Jamestown Mall: Strategies for Transforming and Reinventing Jamestown Mall

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Jamestown Mall: Strategies for Transforming and Reinventing Jamestown Mall

  1. 1. AN AD VI SORY S E R V IC E S PA N E L R E P O RT Jamestown Mall St. Louis County, Missouri www.uli.org
  2. 2. Jamestown Mall St. Louis County, Missouri Strategies for Transforming and Reinventing the Jamestown Mall September 20–25, 2009 An Advisory Services Program Report Urban Land Institute 1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Suite 500 West Washington, DC 20007-5201
  3. 3. About the Urban Land Institute T he mission of the Urban Land Institute is to  Sustaining a diverse global network of local prac­ provide leadership in the responsible use of tice and advisory efforts that address current and land and in creating and sustaining thriving future challenges. communities worldwide. ULI is committed to Established in 1936, the Institute today has more  Bringing together leaders from across the fields than 30,000 members worldwide, representing of real estate and land use policy to exchange best the entire spectrum of the land use and develop­ practices and serve community needs; ment disciplines. Professionals represented include developers, builders, property owners, investors,  Fostering collaboration within and beyond ULI’s architects, public officials, planners, real estate membership through mentoring, dialogue, and brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, finan­ problem solving; ciers, academics, students, and librarians.  Exploring issues of urbanization, conservation, ULI relies heavily on the experience of its members. regeneration, land use, capital formation, and It is through member involvement and information sustainable development; resources that ULI has been able to set standards of ex­ cellence in development practice. The Institute has long  Advancing land use policies and design practices been recognized as one of the world’s most respected that respect the uniqueness of both built and natu­ and widely quoted sources of objective information ral environments; on urban planning, growth, and development.  Sharing knowledge through education, applied research, publishing, and electronic media; and ©2010 by the Urban Land Institute 1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Suite 500 West Washington, DC 20007­5201 All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited. Cover photo by St. Louis County Economic Council 2 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  4. 4. About ULI Advisory Services T he goal of ULI’s Advisory Services Program A major strength of the program is ULI’s unique is to bring the finest expertise in the real es­ ability to draw on the knowledge and expertise of tate field to bear on complex land use plan­ its members, including land developers and own­ ning and development projects, programs, ers, public officials, academics, representatives of and policies. Since 1947, this program has assembled financial institutions, and others. In fulfillment of the well over 400 ULI­member teams to help sponsors mission of the Urban Land Institute, this Advisory find creative, practical solutions for issues such as Services panel report is intended to provide objective downtown redevelopment, land management strat­ advice that will promote the responsible use of land egies, evaluation of development potential, growth to enhance the environment. management, community revitalization, brownfields ULI Program Staff redevelopment, military base reuse, provision of low­cost and affordable housing, and asset manage­ Marta V. Goldsmith ment strategies, among other matters. A wide variety Senior Vice President, Community/ of public, private, and nonprofit organizations have Education Provost contracted for ULI’s Advisory Services. Thomas W. Eitler Each panel team is composed of highly qualified Vice President, Advisory Services professionals who volunteer their time to ULI. They Cary Sheih are chosen for their knowledge of the panel topic and Senior Associate, Community and screened to ensure their objectivity. ULI’s interdis­ Professional Development ciplinary panel teams provide a holistic look at devel­ opment problems. A respected ULI member who has Caroline Dietrich previous panel experience chairs each panel. Panel Associate, Advisory Services The agenda for a panel assignment is intensive. It James A. Mulligan includes an in­depth briefing composed of a tour of Managing Editor the site and meetings with sponsor representatives; hour­long interviews of key community repre­ Lise Lingo, Publications Professionals LLC sentatives; and a day of formulating recommenda­ Manuscript Editor tions. Long nights of discussion precede the panel’s Betsy VanBuskirk conclusions. On the final day on site, the panel makes Creative Director an oral presentation of its findings and conclusions to the sponsor. A written report is prepared and Anne Morgan published. Graphic Design Because the sponsoring entities are responsible for Craig Chapman significant preparation before the panel’s visit, in­ Director, Publishing Operations cluding sending extensive briefing materials to each member and arranging for the panel to meet with key local community members and stakeholders in the project under consideration, participants in ULI’s panel assignments are able to make accurate assess­ ments of a sponsor’s issues and to provide recom­ mendations in a compressed amount of time. St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 3
