Where’s Your CREW
CREW-St. Louis, ULI, SMPS and SLCC Members Get Unique Virtual Tour of City Foundry STL
Although we didn’t need to worry about weather, the tour happened at the tail end of a chamber of commerce worthy summer day in St. Louis – clear blue skies, mid-80’s, low humidity. The large crowd gathered across three pages of “Brady-Bunch” squares on computer and smartphone screens ready, finally, for our long-awaited sneak peek inside City Foundry STL.
The $210 million vision of Lawrence Group CEO Steve Smith, the development was originally constructed in 1929 to produce castings for electric motors. Through the years, the foundry site produced various products until it shut down for good in 2007.
On May 5, 2015, Steve visited and was inspired by the dynamic and vibrant Krog Street Market just off the popular Beltline in Atlanta. A few weeks later, May 23rd to be exact, Steve visited the foundry site and saw the potential to build something unique and special for St. Louis.
Even the old rail spur used to deliver materials to the foundry was part of his vision for a new place, with reimagined, mixed-use space. Rather than using retail as the foundation, Steve built his strategy around food and the incredible chefs and restaurant experiences unique to St. Louis as well as the emergence of Midtown, the Cortex district, and the flocks of millennials moving to and working in the area.
The development and the investors subscribed to Steve’s aspirations to create a public face of innovation by re-using an incredibly unique building. They saw that mixed-use properties that were authentic, memorialized the past, and in the case of the City Foundry STL, even celebrated the grittiness of what once was, could become a one-of-a kind destination. And last, they saw that co-locating the abundance of local culinary talent and surrounding it with unique retail and entertainment venues could create an experience unlike any other in St. Louis.
Steve next invited Susan Trautman, with Great Rivers Greenway, to come see the space and dared her to embrace his vision and to “see” what we now know as the Brickline Greenway, passing through the site via an expansion of the old rail spur. Susan embraced the vision to the point that her organization is the first organization to call City Foundry STL home. The Great Rivers Greenway team has already moved into one of the office developments on the site and when constructed, the Brickline Greenway will run right past its office windows.
With opening set for later this summer, City Foundry STL will undoubtedly become Midtown’s newest anchor and largest attraction. A Fresh Thymes grocery store is set to open on the Northeast corner of the complex and additional phases will bring more commercial and residential spaces to the site.
A destination unlike any other, here’s hoping this next run at City Foundry STL will be long and prosperous.