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Thread: Saint Louis

  1. #16


    ...From the St. Louis Business Journal (subscription). Re-printed at MSNBC:

    From the May 20, 2005 print edition

    Libeskind redraws St. Louis skyline
    Lisa R. Brown

    A long-talked-about project set to change St. Louis' skyline is now moving forward with a world-renowned architect at the drawing table.

    Not since the building of the Arch has St. Louis had as an iconoclastic project in the works as the designs for the Bottle District to be located just north of the Edward Jones Dome. That's the sentiment of the developers of the district since Daniel Libeskind agreed to design the $290 million project.

    New York City-based Libeskind has projects under way or completed around the globe. He is the architect of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, the Grand Canal Performing Arts Centre and Galleria in Dublin, Ireland, and the redevelopment of the Fiera Milano Fairgrounds in Milan, Italy, among many other high-profile projects. He also is the architect of several residential developments in the United States.

    In 2003, Libeskind's design was chosen for the original master plan design for Ground Zero and the World Trade Center site. Although it was recently announced the design will change to address security concerns, the new design will be consistent with Libeskind's master site plan.

    Wednesday, Libeskind presented preliminary designs for the Bottle District to the developer, Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving & Storage Co. and owner of the Bottle District site, and the general contractor, Bob Clark, chief executive of Clayco. Libeskind's design incorporates several elements that have been a part of the plan from its inception -- including residential towers and the pedestrian-oriented nature of the site. The master plan Libeskind presented includes two high-rise condominium towers, as many as 50 commercial tenants and a public plaza on more than seven city blocks.

    The residential towers will range between eight and 32 stories, based on market demand, Clark said. A third tower on the site also may be included. Renderings of the designs show the angled towers staggered within the site to give full views of the Arch and riverfront.

    Libeskind's initial design has a swooping coliseum shape with multiple entry points. The sketches will serve as the starting point for the eventual architectural designs.

    The first phase of the project, which will include the first of the residential towers, will be completed in 2007. The entire Bottle District development will be completed by 2010. A Cabo Wabo Cantina, owned by rocker Sammy Hagar, a go-cart racetrack operated by Grand Prix Speedways LLC and a Rawlings All American Grill already have committed to the mixed-use residential and entertainment complex.

    McGuire, chief executive of BDP LLC, the developer of the project, said landing Libeskind as the architect for the project takes the mixed-use development that has been in the conceptual phase for years to a new level.

    "It's going to change the whole skyline," McGuire said. McGuire and his brothers, Robin and Kevin McGuire, own or control much of the 20-acre site around the moving company's headquarters. The vacant buildings that are on the site now will be torn down in the coming months. The only building of McGuire's that will remain after development is the company's more than 100-year-old headquarters, which will be turned into 70 loft units. A museum is slated to be located on the building's first floor.

    Although BDP would not disclose how much Libeskind will be paid, Libeskind has committed to work within the projected budget for the development, which includes architectural fees, said BDP's Marketing Director Matt Bernsen. "All of our numbers have been supported by our urban planning study," Bernsen said.

    Libeskind has designed other residential towers in the United States, but the Bottle District development will be one of his largest residential complexes that includes mixed-use development. "He hasn't done an entire district like this before," Bernsen said.

    When Libeskind met with McGuire and Clark Wednesday, it was the first time he visited the site of the proposed development, but not his first time in St. Louis. Libeskind said he has been enamored with the city of St. Louis since he first visited 30 years ago on his honeymoon to see the Arch in person. "It's an incredible city," he said as he looked south from the site toward downtown. "There are fantastic people with a fantastic vision. And every project is about the people."

    In December, the architect read from his memoir, "Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture," at Washington University's Graham Chapel. And in February, Libeskind was in town at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) for a private dinner.

    Clark said Libeskind's visit to COCA was the genesis of Libeskind's interest in the project. "He was very interested in the [COCA] building, which was designed by German architect Eric Mendelsohn," Clark said.

    Clark arranged the meeting with the Bottle District development team after meeting Libeskind during his February visit. "We just had this big idea from that encounter, to see if he'd be interested," Clark said.

    In March, McGuire, Clark and six members of the development team flew to New York for a four-hour meeting with Libeskind, his wife, Nina, who is manager of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and two of the firm's architects.

    Clark said it was difficult to gauge Libeskind's interest in the project during the presentation. "He didn't react at all for the four hours," Clark said. "Then at the end of the meeting, he said he loved the project, and I was elated."