  5. 5. Acknowledgments O n behalf of the Urban Land Institute, the Gray, and Steve Webb and Senator Tim Green. The panel thanks Denny Coleman, president and panel also recognizes the numerous other businesses chief executive officer of the St. Louis County and organizations that contributed to the effort: Economic Council, and Charlie A. Dooley, St. Macy’s, Carlyle Group, JCPenney, Sears, Michael Louis County executive, for sponsoring and lining up Kohan, North County Incorporated, the St. Louis the political support for this project. Special thanks County Police, the cities of Black Jack and Florissant, go to Timothy Tucker and Edgar Velazquez from the and surrounding area school districts. Interviews St. Louis County Economic Council and Glenn Powers, conducted with numerous stakeholders, includ­ director of planning for St. Louis County, and their ing residents, business owners, and public officials, respective staffs for their preparation of the briefing provided information and diverse perspectives that book and organization of the briefing session and tour. aided the panel in its analysis. The panel thanks all those who consented to be interviewed—especially The panel extends particular thanks to Jackie Davis­ Ken Smith, for his active participation in the panel Wellington, executive vice president of the St. Louis process. Finally, the panel wishes to thank Reverend County Economic Council; the ministers and pastors Dr. Freddy J. Clark, Delores Tyus, and the Shalom of the North County area churches; and several Mis­ Church City of Peace for hosting and providing the souri state legislators: Representatives Bert Atkins, space for the public presentation. Theodore Hoskins, Gina Walsh, Rochelle Walton 4 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  6. 6. Contents ULI Panel and Project Staff 6 Background and the Panel’s Assignment 7 Market Potential 13 Planning and Development Strategies 18 Design and Planning 21 Implementation Strategies 24 Conclusion 28 About the Panel 29 St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 5
  7. 7. ULI Panel and Project Staff Panel Chair ULI Project Staff Ray Brown Cary Sheih Ray Brown Consulting Senior Associate Memphis, Tennessee Community and Professional Development Caroline Dietrich Panel Associate Panel Members Advisory Services Charles Berling Berling Equities LLC Morrison, Colorado Abigail Ferretti Partners for Economic Solutions Washington, D.C. Brian Scott Hall City of Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, Virginia Philip S. Hart Hart Realty Advisors Hollywood, California Arun Jain Urban Design Consultant Portland, Oregon Donna Lewis Mercer County Trenton, New Jersey Dan Quinto Roaring Brook Development Southlake, Texas 6 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  8. 8. Smallwood Thompson on Labrador City Lake Winnipeg Background and the Panel’s Moosonee Assignment Lake Nipigon A Amos suggested a complete transformation of the mall site t the invitation of St. Louis County and the Timmins St. Louis County Economic Council, the panel from its current outdated form into a lively, walkable, Thunder Bay human­scaled, and memorable town center. nd Forks convened from September 20 to September 25, 2009, to examine opportunities for the St. Louis is the home of big, audacious ideas, matched future of Jamestown Mall. The mall is located in Superior by the deeds and accomplishments of her L. the only Trois-rivieres far northern part of St. Louis County (North County), people. One legendary favorite son, Charles Lind­ Fargo intersection of Old Jamestown Road and North Sudbury North Bay Montreal at the Duluth Marquette captured the attention and imagination of bergh, ahe Lindbergh Boulevard (U.S. Ironwood67) in the un­ Highway the entire world by daring to dream and having the incorporated community known as Old Jamestown. Mountain and fortitude to make that dream a reality. Iron courage The mall lies approximately three miles from I­270, L. Huron In honor of that illustrious history, the ULI Advisory n iga the nearest interstate, and one mile west of Highway Services panel suggests naming the new, authentic Kingston ch Minneapolis approximately 142 acres; build­ 367. The site covers Marinette town center “Lindbergh Place”—a place where new Mi ings and parking use 90 acres. Following an intense Mankato histories can begin. Note that this name is simply one Green Bay the panel used in discussing the redevelopment; the Ontario L. week of briefings, site visits, stakeholder and citi­ Oshkosh community should select the ultimate name. L. ux Falls zen interviews, and planning discussions, the panel Regional map. e Eri oux City Norfolk Detroit L. Chicago Cleveland Omaha Toledo Wabash Philadelphia Lafayette St. Joseph Baltimore Kansas City ST. LOUIS Wichita Louisville Norfolk d Owensboro Bowling Green Poplar Bluff Tulsa Memphis Chattanooga Huntsville Birmingham Dallas St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 7 Savannah
