Connecting St. Louis’ Gigabyte Corridor to Central Business District Shows Placemaking Potential

Completed Ballpark Village could serve as a "Perfectly Centered"​ CBD anchor for a connected set of St. Louis center City districts.

Bravo to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cordish Company for another positive addition to Downtown St. Louis. The strong advance demand for residential units is a positive signal for added center city vitality, with this Phase 2 addition to Phase 1 of Ballpark Village and to Downtown.

Photo by Robert Cohen, [email protected]

Baltimore-based Cordish and the Cardinals began offering residential units over 2 years before anticipated completion of Ballpark Village and, as reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “they’ve already signed up tenants for 25 percent of the apartments in the 297-unit apartment tower under construction next to Busch Stadium.”

Moreover, with the Cardinals and Ballpark Village as an anchor in the heart of the Central Business District — Center City St. Louis has the unique civic potential to become a connected set of mixed-use districts and growing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Mixed Use Opportunities Founded Upon the Gigabyte Corridor

Imagine a St. Louis Central Business District linked with the following surrounding and connected center city districts:

  • the 200-acre CORTEX Innovation District and the three CIC co-working facilities;
  • the Grand Center Arts District;
  • the St. Louis University Campus and SLU’s Prospect Yards District;
  • the Harris-Stowe University campus;
  • the 1,500-acre mixed-use NorthSide Regeneration Development and the $1.75-billion, 100-acre National Geospatial
  • Intelligence Agency (NGA) new HQ on the northern perimeter of Downtown; and,
  • the emerging “Gigabyte Corridor” along North Tucker Blvd (anchored by The Globe Building, T-Rex, and the adaptive reuse

  • and regeneration of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Building and the surrounding 4.5 acres recently purchased by entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Square and Founder of LaunchCode, Jim McKelvey).

The Globe Building is a 550,000 sq. ft. vintage former industrial space which has been transformed, with next generation technology and power, into a futuristic hi-tech innovation space, anchoring the emerging “St. Louis Gigabyte Corridor,” along with the pending renovation of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Building, on North Tucker Blvd.

Above is the dramatic stainless steel floor entry lobby in the renovated 7-story historic Globe Building on North Tucker Blvd.

Downtown St. Louis’ Placemaking Opportunity

St. Louis has a nationally unique “Placemaking and Innovation” opportunity in the next decade, if public and private sector players were to join forces, recognize, and embrace this center city development vision — and would have the civic resolve to work together to make it a reality.

That is precisely what we did in Denver’s Center City back in the late 80’s and early 90’s as we revitalized Downtown Denver, developed the long-abandoned Central Platte Valley Rail Yards, and what is now the Riverfront North (RINO) District — anchored, in part, by the new Colorado Rockies MLB franchise, Lower Downtown (LoDo), and Coors Field.

As the St. Louis brand once noted — “St. Louis: Perfectly Centered, Remarkably Connected.” Connecting St. Louis’ unique center city districts and its Central Business District represents a nationally unique opportunity to combine placemaking with innovation.

Time in now for St. Louis to adopt this kind of collaborative thinking and civic resolve.

Mentioned in this Article

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Dick Fleming is CEO of Community Development Ventures, Inc., located at [email protected], in the CORTEX Innovation District. Fleming previously served as President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, and as CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. and the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.