Friday, August 21, 2009

Update on The Laurel Project


Last Thursday at a meeting held by the Downtown St. Louis Residents Association, architect Andy Trivers provided an update on The Laurel, the redevelopment of the former Dillard's department store at 6th and Washington.

As of right now, Spinnaker is working on procuring financing for the project and hopes to close toward the end of the year or possibly early next year. The specs on this project haven't changed from the original plan floated by Pyramid - first floor retail and a 200+ room Embassy Suites hotel with 200+ apartments above.

One encouraging note on the project, provided by Building Blocks:

Trivers said the $80 million construction cost includes restoration of the building’s brick facade. He added that installation of St. Louis Centre skybridge in the mid-1980s did little damage to the Dillard’s building, which previously was the Stix Baer and Fuller department store.
The demolition of the St. Louis Centre skybridge will have an amazing impact on Washington Avenue, helping connect the less lively 500 through 300 blocks with the thriving blocks west of the convention center. Buildings such as 555 Washington, 505 Washington and 500 N. Broadway could potentially become more attractive, especially the vacant - but very attractive - retail space in 555 Washington.

The Laurel will also leave downtown with one fewer prominent eyesore. Instead, it will help create a positive first impression for conventioneers and travelers getting off at the 6th and Washington MetroLink stop.

I won't pop any champagne corks until I see demolition crews start tearing down that skybridge (and I do plan to set up yard chairs on Washington to watch the demo if anyone's interested in joining me), but it's very encouraging to hear that this project is still moving forward.

2 comments:

PJLSTL said...

Great news and thanks for the update. Did Trivers comment on the Mercantile Exchange project as a whole, or did he just focus on the Laurel?

bobh said...

I just got a check in the mail returning the money I put down to reserve my unit at the Laurel.
I held out hope to the end that the project would go through.
My unit: http://bobh.posterous.com/st-louis-49
Maybe I could rent it someday. At any rate, please post when (if?) the demolition starts, I'd like to join you.