Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting on the Arcade Building

There's nothing terribly exciting in the City's RFP for the Arcade Building - it's mostly standard boilerplate stuff.  One item, however, did stand out:
The City has a strong preference for office space on upper floors and retail uses in the arcade section (first and second floors) that contribute to the quality of the streetscape; however, other uses will be considered.  Additionally, proposals which include plans to seek Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification are encouraged.
I have to think that a mix of residential and office space (along with retail space in the two-story arcade) would work better than an all-office concept. The building does total 500,000 sf, after all.  And if renovated as office space, it will be competing for tenants with the Railway Exchange building, which is slated to undergo renovation soon.  Just how big is the market for office space in renovated historic buildings as compared to newer Class A and B buildings?

It will be interesting to see who responds to the RFP (last I heard, 2-3 firms were interested in it) and what ideas the respondents have for the building's reuse. The deadline to respond is September 30, so hopefully this fall we'll have a clearer picture of the Arcade's future.  It's the lynchpin of the Old Post Office district and arguably the most prominent vacant building downtown, now that St. Louis Centre and the Kiel Opera House are being renovated.


Justin Ellis said...

I support locally owned business and try to shop local as often as possible. But, I have always envisioned a Barnes & Noble with a two floor store occupying those bay windows and the street level space that face the OPO.

Cockbag LLC said...

While they are looking for a location in St. Louis County (unfortunately) scoring Kellwood somewhere downtown would be a huge coup I think. The Arcade building and of course the Railway Exchange Building (Macy's) both seem like great options.

Brian said...

That's a great call on Kellwood.

After all, downtown was St. Louis' original garment district!

Anonymous said...

Brian: Is it about time that loyal Cardinal fans start discussing holding the Dewitt family and Cardinals responsible for the great Stadium deal they received and Ballpark Village? I spoke with someone at Cordish in their public relations department a few weeks ago and was told that BV is on hold “because of the economy”. Well maybe the Dewitt family needs to take some of that family money or the Cardinal ownership group needs to sell off some ownership in order to make BV happen? I think the City and the fans are getting the shaft on this deal we handed them. Say the Cardinals are worth 900 million or so, selling off 25% would raise some nice capital to kick start Ball Park Village, don’t you think? They wanted the new stadium, but, evidently feel like they can get by with a softball field because they do not want to risk any of their own money to move forward with the original deal. Does boycotting Cardinal games sound like a good idea to show them our disappointment and to get their serious attention? Maybe they should bring Stan Kroenke into to the ownership mix so we can get some deep pockets with development experience to help Ballpark Village happen right now. If no one else is capable of holding these people responsible, it might be time for a revolt in their “Cardinal Nation”. It is so important to the city and the region that this property is developed as soon as possible
Frustrated Cardinal Fan and Downtown Supporter.