 2022, when both projects are expected to be completed Debaliviere will feel quite different.
Trivers and HOK are the architects on this project.
Below are additional renderings for the Forest Park-Debaliveire TOD project.
Below are the two previous designs of the project.