  9. 9. L. Shelbyville M IS SI SS IP ILLINOIS R. PI R. with high­quality merchandise at a different loca­ tion? If so, what size should that be and what will it Illinois take to attract retailers to the site?  Given the existing buildings’ conditions, ownership, and tenants, what is the panel’s assessment of the MADISON 70 highest and best use for the Jamestown Mall site? Jamestown COUNTY ST. CHARLES Mall  Does the panel recommend that the existing struc­ COUNTY MIS tures be reused or demolished, or some combina­ SO tion of each? If so, which buildings does the panel UR ST. LOUIS IR recommend keeping and demolishing? ST. LOUIS CITY CLINTON COUNTY 64 COUNTY  What recommendations can the panel make to ST. CLAIR improve the management, operations, or leasing COUNTY at the mall on a short­term and long­term basis? 64 there anything that can be done immediately Is 57 JEFFERSON to reverse the declining fortunes of the mall? Are COUNTY there more viable retail tenants for this market, for 55 R. alternative uses for retail spaces and anchor stores? Missouri ec Are there uses (tenant types) the panel would rec­ ram ommend prohibiting? Me  What can the public sector do to encourage the Location map. mall owners to work together to adopt a compre­ The Panel’s Assignment hensive plan for the mall and commit to imple­ The sponsors asked the panel to evaluate the current menting the plan? North County marketplace to determine whether  Does the panel think that the mall site is a viable it has the capacity to support the million­square­ location for an alternative mixed­use develop­ foot Jamestown Mall, even if it were fully renovated, ment? Does the panel believe that Jamestown and on the basis of that evaluation, to recommend a Mall can be redeveloped with some combination future configuration that the market could support, of retail, office, entertainment, housing, and if any. Should retail alone prove an unsustainable use, 57 community uses? Under this scenario, how much the sponsors requested that the panel suggest alterna­ retail, office, and residential space could the site tive site development strategies that could create the support? What period of time would it take to ac­ greatest quality of life and economic benefits for North complish the development? County citizens. Such strategies might include partially or completely demolishing the existing structures  Given financial andO market conditions, what role 24 H I play to and reconfiguring the site into more useful devel­ should the public sectorO RIV positively affect E opment parcels. and stop the downward trend ofR Jamestown Mall? Is public assistance necessary to ensure redevelop­ zark NSR During its deliberations, the panel addressed the fol­ ment of the mall? If so, when should it be applied? lowing questions from the sponsor: For example, should resources be applied before a  How much commercial/clothing retail does the comprehensive plan is in place? panel believe the North County area market can  From the perspective of best practices, what is support? Does the panel believe that the North the range of public assistance that similar “mall County area is underserved by any particular seg­ turnaround” projects have received? What are ment of the retail market? Can the market support those projects? a million­square­foot, fully renovated mall and with what level of merchandise? As an alternative,  What are the future trends in retail and how will can the North County area support a smaller mall they affect North St. Louis County? 8 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  10. 10. The intense five-day panel includes an in-depth briefing and a tour of the site and community. The panel’s assignment included offering a vision of The Panel’s Findings how a redevelopment could look when completed and a program of potential uses that would enliven Even with a 1995 expansion that added an anchor and animate the redevelopment. The sponsors asked and additional in­line stores (stores between the the panel to provide exemplars for officials to visit major anchors), the mall has steadily declined in and learn from, and to catalog some of the strategies both the quality and the diversity of its tenant required and the tools available to achieve the vision. retailers—a phenomenon not uncommon through­ The panel also considered strategies for public co­ out the nation, even before the contraction of the investment—through private/public partnerships— economy. During its visit to the site, the panel found to address the challenging economic and infrastruc­ cracked and weedy parking lots with few cars and a tural needs. Finally, the panel was charged with main building in desperate need of substantial main­ formulating implementation strategies for achieving tenance. Two of the four major anchor stores have its recommendations. closed. The mall contains an almost empty food court St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 9
