Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Apartments to Rise near Grove; Work May Begin in Fall on 102 Units in Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Apartments to Rise near Grove; Work May Begin in Fall on 102 Units in Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood

Article excerpt

Foundation work began this week on two apartment buildings that could add more than 100 residents to Forest Park Southeast, a neighborhood that experienced a steep population loss over the past decade.

Brian Phillips, executive director of the Washington University Medical Center, said the development "presents great options" for center employees and the neighborhood, which includes the lively Grove entertainment area. The $12 million project, called Aventura at Forest Park, is across Chouteau Avenue from Phillips' office and in sight of the medical complex.

Phillips said Aventura's design, which puts three-story apartment buildings near the sidewalks along Chouteau and Newstead Avenue, respects the neighborhood's urban fabric. The project's swimming pool and parking lots will go behind the buildings, which will be faced with brick and fiber cement siding.

Aventura will have 102 market-rate apartments of one and two bedrooms. Site work began last month.

A partnership of Bryan Aston, Tom Behle, Stan McCurdy and his son Jeff McCurdy is Aventura's developer. Their Above All Development, based in Frontenac, recently completed a 112-unit apartment complex in St. Peters. MLP Management of Brentwood will operate both complexes.

Aston said his group bought the Aventura at Forest Park site this year from a group that included developer Steve Trampe. Redevelopment plans for the three-acre site have come and gone for years. Aston said market-rate apartments make sense now, given the project's location near the growing BJC HealthCare complex, the Washington University medical campus and St. Louis University.

Parker Associates, a Tulsa, Okla., architecture firm with a specialty in mid-rise apartment buildings, designed Aventura at Forest Park.

"We want the urban look," Aston said.

Forest Park Southeast is comprised mainly of homes, small apartment buildings and the business strip along Manchester Avenue, where the Grove has sprung up in recent years. But the 2010 census showed a loss of 800 residents, dropping the neighborhood's population to less than 3,000.

Behle said the pedestrian bridge over Highway 40 (Interstate 64) east of Kingshighway and an I-64 interchange to be built at Tower Grove Avenue will help Aventura grow the neighborhood by bringing in residents who work north of the freeway. …

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