Spinnaker Begins Residential Phase of $250M St. Louis Development

Spinnaker Real Estate Partners takes the next step toward the completion of the $250 million, mixed-use Mercantile Exchange project in St. Louis, Mo., with the opening of Laurel Apartments, a 205-unit luxury residential community.

March 2, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Spinnaker Real Estate Partners takes the next step toward the completion of the $250 million, mixed-use Mercantile Exchange project in St. Louis, Mo., with the opening of Laurel Apartments, a 205-unit luxury residential community.

Carrying the address of 616 North Seventh St., Laurel Apartments is a component of the MX development’s $130 million Laurel Building, which also features the 212-room Embassy Suites Hotel, 35,000 square feet of retail space and come 2013, it will be home to 23,000-square-foot National Blues Museum.

St. Louis apartments are getting a great deal of attention these days and it has much to do with the city’s downtrodden housing market. According to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., low employment numbers and high lending standards are keeping residents out of the home-buying game and driving them toward the rental market, the luxury rental market in particular. Laurel fits the bill with such offerings as high-end finishings, hotel maid service and for the eco-friendly tenant that wants to go the extra mile, the only electric vehicle charging station in downtown.

The timing of Laurel Apartments’ recent debut appears to be just right; the average vacancy rate in St. Louis is on track to decline 40 basis points to an enviable 6.3 percent this year, as per the report.

In addition to the restrictive housing market, the very location of Laurel Apartments will likely spur demand, as the MX is, Spinnaker CEO Clay Fowler noted, “becoming an epicenter of energy in downtown St. Louis.” Other segments of the mixed-use, live-work-play project will include the $30 million MX Building, which will feature 110,000 square feet of retail space.