  11. 11. Mall customer traffic has waned, especially in the past few years, as shown in these photographs taken at midday. and virtually deserted concourses. At lunchtime on the four original anchor retailers own their buildings a weekday, the panel observed fewer than half a and the adjacent parking. One owner­developer ac­ dozen shoppers in all. quired an anchor store and out parcels (land around the perimeter of the mall) and recently sold all the The mall contains more than a million square feet in­line store space and some of the out parcels to on 142 acres. It is a typical center­oriented regional another developer. shopping mall. Center­oriented malls are character­ ized by large anchor stores surrounding a core of The community perspective is that Jamestown Mall smaller, in­line retail stores. As is typical, three of has joined the ranks of “dead” shopping malls. James­ town is one of many malls across the nation charac­ terized by high vacancy rates, low consumer traffic, a dated configuration, and deteriorating facilities. The county has, in the past several years, worked with one of the developer­owners to redevelop the mall but has been unable to obtain a comprehensive, viable plan that addresses the whole mall. An obsolete retailing configuration, fragmented ownership, limited shop­ pers, and significant over­retailing of the area have proven to be formidable obstacles for the mall. Multiple factors have contributed to the mall’s deterio­ rated condition. The original developers were counting on explosive residential development like that which was then occurring in west St. Louis County, which never happened because the karst terrain (in particu­ lar, the sinkholes) to the north prevented building in those areas. The original site selected for the 10 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  12. 12. mall was poor: it is located one mile from a major intersection, at the edge of the residential popula­ tion concentration, and in a topographical bowl. Without accessibility, visibility, or sufficient traffic (daytime shoppers) and with increased competition over the years, the mall has steadily declined. In addition, the current perception that retailers have misjudged the preferences of shoppers in North County, the general misperception that the envi­ ronment at the mall is unsafe and that management gives inadequate attention to customer service, and the decline in the quality and selection of retailers are contributing to the demise of Jamestown Mall. In the past several years, the popularity of the subur­ ban shopping mall as a retail destination has waned nationwide. More and more regional malls are failing. Given the widespread availability of shopping on the Internet, baby boomers and their children (the These kinds of places do not spring into existence St. Louis neighborhoods so­called Generation Y) are seeking more active, ur­ but grow incrementally over time as people build like Central West End bane, vibrant, and dynamic environments in which memories with them, thus developing attachments and the Delmar Loop to shop—environments that are tied to lively public for them and merging the identity of the place with present examples of places filled with things to see, do, and experience. their own. That emotional connection is the concept great place making. called “sense of place” that characterizes special Some, especially the young and talented, have chosen places and draws people to them. And where people to move into the city in search of the kinds of experi­ gather, business and opportunity follow. The major ences that reflect great place making, exemplified concept behind the panel’s plan is to create a place in such St. Louis neighborhoods as the Central West that becomes the place in the community where End or the Loop. Many would seek such experiences everyone wants to be. When people think of North closer to home, if they were available. Lindbergh County they should tie their identities to this place. Place can plant the seeds from which such a place can It should be a place that they are proud of and that grow in North County. represents their community values. St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 11
  13. 13. A Vision for Lindbergh Place Lindbergh Place will be scaled to be comfortable. The scale will encourage walking between destinations along The panel recognized the significant strengths and streets filled with entertaining things to see and do. Pro­ opportunities inherent in North County and its resi­ grammed events such as art shows, concerts, holiday dents. The recommendations set forth in this report celebrations, civic events, and festivals will continually envision a mixed­use, active, vibrant center that can enliven and animate the central square or green space, bring North Countians together to celebrate both their which will become North County’s town square. diversity and their shared sense of community in a walkable, green, clean, safe, and vibrant environment. Forward­looking and future oriented, Lindbergh Place will be designed to boost the quality of life for Built around a great central square, Lindbergh Place every member of the North County community, will offer opportunities to experience entertainment, regardless of age, race, or income. It will combine shopping, living, culture, education, and recreation. specialty retail that responds to the true needs and It will provide convenient community services and desires of residents with other uses of civic impor­ both entrepreneurial and employment opportunities tance or for personal need, such as health care offices. for the people of North County. People will enjoy be­ Sidewalk cafés and art galleries will overlook the ing there, in part simply because they will feel that it central square, adding to the sense of safety and belongs to them. It will be a place that exemplifies the security. High­quality residences that respond to authentic identity of North County, both restoring the community’s needs and tastes will add to the and reflecting the pride of residents. liveliness of Lindbergh Place.The development will respect the natural environment, incorporating sus­ tainable strategies into design and construction. The mix of retail space, streetscape Highly visible and easily accessed, well lit and beau­ improvements, and tifully landscaped, defined by high­quality architec­ walkability along ture, and professionally and responsively managed, the Delmar Street Lindbergh Place will become known for its quality. corridor contribute That will engender a sense of pride and civic identity to making it a among North Countians, who will come to regard it great place. as their own special place. The rest of this report expands on these ideas and of­ fers recommendations on how to revitalize the com­ munity’s core and reinvent the mall as a place that expresses the compelling character of North County. 