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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – It’s being called the biggest building boom in the Central West End in half a century.  And the development is also spilling into Clayton, leading some to dub it the new downtown.

In Clayton, at the corner of North Central and Maryland construction has begun on a multilevel underground parking garage.  It will be the foundation for a $41 million dollar, 6-story building that will include 120 apartments and 13 thousand square feet of retail space.  The project sits on nearly half a block in the city’s premiere commercial space.

“It’s in the one block of Clayton that’s truly alive at night and so people are really excited about the opportunity to live there,” said Joe Downs with Opus Development.

The 25 North Central project is one of four major residential buildings on the drawing board in Clayton.  One of the more ambitious developments is the $70 million, 26-story tower called The Crossing on South Meramec Avenue.  The glass and aluminum design will include 250 residential units, a rooftop pool, four parking levels and ground level retail space.  It’s housing that developers say is lacking in Clayton.

“There was a master plan done several years ago that and it called for more high density residential developments and especially with the link to the metro link  and any kind of transit Clayton is really the hub of St. Louis for a lot of activity, said Josh Goodman with HDA Architects.

Travel just a few miles away to the Central West End and you find even more development, some comparing it to the building boom in the 1950’s.  A 12-story 217 unit building is going up at the corner of Lindell and Euclid called Citizen’s Park.  It’s just one of several going up or recently built in the trendy neighborhood.

Some of the construction is being fueled by the massive Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Washington University Medical Campus which is going through its own growing spurt.

“The Medical center is driving a lot of this, they are the economic engine of the state and you mix that with the recipe of Forest Park, the charm and eclectic CWE,’ said Downs.

Residents should begin moving into some of these high rises by the spring or summer of next year.