There will be public hearings today to advance approval of 3 projects: Polar Wave Ice, 4100 Forest Park, and Ball Park Lofts.
Shock City Records is proposing to take the Polar Wave Ice and Fuel building, down the street from Hodak’s, and turn it into a modern recording studio and apartment complex. Half of the Polar Wave building has been vacant since the 1940s when refrigerators froze out the ice business. A fire gutted this wing of the building and the damage was never repaired. The other wing was briefly occupied by Lipic Pen Company, but has also been vacant for several decades. Shock City, working with the talented Lawrence Group, plans this studio as the most technologically advanced in the country.
4100 Forest Park is a plan to convert the long-vacant ACME Building at Sarah and the Forest Park Parkway to new condominiums and retail space. The renovated building will mark a major entrance to the CORTEX development and will provide homes, shopping opportunities and office space for the life science workers that BJC Medical Center, the Center for Emerging Technologies and CORTEX are attracting. This is the second major plan considered for the building. An earlier plan to develop the building as spec lab space was abandoned by developers.
Ballpark Lofts will convert the remaining Cupples warehouse buildings on Spruce Street to retail, condominiums, and office space. I am particularly excited about the proposed workspaces. New residents are an important part of downtown’s new vitality, but the core of a business district has to be . . . businesses. Developers McGowan and Walsh are already talking with a variety of prospective office tenants who are attracted by the heavy volume of positive activity now taking place in downtown, as well as by the opening of the new ballpark down the street.