ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – You would think almost anything would be better on a busy street than a rusting behemoth that once was a foundry.
Yet in the past, St. Louis has given developers lukewarm receptions to proposals for the old Federal Mogul site in the 3700 block of Forest Park Avenue.
But now, there seems to be excitement about a new proposal from Pace Properties to build a large shopping center on that site between Vandeventer and Spring, offering residents something the city has very little of.
Big box retail.
“We have been working for several years in the neighborhood to try to do something down there that is really special,” said 17th Ward alderman Joe Roddy.
The property is in his ward. It would sit one block away from St. Louis University.
The city has been holding out for something less suburban in scale and design, and now Roddy thinks that may be found in a development being marketed under the name “Midtown Station.”
A marketing brochure from Pace shows the layout of a large scale shopping center.
Roddy says after meeting with Pace, he has already gotten the developer to make a few changes to their original proposal.
“The biggest thing they`ve done or are willing to consider is putting all the buildings on the Forest Park Avenue side to give us some massing and create some pedestrian access to the retail shops from (the street),” Roddy said.
That also means the parking lot would be on the south side of the development facing Interstate 64.
The drawings show store footprints as large as 80,000 square feet, and while no retailers are mentioned by name, rumors have been circulating for quite some time that an IKEA or a Target could be tenants.
What is not a rumor is the $60 million to $70 million in student housing coming soon just across the street where a car wash now stands, giving Midtown Station the potential for even more foot traffic.
No one from Pace Properties returned calls from Fox 2 News and neither did anyone from IKEA.
Target e-mailed a response saying it had “nothing to share” with us “at this time.”
CBRE, the realtor selling the property, confirms Pace does has it under contract.
Some who live in the neighborhood had no idea this was happening, but many of those who have heard about it like what they are hearing.
“I think it is pretty exciting,” said David Zeiser, who lives in the 4300 block of Forest Park Avenue.
“Whenever I need something, I get tired of having to get on the highway and drive down to Brentwood.”