Lawrence Group Unveils Vision for Midtown St. Louis

A $340 million live-work-play development could transform the Cortex innovation district in St. Louis.

By Adriana Pop

St. Louis—Site work is underway for the first phase of City Foundry Saint Louis at Cortex, a $340 million mixed-use development that will soon rise on the former Federal Mogul Foundry property in midtown St. Louis.

City Foundry Saint Louis
City Foundry Saint Louis at Cortex

Lawrence Group, the project’s designer and developer, has unveiled the initial plans, which call for 48,000 square feet of restaurant and food hall space, with approximately 20 quick-serve food stalls and up to four full-service restaurants; 124,000 square feet of creative office space in the City Foundry building complex; 133,000 square feet of retail space with up to 45 retailers; as well as a new 511-stall parking garage. Amenities will include public plaza spaces, bike share, electric recharge stations and dedicated ride sharing drop-off. There will also be a Great Rivers Greenway trail system, which will provide a walkable connection between Saint Louis University, Cortex and Metro stations, as well as a pathway to Forest Park.

Bull Moose Industries has recently become a major investment partner in the redevelopment, according to a recent announcement made by Lawrence Group CEO Steve Smith.

London-based Bull Moose Chairman Rt. Hon. Lord Swarj Paul, is adding his partnership in City Foundry to his previous investments in the 634 North Grand building in Grand Center and the acquisition of XL Trailers earlier this year.

“This new investment by Lord Paul represents our continued confidence in St. Louis as well as our belief in the exciting vision laid out by Steve Smith for the City Foundry development,” Bull Moose CEO Michael Blatz said in prepared remarks. Eagle Bank is providing the financing for the project.

The new development will include a significant reuse of the historic structures. The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has approved the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the existing foundry complex.

The initial phase of the project is expected to create 870 permanent jobs and spur additional development of neighboring properties. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2018. Future phases call for a 279-unit residential tower; 265,000 square feet of office space; and 16,000 square feet of retail.

Overall, City Foundry Saint Louis at Cortex is envisioned as a place where people can get connected and collaborate. The project team includes:

  • Lawrence Group – Design and Development;
  • S.M. Wilson – Construction Management;
  • Midwest Service Group – Remediation and Abatement Contractor;
  • SCI Engineering – Environmental Consultant;
  • Grimes Consulting – Civil Engineering;
  • CBRE – Retail Leasing Brokerage;
  • DCM Management – Office Leasing Brokerage; and
  • Eagle Bank and Advantage Capital Partners – Financing.

“The City Foundry Saint Louis redevelopment represents another example of the continued investment and expansion of the Cortex brand. This will be a tremendous amenity to the already vibrant innovation community that exists at Cortex,” added Dennis Lower, CEO of Cortex Innovation Community.

Rendering courtesy of Lawrence Group