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Washington University's $80 million proposal includes 20,000 square feet of mixed-use retail space to be located along Delmar Boulevard west of Eastgate Avenue.
WUSTL Proposes $80 Million Investment in University City
View of Enright and Eastgate where WUSTL is proposing new student apartment buildings, in addition to the current renovation of 25 apartment buildings in the Parkview Gardens area.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), February 27, 2012 - Washington University in St. Louis has announced it is proposing an $80 million investment in retail and student apartments in the Parkview Gardens neighborhood, located along the Delmar Loop in both University City and St. Louis.
The investment comes after the area was identified by two significant community studies - the Parkview Gardens Sustainability Plan and the Delmar Loop Area Retail Plan & Development Strategy - as a prime location for retail along Delmar and higher-density multi-family housing.
"The Loop has many great retail, dining and entertainment venues," said Joe Edwards, owner and developer of numerous establishments in The Loop and chair of the East Loop Special Business District. "The addition of 20,000 square feet of space that fronts Delmar is really exciting, because it provides options for retailers - it can accommodate one large tenant or a few smaller ones. Storefronts of varying sizes are one of the features that make the Loop an interesting place to shop."
The development would be a key first step in implementing the recommendations of both plans, which were developed in partnership with St. Louis City and University City property and business owners, residents and local government officials.
The goal of the plans - and the proposed WUSTL development - is to enhance the area and lay a strong foundation for sustained growth.
The proposal includes 20,000 square feet of new mixed-use retail space to be located along Delmar Boulevard just west of Eastgate Avenue. The corner of Delmar and Eastgate also has been identified by community studies of The Loop and Parkview Gardens areas as an important infill site for new retail.
The complete proposal, which includes four new buildings, is estimated to cost approximately $80 million and consists of retail space and about 200 student apartments. The first building would be located at the corner of Delmar and Eastgate, with three more looping northwest counterclockwise along Enright Avenue. All four buildings would be built on existing university-owned property.
If the proposal is accepted by both University City and St. Louis, groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the project would be scheduled for January 2013, with occupancy slated for August 2014.
"For several years, the university has been looking for the right location to offer a new, innovative housing concept for our students," said Cheryl Adelstein, director of community relations and local government affairs.
"We are excited about this location in The Loop and Parkview Gardens. It enables Washington University to invest in and partner with both University City and the City of St. Louis to add to the long-term stability and vibrancy of The Loop, and it offers students new, innovative housing options."
The university anticipates that additional retail and living space in Parkview Gardens will spur investments from other interested parties as well.
"The neighborhood has the potential to be one of the most sustainable in all of St. Louis," Adelstein says. "In addition to beautiful architecture and great housing options, it is close to jobs, the university, arts and culture, parks and public transportation."
University City Was Built As a Model City
University City Hall, formerly "The Woman's Magazine Building", is an ornate octagonal tower standing 135 feet tall.
Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop area of University City
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - University City was founded in 1906 by businessman Edward Gardner Lewis, who designed it as a model city.
University City is known for its fine residential neighborhoods, art galleries, the business and entertainment district along Delmar Boulevard and the Washington Univerity campus. Two massive lions sculptures by George Julian Zolnay, set atop pylons designed by architects Eames & Young, welcome residents and visitors to the formal city hall plaza.
In 2006, a group of volunteers staged the city's biggest party in 100 years. Their aim was to show that this small but exciting enclave is more a community of culture, diversity and education than even its founder could have imaged.
It was no small task since Lewis was a dreamer, inventor, chemist, artist, education, potter, women's magazine publisher, entrepreneur and politician. But with a theme of 100 Fun things to do in University City, on almost any given day something was happening for fun seekers of all ages.
A celebration was held with the grand opening of Centennial Commons,
formerly the Heman Park Recreation Facility. With a nod towards the City's 100th anniversary, the facility underwent a two-year $6M extreme makeover and a name change. The facility is now open for fun, fitness and community events.
The business and entertainment district is also well know as the Delmar Loop, named after the Delmar Streetcar system that provided service for visitors and residents to University City in the early 1900s. The Delmar Loop has been named one of the best 10 streets in America.
In 2000, a strong coalition of supporters, energized by Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill Restaurant, Pin-Up Bowl, and the Pageant Building, began working on bringing a trolley system back to University City.
Edwards organized the St. Louis Trolley Company (LTC) in 2002 with the help of Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT). The group secured a grant from the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Missouri Department of Transportation to purchase and renovate two historic vehicles for the new line. The trolleys are currently on display in front of the Missouri History Museum and Commerce Bank in the Delmar Loop.
On Friday, July 9, 2010, the St. Louis Trolley Company secured nearly $25 million in federal funding for the Loop Trolley System linking Forest Park to the University City Loop. See Loop Trolley System to Connect Forest Park Attractions with University City Loop Businesses.
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