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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Industrial Inspiration?

There seems to be more than a passing resemblance between the Forest Park Southeast hotel designs that Drury Inn presented at a recent neighborhood meeting and the abandoned Lever Soap Plant in Pagedale. The three-dimensional renderings of two hotel buildings planned for a site at the southeast corner of the Kingshighway and I-64/40 interchange are in a conceptual phase, but their apparent industrial inspiration is somewhat encouraging.

Here is a close-up of one of the hotels:


Here is the Lever Plant, a lovely composition of industrial economy:
Just sayin'.

10 comments:

Doug Duckworth said...

YES!

Only I do wonder if the new Drury Hotel will have "G.O.P. 4 Life" or "Historic Preservation Was Here" graffiti?

Chris said...

I still think Doug's right about the Sim City inspiration.

samizdat said...

I like the industrial structure much better. Although, at least this damn Drury doesn't have those ridiculous coved parapets of their other buildings. Personally, I can only hope that they will be turned down. But, it's obvious they want THIS location because of the marketing potential: "Come visit the new Drury-Forest Park, featuring expansive views of St. Louis' beautiful urban oasis, right in the middle of it all. Shopping and dining in the Central West End, and just a short walk to..." Blah, blah, blah and so on. All of those vacant lots a little further east don't have "the View". F&*king marketing whores.

Chris said...

People are still angry about a portion of Forest Park going to BJC. The best line of attack is the stressing to the general public that yet again the powers-that-be are selling yet part of former Forest Park land to another private individual.

Doug Duckworth said...

Shopping and dining in the Central West End, and just a short walk to...

You mean car ride, right? I don't think many will be walking to The Grove or the CWE, but rather driving.

I also don't believe that people still identify land south of I-64 as being a part of Forest Park. Even if they do, well that's not a good attack against this project because the land will never again be apart of Forest Park.

Opponents should stress the economic merits of the Forest Park Southeast National Register Historic District, and the wonderful development we've seen on Manchester, as an example of acceptable development strategies.

Anonymous said...

"Acceptable development strategies"?

Acceptable to whom?

DD?

FPSEDC?

The taxpayers of St. Louis?

The residents of FPSE?

SLUH?

Barnes/Jewish/Children's?

Urban Planners?

The Board of Aldermen?

The mayor said no ED or public financing. What about tax abatement?

If this project paid its full share of real estate taxes, the city would see a BIG jump in revenue over what is currently generated through these properties.

Anyone know if Drury is getting tax abatement over at Hampton and 44?

Given the city's fiscal situation, I think a lot of taxpayers could support commercial use of this site.

Anonymous said...

With the close proximity and great popularity, Drury would be wise to offer a free shuttle to the CWE, Barnes and Forest Park.

It would be excellent PR for the new hotel.

samizdat said...

I didn't say the marketing whores would be accurate or truthful. I simply came up with a copy which I thought would be the likeliest tag to go with the development. Of course the patrons will drive. Marketing doesn't have to be truthful or accurate, it just needs to say something. In fact, marketing seems to work best--that most people buy the BS--when the truth or even accuracy are nowhere to be found. Which is why I find marketing a largely unwholesome, untruthful, and ultimately deceptive medium. As for the site plan, I spy a sginificent amount of what I would consider wasted open space. Kudos to Drury for putting three levels of parking in garages, but the fact that the second phase is not a done deal makes me wonder if the open field where the razed buildings once stood will sit there, unoccupied, for years until, well...who knows. I agree with Mr. Tim Wolf, who states his opinion that the buildings are out of scale with the overwhelmingly residential nature of the neighboorhood. The whole project puts FPSE in danger of suffering from "commercial creep", which if managed properly, may not be entirely negative to the nieghboorhood. Unfortunately, most of the commercial buildings which have gone up in the City over the last 30+ yrs are suburban-style schlock. If this project where properly scaled, it could be a harmonious addition to the area. Sadly, it seems as if marketing--in this case, emphasising parking visibility, views, and proximity to the CWE--trumps good design and planning with regards to the majority of new commercial development in the City.

Anonymous said...

Comment:

"Sadly, it seems as if marketing--in this case, emphasising parking visibility, views, and proximity to the CWE--trumps good design and planning..."

Reply:

Emphasizing those things isn't marketing, it's planning!

Andrew J. Faulkner said...

A question, a comment and a revelation:

How do the Gills feel about this? They have significant property holdings along Taylor.

This is of course both planning and marketing. That being said I feel the whole "St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods" line is bullshit. The powers that be play into the parochialism aspect of this ideology while hungrily awaiting the chance to sell any neighborhood down the river for a kickback or a few jobs. As such the fragmentation of both the city and region and lack of any coordination, let alone coordinated resistance plays right into their hands.

The assessor's website lists the tax address of the owner for parcel 48070000408 (the northern half of the former gasometer site) as 8315 DRURY INDUSTRIAL PARKWAY which the Stlco GIS identifies as being owned by the Drury Development Corporation. Given this is the Kingshighway site a feint with the Gasometer site a fallback position when they meet resistance or is the hotel just the first phase of a larger plan?