Plans for three interesting projects will be presented for the first time to the City’s TIF Commission tomorrow.
Park Pacific involves the historic rehab of the Missouri Pacific Building, which became empty when the railroad moved its employees to Nebraska several years ago. Steve Smith of the Lawrence Group plans to transform the old building into retail, office, and residential apartments. But the best part is that Steve is also planning a striking new building on Tucker. Tucker is the major entrance to downtown St. Louis, and the “modern” architecture that currently lines the street is less than distinguished. The new building will begin to fill in this streetscape with the kind of architecture that our entrance to downtown deserves. In addition, Steve plans improvements to the two adjacent parks. These enhanced park spaces will provide pleasant and relaxing outdoor places for everyone who visits, lives, or works downtown.
On the other end of the spectrum, the TIF Commission will also consider a new Walgreens at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Grand Avenue. This is an area that has long been underserved by mainstream retail. As everyone who sees the crowds at the Lindell Walgreens knows, there is pent-up demand for Walgreens’ goods and services throughout this area of our city, and demand is increasing as the new Renaissance Place apartments are completed. Jim Koman, the impetus behind the successful MLK Plaza retail development on the opposite corner, is also leading the new Walgreens development.
Finally, Bob Wood and Pete Rothschild have acquired the “Tudor” Building on Washington Ave west of 18th Street, as well as the former tire warehouse on the opposite corner. They propose the development of these buildings as live-work space of a type that is scarce in this corridor, with accompanying streetscape enhancements that will move the improving character of Washington Ave’s public face further west.