Thursday, November 20, 2008

Urban Review on the Mansion House Complex

Over at Urban Review STL, Steve Patterson has a great write-up on the Mansion House complex and some ideas for re-connecting the street grid in this semi-odd hodgepodge of a 60s urban renewal project.

I think these ideas are great, and could potentially benefit the Peabody Building and the smaller office building in between the Mansion House and Gentry's Landing buildings. These two buildings are really cut off from the rest of downtown, visible only from Memorial Drive with very difficult accessibility. Despite their unbeliveable Arch views, these properties sit empty, and their lack of connectivity likely plays a major role.

I especially like Steve's idea of building a 2-3 story structure to connect the complex's center tower to Fourth Street. The Federal Reserve and the backside of 500 N. Broadway create a bit of a dead zone on the west side of Fourth Street, so the east side needs as much retail and activity as possible.

I would add to Steve's ideas that the three-story office building at the corner of Fourth and Washington should be considered a top site for redevelopment. The building takes up an entire block and the site's footprint could easily accomodate a much taller office or residential tower. A developer had proposed a 14-story condo tower for the site back in 2007 before the market collapsed. I hope we'll see something substantial on that site at some point in the future.

The proposed 14-story condo tower:

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