    McGuire said Libeskind seemed especially interested in the revitalization of the city that the new development will bring. Much of the team's presentation was focused on St. Louis' revitalization efforts, including the new ballpark complex, the Washington Avenue district and the city's efforts to spur development.

    After the meeting in March, McGuire sent Libeskind two bottles. One was a glass bottle that was dug up on the grounds of the development site and dates back to the 1850s. The other was a bottle with a customized label for Libeskind. On the label, a Web address was printed that linked to a customized Web address for the architect. The bottles were packed in shredded U.S. currency retired by the U.S. Department of Treasury to show the financial potential for the site, Bernsen said.

    "This will be a rebirth of a great American city," Libeskind said. "St. Louis, with the Arch and this historical district -- this will link that whole history with the 21st Century. This is a key gateway to the city."

    Polish-born Libeskind, 59, became an American citizen in 1965. "Any major project that he does, he has a story to tell about how he developed the design," Bernsen said. "He starts with basic sketches, then gets to the heartbeat and the synergy of the city he is working in. He is directly involved in all of his projects."

    The Bottle District name derives from buried bottles found at the property from the time when the land was home to immigrants in the 1800s. Bernsen said the development's name also reflects St. Louis' rich brewery history and the larger-than-life Vess soda bottle on the site. The bottle was placed as an advertisement for Vess Beverages Inc. in the 1990s.

    "By bringing Daniel to this project, it takes the city to another level," McGuire said. "It gives this project international publicity and St. Louis international publicity."

    McGuire said the construction of the site itself will likely become something that will attract visitors to St. Louis, in the same way Libeskind's design of the extension to the Denver Art Museum attracted 1.5 million visitors to view construction from an observation deck.

    Next up, the development team will travel to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) trade show in Las Vegas May 22-25 to attract retailers with Libeskind's designs in hand. The first phase had 60 percent occupancy under its original design, but now has approximately half of its tenants lined up since the project scope expanded. McGuire said he expects to fill the remaining slots in the next 90 days.

    © 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.

  2. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    Pretty. But at the same time. considering that many of those buildings are abandoned, the crime situation in the city is one of the worst in the nation, and its population is now less than half of its peak in the '50s.
    Wow! Do you have some neon spandex to go with that dated perception?

    I found this at the HOK Planning Group's website.
    This streetscape program is designed to improve streets and streetscape within the core of downtown St. Louis. As a result of this program, pedestrians will find walking in downtown to be an inviting, safe, logical and exciting experience. In addition, the streetscape improvements help to organize and define the urban hierarchy within the district.
    This work emanates from the Downtown Development Action Plan for the City of St. Louis, adopted by the City. The program area comprises approximately 60 blocks in the core of downtown St. Louis. The program connects significant public assets including, Washington Avenue, the Edward Jones Dome, the Gateway Mall, Busch Stadium, Cupples Station and the Old Post Office.

  3. #18


    Here are some quick images.

  4. #19

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Wow! Do you have some neon spandex to go with that dated perception?
    No, just the facts. It certainly isn't like I'm hating on Saint Louis, but unfortunately it has its problems.


    During the last half century, the city of Saint Louis, whose boundaries have been constrained since 1876, has suffered from population decline:

    * 1950 - 856,796
    * 1960 - 750,026
    * 1970 - 622,236
    * 1980 - 453,085
    * 1990 - 396,685
    * 2000 - 348,189
    * 2002 - 338,353 (estimate)

    The most recent estimate said that the city lost roughly 16,000 people between 2000 and 2003, but the city challenged the census bureau and proved that estimate wrong. The city actually lost only an estimated 150 people and is now expected to be gaining. The population downtown is rapidly changing and its resurgence is influencing the rest of the city.
    Yes, it's growing again, but it needs to gain nearly 100,000 people to get back to even half of its peak population.

    The city of Saint Louis has one of the highest per-capita crime rates in the United States, with 111 murders and 7,059 burglaries in 2002, reported by CityData. However, statistical data for the city of Saint Louis is often skewed by its fixed boundary and status as an independent city.
    I never said that out of schadenfreude; I implied that it was really sad that such a great city is in such dire straits.
    Last edited by TLOZ Link5; August 29th, 2005 at 06:02 PM.

  6. #21
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    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    ugh, those buildings look hideous. Break out the sandblaster. Painted brick is never a good idea.

  7. #22

  8. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    No, just the facts. It certainly isn't like I'm hating on Saint Louis, but unfortunately it has its problems.

    Yes, it's growing again, but it needs to gain nearly 100,000 people to get back to even half of its peak population.

