ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– If the new St. Louis Shriners` Hospital for Children, which steel workers topped-off on Wednesday, was the only new building going up in the Central West End, it would be a significant addition all by itself.
But it is just one of several projects happening in that area.
The biggest is a 10 year, $1 billion renewal of the BJC/Washington University School of Medicine hospital complex on Kingshighway.
Barricades are now visible around four buildings that had been part of Jewish Hospital, soon to be demolished so Siteman Cancer Center can expand, and BJC`s obstetrics can move closer to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which will also be expanding.
“One thing leads to another, and it is a real domino effect that is really gaining strong momentum right now,” said Len Toenjes, President of the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis.
But not all those dominos are hospitals.
Within a few weeks, construction will begin on the long-stalled City Walk on Euclid Luxury Apartments which will sit atop a Whole Foods grocery store at the corner of Euclid and West Pine.
“I think it is a game changer for the Central West End,” said developer Bruce Mills, who has been trying to redevelop that piece of property for 14 years. “This has been the one thing that has been missing.”
Another thing that has been missing is something to replace the vacant American Heart Association building at Euclid and Lindell. Now, Minneapolis-based developer Opus is in the early stages of a proposal for a multi-story retail and residential building. Opus is the same company that built the sky-scraping Park East Tower apartments just down the street.
As for the Shriners, all that new development is part of what has drawn them to their new location.
“(It`s) visibility for us because we have children coming in from nine different states and coming in to St. Louis and finding our place in Frontenac was certainly a little bit more difficult to locate than this.”
Construction on the new Shriners’ Hospital is expected to be complete in December 2014. The Whole Foods store is slated for 2015, and it is expected to take ten years to complete the renewal of the hospital complex on Kingshighway.
“I think we are going to look back on this in five or ten years and really think about how it changed the face of the central corridor of St. Louis,” Toenjes said.
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