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.

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

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, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

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.