APRIL 17, 2012 I BY CONNIE ROBBINS GENTRY
On the banks of the Missouri River, in the northwest corner of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, historic St. Charles is home to more than 65,000 people. At the gateway to this fast-growing area, a “mini- city” is emerging: The Streets of St. Charles, developed by Cullinan Properties of Peoria, Ill., will deliver an enticing 1 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use community.
The 26-acre site will become the consummate “live-work-play” environment, providing upscale residential, office, retail, restaurant and entertainment venues. Designed to foster an active pedestrian community, Streets of St. Charles features sidewalk cafes, outdoor gathering places and ample opportunities for residents to walk to work, dine out and purchase daily necessities without leaving their neighborhood.
“The site is in the heart of a well-developed market with solid demographics,” explained Lee Wolfson, VP leasing at Cullinan Properties. “More than 400,000 people live in the surrounding bedroom communities, including a workforce population of 300,000 people within a 10-mile radius, and it is in one of the five most affluent ZIP codes in metro St. Louis.”
Tenants have begun moving into a three-story, 100,000-sq.-ft. structure with retail and restaurants on the first floor; a leading fashion and culinary institute occupying the entire second floor; and third-floor office tenants, including Wamhoff Financial Planning, accounting firm Brown Smith Wallace and engineering firm Cole and Associates. The fashion and culinary institute also has a 4,500-sq.-ft. store on the first level, and will be joined by St. Charles Dental (part of the Heartland Dental Care organization), MassageLuXe, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Tucanos Brazilian Grill.
“In addition to signed leases, we have letters of intent for roughly 90,000 sq. ft.,” Wolfson said. “Many tenants are entering the market for the first time with what will be their only location in St. Louis, so Streets of St. Charles will draw from the greater metropolitan area.”
Construction will start this summer on a 400,000-sq.-ft. residential block with retail and entertainment on the ground level. Roughly 70,000 sq. ft. of this phase will be dedicated to entertainment, and discussions are under way with a theater group, as well as a national comedy club. This second phase will open next year, and the entire Streets of St. Charles project, which will include two hotels, is slated for completion in 2014.
“The property is ideally located at the Interstate 70 and South Fifth Street interchange where 187,000 vehicles pass daily,” Wolfson described. “This is the main interchange for St. Charles’ tourist and special event destinations, including the Historic Main Street district, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, St. Charles Convention Center and Lindenwood Center for Performing Arts. It’s also between Harrah’s and Ameristar casinos, which together attract 20 million visitors annually.”
The Streets of St. Charles will serve tourists and event patrons, as well as nearby Lindenwood University, home to 17,000 students.
“The space is designed to mitigate traffic congestion,” noted Rob Wetherald, VP development at Cullinan, “with multiple access points into two parking garages housing 2,000 spaces.”
Surface parking will also be available throughout the development, encouraging visitors to join residents in enjoying the pedestrian-friendly lifestyle.