Proposed development will feature a lighthouse

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The St. Louis Planning Commission votes in favor of changing the city`s Land Use Plan to allow for a new riverfront project near the Chain of Rocks Bridge.

The proposed project is called Lighthouse St. Louis and a local developer is hoping to break ground on it by summer.

The development would be built on a one-half mile of open land along the Mississippi River just north of the bridge, and as the name suggests, its distinctive feature would be a lighthouse.

'The lighthouse is still in the design phase,' said Adam Hartig, a retail developer hired by the owners of the property. 'I envision an operating lighthouse that has some type of light feature at the top to draw some attention to it, about 60 feet tall,' Hartig said.

The idea is to take advantage of the riverfront land to create a mixed use project that would include a marina, a hotel and event center, retail and maybe even condos and offices.

The land is owned by local investors who have spent the past eight years raising the level of the ground by about 20 feet to get it out of the flood plain.

'It`s a 70 acre site with good exposure to the interstate. I don`t know the traffic counts on I-64 or I-70 downtown but it`s got to be really close to what we have here at I-270 here, (plus) you`ve got the first exit into Missouri so I think it`s a great location,' Hartig said.

The proposal also calls for linking the project to the nearby Great Rivers Greenway Riverfront Trail.

The cost of the project is estimated at $250 million, but the owners are not asking the city for any TIFs or tax breaks, though they may ask for creation of a Transportation Development District to raise money to pay for some of the roadwork.