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Old Armory getting a facelift for living space conversion

ST. LOUIS – You might say they're working on strengthening up the midsection of the city near Midtown, resulting in a stronger core and Cortex District.

Philip Hulse gave Fox 2/KPLR 11 a sneak peek inside a project that hopes to infuse new energy into the city.

“What we're doing here is really creating a vibrant core to the city,” said Philip Hulse, managing principal and founder of Green Street.

And a vibrant Cortex District, as the Old Armory gets an upgrade to the 21st century.

“To date, there have been over a million tons of debris removed from the Armory. A lot of that weight driven because it's concrete block and heavy robust materials, very common in the 30s when this building was built,” said Megan Ridgeway, Principal Arcturis.

When it was built in the 1930s, it was known as the Armory of the 138th Infantry Missouri National Guard. Over the years, it's served as a concert venue and sports complex for indoor soccer, softball, and tennis.

Though eventually shuttered, possibly due to it being cut off by Highway 40 construction in the 1960s that led to its demise.

“When we were in here a year ago this was a dark space. There were walls everywhere and now if you look around you have views in 360 degrees.  There's daylight pouring in from every façade. A lot of the bones of the building are remaining intact. When you come in here a year from now when it's finished, you'll be able to see all the exposed structure at the atrium and exposed roofline,” said Ridgeway.

“And we have tremendous interest from office users and several LOIs in works for taking a big chunk of the building. We'll have a total of about 184,000 square-foot of office,” said Hulse

Arcturis, a collaborative design firm based in St. Louis with an office in Fort Worth, Texas, has been the lead design firm reimagining this rehabilitation with Green Street St. Louis.

Over the last two years, there have been a lot of sketches and renderings on how the building might feel.

“It's probably a more holistic excitement over the building in its entirety. I feel as an architect I have such a passion for urban renewal. And there's not a better example of urban renewal than this. It's so sustainable to be able to use the frame of a building and reimagine it for the next 100 years into the future. The space is starting to feel like what we were drawing and that's exciting," said Ridgeway.

“We're also going to create living space apartments to the east of us that will have access to the MetroLink.  So, one of the things we like here is this is a true live-work environment when we get done,” said Hulse.

They're right on time with the rehabilitation and reimagining of a St. Louis icon opening 2019.