Cortex and The Lawrence Group, a design-build company headquartered in St. Louis, MO are expanding on their their plans for the Federal Mogul site in Midtown St. Louis. The site is just down the road from the Midtown IKEA and has been in the planning stage for several years. It was once envisioned as a basic commercial strip center, but Cortex and The Lawrence Group have released plans that display a full-scale mixed-use development with commercial, office, and residential components. The entire development could cost almost $250 million USD when all is said and done according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Feast Magazine earlier this week released details on the commercial piece in this article.
According to Feast, the commercial space will be titled “City Foundry Food Hall & Market”, and will include up to 24 food stalls and 3 to 5 full-service restaurants. In addition to the F&B, there are also plans for 40 retail spaces that would support the culinary offerings. Some of these retail spaces could sell food items or cookware, but the majority are to likely be non-food related. City Foundry could open as early as Fall 2018.
The developers have brought on a culinary consultant who is acting as “director of culinary services”. The consultant, Brad Beracha, who operates a restaurant in St. Louis spoke with Feast Magazine regarding the types of food vendors they will be looking for and the types of concepts that could be at City Foundry:
“Going back to the spirit of innovation and what this building has done since 1930, we really want to get some of the best concepts in the city to come and do something different,” Beracha says. “We don’t want people to just take what they’re currently doing and put it in the food hall – we want to have something that people can’t get anywhere else in St. Louis. It’s challenging the entrepreneurs to get creative and innovative themselves with what they want to offer within the space so that we can create a culinary community moving forward”
This comes back to the blog post I had posted last week regarding the Food Court vs. Food Hall debate. The developers have entrusted Beracha in curating interesting new culinary concepts for the Food Hall, rather then taking the easy way out and putting in a few local famous chefs and filling it up with local/regional chains. If planned in a way that Beracha has discussed above, the Food Hall could very well become a great culinary destination in St. Louis.
The initial rendering looks great with high ceilings, lots of windows to allow outside light, and living green walls interspersed along the side.