Launch Slideshow

St. Louis, Mo.

St. Louis, Mo.

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    Google Earth

    St. Louis, Mo.

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    Corbis

    Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch is among the best-known projects that engineer Hannskarl Bandel worked on. Others include Marina City in Chicago and Toronto City Hall.

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    Hedrich Blessing

    The Old Post Office Architect: Trivers Associates, St. Louis Developers: DESCO Group and DFC Group Inc. Completed: 2006 Cost: $24.5 million Designed by Alfred B. Mullet and completed in 1884, the 245,000-square-foot building's tenants now include the Missouri Court of Appeals, a branch of the St. Louis Public Library, and the St. Louis Business Journal.

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    Vertex Graphics

    Skyhouse Architect: Metro.Arch, Niles, Ill. Developer: WTD Venture Expected Completion: 2010 Estimated Cost: $67 million Construction will begin on this 22-story downtown highrise in early 2008. The project includes ground-floor retail, a three-story parking deck, 166 residential units, and an amenities level on the 19th floor.

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    Rosemann & Associates

    14th Street Mall Revitalization Architect: Rosemann & Associates, St. Louis Developers: Regional Housing Community Development Alliance and Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Expected Completion: 2009 Estimated Cost: $26 million Redeveloped in the '70s as a pedestrian mall, this Northside neighborhood conversion will include 78 mixed-income apartments and 26,000 square feet of commercial space.

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    John Guenther

    Chaifetz Arena Architect: Mackey Mitchell Associates, St. Louis Developer: Saint Louis University Expected Completion: 2008 Estimated Cost: $83.2 million This 280,000-square-foot, 10,600-seat arena in midtown will provide a home court for the Saint Louis University Billikens basketball team and a venue for other events.

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    Sam Fentress

    Washington University School of Medicin, Farrell Learning and Teaching Center Architect: HOK, St. Louis Developer: Washington University Completed: 2005 Cost: $30 million The 108,000-square-foot public face of Washington University's renowned medical school offers state-of-theart instructional and gathering spaces. It received American School & University's 2006 Outstanding Design Award.

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    Imaging Ateleir 2007

    ST. Louis Art Museum Expansion Architect: David Chipperfield Architects, London Developer: St. Louis Art Museum Expected Completion: 2011 Estimated Cost: $125 million In 2008, the St. Louis Art Museum will break ground on an addition to its Forest Park building, designed by Cass Gilbert for the 1904 World's Fair. The new structure will provide 82,000 square feet of galleries and public space.

Home to American icons the Gateway Arch and Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis is getting a new, edgier reputation thanks to a rise in biotechnology and medical research at Washington University. But this is just one reason biotech and pharmaceutical companies are setting up shop here; there are also the area's central location, good economy, and dual appeal as college town and Midwestern urban hub.

“We have some of the oldest housing stock in the country, with neighborhoods that predate streetcar-type urban neighborhoods,” explains Robert Wagstaff, a principal of local firm Rosemann & Associates. “As the urban lifestyle becomes increasingly more popular, this is a great strength. We have what people want—we just have to rehab it and make it accessible.”

That's driven about $4.5 billion in redevelopment of the city's core and renovations to surrounding residential areas. Projects include the redevelopment of the dying, 540,000-square-foot St. Louis Centre mall into a retail and residential complex. As a result, leaders are trying to balance St. Louis' rich architectural history with the needs of its promising future. “St. Louis' architecture is a rich reflection of the city's diverse French, Spanish, and German historical influences,” says Clark Davis, vice chairman of locally based megafirm HOK. “The city and region have also been fertile ground for modern design.”

How fertile? According to Eugene Mackey III of hometown firm Mackey Mitchell Associates, “We have 16 recipients of the National AIA Gold Medal in our region. That's more than New York.”

But the city's best-known landmark, Gateway Arch, could become a target for redevelopment. A recent study by the Danforth Foundation—a private enterprise that focuses solely on revitalizing the St. Louis region—suggested repurposing some of the parkland surrounding the arch to create a riverfront link to downtown, much like Chicago's Millennium Park.

Job/Population Growth

The St. Louis metropolitan area is home to 2.8 million people and has experienced 37 consecutive months of net job growth.

Office Market

Average asking rental rates for Class A space are $22.30 per square foot. For Class B space, landlords are asking an average of $17.21 per square foot.

Residential Market

Year-to-date home sales declined 6.7 percent in September.

Market Strengths

  • Central location
  • World-class institutions of higher education
  • Unique neighborhoods

Market Weaknesses

  • Lack of clear regional leadership
  • Rapidly sprawling suburbs
  • High poverty rate

Forecast

“There exists a new open and innovative spirit ... especially among its younger generation,” notes Fred Powers, principal at local firm Powers Bowersox Associates. “St. Louis is well positioned to be optimistic about its future for the next five to 10 years and beyond.”