Monday, January 18, 2010

Time to Reconsider Hotel Indigo Plans

The Post-Dispatch is reporting that work on the Roberts Tower appears to have come to a halt, as contractors on the project are still awaiting payment and not a single unit has been reserved at this point.

With this project in a state of flux, perhaps the Roberts Brothers will reconsider their ill-conceived plans to build a Hotel Indigo one block to the east. Those plans involved the demolition of two historic buildings to make room for an unnecessary driveway and entry canopy at 10th and Locust.

In my opinion, a win-win for the Roberts Brothers and downtown as a whole would have the Roberts Brothers building a scaled-back hotel in the former St. Louis Design Center building at 917 Locust while selling off the buildings at 919 and 923 Locust to developers who would renovate them. Under such a scenario, the Roberts Brothers would still get their hotel (at a lower cost) and two historic structures would be saved, preserving the street wall in the 900 block of Locust.

And, really, is the hotel even necessary? According to one expert, it's not: Link

The surrounding blocks, which have received a lot of redevelopment in recent months, would benefit not only from the hotel, but from the presence of the retail tenants and office workers and/or residents in the buildings that would be preserved.

I sincerely hope they consider a change of plans. If not, my fear is that all of the vacant Roberts-owned buildings in the 900 block of Locust will continue to remain vacant for some time, impeding the progress that has been made around them.

Update 1/25: Building Blocks is reporting that construction activity has resumed at the Roberts Tower.

9 comments:

Jason M. Stokes said...

I've said it before, and will say it again. Roberts won't sell anything in their tower unless they respond to customers. I was very interested in the building - but never got an email, call, fax, or carrier pigeon response back.

pat said...

Do you know how the Hotel Indigo in the CWE is doing?

Chris said...

The proposed Hotel Indigo is to the west of the Roberts Tower. Same old Roberts brothers tricks, it seems.

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts, I for one would rather see the Embassy Suites/rental units/condos get started @ the old Dillards Building get started and the skybridge go down. Which very may well happen this spring. Sound hotel franchise with a great idea of re-use. Fortunately, I think the city and state realize that developing the Laural, One Center, City Center are a priority over an Indigo hotel.

Dickson said...

I hope the Roberts brothers can get the towers going again, though that could be tough if the contractors are not being paid. I understand that they were unable to build the garage below the building? What kind of cars to million dollar condo owners own? I would want my expensive car/cars secure in the basement if I spend that kind of money. Who wants to wait for valet attendents to bring your car. If I forget something in my car, not me. Does anyone know what is happening with this project?

Brian said...

I'm with you, Dickson. The lack of interior parking was a major head-scratcher. I do believe the plan is to offer valet service for residents though.

Dickson said...

I hope the valet works for this development. It is an incredible building and important for downtown. I think the valet verses interior parking is a huge flaw.

Dickson said...

I am with you Amonymous. The Embassy Suites, One Center, City Center, Macy's and street scaping 7th street all the way to Ball Park Village. It is much more important to make 7th the North/South shopping/tourist lane, that would connect the convention center and Ball Park Village, than the Roberts Brothers Indigo Hotel. I would eventually like to see that happen as well of course.

Kevin Barbeau said...

I've been watching that little white three-story building for, literally years (even going so far as to track down and research previous property owners), waiting for someone to rehab it into a unique downtown pub/restaurant. Hell, if I had the money that's the first thing I'd do with it: Pub on level one, eating/drinks on two, my own office/apartment on the top. Perfect.

This is...disconcerting...to hear that it may be pulled down for an entrance to an unnecessary hotel. Please, someone save it from ruin and give this quirky little building its just-deserves!

On the other hand, I appreciate the level of development the Roberts Brothers are providing downtown STL -- I'd just like them to mix in some property-restoration along with their demolish-and-build-new projects.