    I never said that out of schadenfreude; I implied that it was really sad that such a great city is in such dire straits.
    Right, but you speaking with a tone that implies the city is almost hopeless, is what I refer to as a "dated perception." It will take time to gain 100,000 people, but the city is certainly improving at an incredible rate. That is the latest news on St. Louis, not that it's still falling.
    Last edited by Xing; August 30th, 2005 at 02:37 PM.

  9. #24
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by Xing
    are you kidding me?^
    I'm not.

    Painted brick sucks.

  10. #25


    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    I'm not.

    Painted brick sucks.
    Hey, thanks for the formal analysis.

  11. #26
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    I don't know what you guys are talking about, I love those rowhouses, paint job and all. Nice photos, Xing, St. Louis is cool.

  12. #27
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Xing
    Right, but you speaking with a tone that implies the city is almost hopeless, is what I refer to as a "dated perception." It will take time to gain 100,000 people, but the city is certainly improving at an incredible rate. That is the latest news on St. Louis, not that it's still falling.
    I'll definitely take your word for it. Sorry if I offended you.

  13. #28


    yeah, man, painted brick sucks big time.... juss click on these thumbnails:

  14. #29


    The colorful houses I see in the photos are beautiful..... are those the painted brick buildings being referred to?

  15. #30


    ...I tried to attach the JPEG...


    High-rise vision for Bottle District

    By Charlene Prost

    Artist's rendering

    A developer planning a $100 million project in Charlotte, N.C., is poised to become co-developer of the Bottle District in downtown St. Louis.

    Afshin Ghazi, founder of the Ghazi Co. in Charlotte, said his group had been looking for projects here when it learned about the Bottle District. The $290 million complex with restaurants, entertainment, housing and offices is planned north of the Edward Jones Dome.

    "We are finalizing all our points now. We will be involved in the project," Ghazi said. "We think St. Louis is a great market, a great sports town and a great tourist town."

    Bottle District officials have been talking with Ghazi about taking on the job of co-developer, said Matt Bernsen, the Bottle District's marketing director.

    "We're interested in partnering with a proven developer, and Ghazi does have experience."

    The 11-year-old company does mostly specialty retail and partners with others on housing and office development. Ghazi's Web site says it strives "to be on the cutting edge of real estate development."

    The EpiCentre project in downtown Charlotte, an entertainment and retail complex with a 53-story residential tower, is to rise on the site of the recently demolished convention center.

    In St. Louis, Bottle District officials plan a groundbreaking Sept. 27 for the still-evolving project, which will cover nearly 15 acres on more than six blocks. It was made public a year ago by Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving & Storage Co., and a team of associates and experts he assembled.

    The moving company occupies a 101-year-old building that's to be recycled for housing as part of the project after McGuire moves to another location.

    The property is near a $400 million casino complex Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. got under way earlier this month.

    The latest renderings, by the Studio Daniel Libeskind firm in New York City and Forum Studio at Clayco Construction Co. in St. Louis, show three condo towers that would bring a distinctive new look to the city skyline.

    The tallest tower is sketched in at 630 feet - nearly the height of the Gateway Arch. Together, the towers would have up to 700 condos.

    Bernsen said the district plans to team up with a residential developer to check out the market for that many condos and help get them built. About 100 people already have requested price and other information from the district's Web site.

    Several commercial tenants have signed letters of intent, including Rawlings All American Grille, Cabo Wabo restaurant and a Grand Prix Speedways kart-racing center. Joe Edwards, the pioneering developer in University City's Delmar Loop, plans a "boutique" bowling alley.

    Bernsen said demolition to make way for the project has started at a vacant school on the property. Later, a recycling center and warehouse will be taken down.

    At this point, he said, a construction start date has not been set.

    The city has approved tax increment financing for the project that Bernsen said will generate about $51.3 million. And, he said, "we are interviewing and considering multiple proposals for financing" from banks and other private lending sources.

    Barbara Geisman, deputy mayor for development, said St. Louis is anxious to see the project move forward.

    "It will provide new entertainment and things to do for people who visit the convention center," she said. "It will add new commercial, office and residential opportunities for people who want to be downtown in newly constructed buildings."

    And, she noted, Daniel Libeskind "is one of the top architects in the world these days, and he has accepted this commission. This will add a whole new dimension to the architecture of our city."

    The Bottle District name came, in part, from buried bottles found on the property. It's also a connection to the city's history as a hub for breweries and other bottlers. Developers also want to restore a 34-foot-tall Vess sign, shaped like a soda bottle, on the property.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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