12 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  14. 14. Market Potential T o assess the market potential of Jamestown terns in St. Louis County and the MSA have echoed Mall, the panel reviewed and analyzed a vari­ much of the residential growth patterns over the past ety of uses. Given the size of the site, the long­ 30 years, expanding into the western suburbs of St. term success of the redevelopment project Louis County and St. Charles County. will demand multiple uses that feed on and support Underlying Fundamentals Weak each other, enabling the project to change over time as market support for different uses ebbs and flows. Overall economic conditions in the national and Around the country, strong developments and com­ regional markets are affecting spending and develop­ munities—those that attract and retain users, ten­ ment opportunities. In the first six months of 2009, ants, and residents over several years—benefit from the region lost 50,000 jobs. From September 2008 combining commercial, residential, arts, and other to September 2009, the median household income uses in a high­quality environment that encourages dropped 10.4 percent over the preceding 12 months pedestrian activity and interaction. Based on its mar­ and unemployment rates rose. The national credit ket review, the panel believes that the Jamestown crisis has halted much of the St. Louis region’s new Mall site is well suited to sustain a mix of uses that commercial development activity, because of the both captures current market interests and builds on lack of financing and the weakening in the underly­ potential markets. This mix mitigates the risk of fail­ ing economic fundamentals. ure for any one use. During the 12 months from March 2008 to March 2009, the nation’s malls lost approximately 6.5 per­ The Mall’s Current Challenges cent of their tenants. On average, retailers reported a decline in sales of approximately 7.3 percent in 2009. St. Louis County and its metropolitan statistical area Many older malls are experiencing lagging or declin­ (MSA) of 17 counties have grown modestly in recent ing sales; those with sales per square feet of less than decades. Since 2000, population growth has aver­ $250 are likely to continue to decline. aged 2 percent annually in the county (with a recent decline) and 4.4 percent annually in the MSA. Ac­ In the St. Louis MSA, retail continues to suffer from cording to Claritas, in 2009 the estimated population the weakening in economic conditions. Retail va­ within five miles of Jamestown Mall was 135,000. cancy rates in the North County subarea reached 11.8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, with rents hold­ Growth at the Fringe ing steady at a relatively low $10.25 per square foot. Over the next decade, population and employment Brokerage reports from CoStar, Marcus & Millichap, growth in the St. Louis region is expected to remain and real estate professionals in the area indicated de­ stable, with declines in some of the urban and first­ clines that reflect both the state of the economy and a ring suburban areas. In particular, the North County major oversupply of retail space. area of St. Louis County will make only modest gains The Issue of Density in numbers of households and may even decline. Sub­ urban sprawl has tended to move west to St. Charles Density refers to the number of structures per acre County and beyond. This direction may shift slightly in a category—residential, commercial, or retail. The as some new development occurs east of the Missis­ area immediately surrounding the Jamestown Mall sippi River along I­270 and south in St. Clair, in con­ site is characterized by low­density, single­family junction with plans for increased employment at Scott housing. Because of the natural features of the Mis­ Air Force Base. The commercial development pat­ souri and Mississippi rivers and the karst area to St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 13
  15. 15. the north, density in this subarea will not increase Although the trade area has a sufficient level of significantly in the future. At most it may rise to one disposable income to support retail, the mall has dwelling unit per three acres in the karst area, not failed to attract and retain enough retailers to satisfy enough to substantially increase density across North the needs and wants of local residents (figure 1). As a County. This low density is intrinsically linked to the result, local residents often travel elsewhere to meet economic viability of Jamestown Mall—or rather its their retail demand, choosing more competitive loca­ inability to generate enough in receipts for businesses tions throughout North County as well as elsewhere in St. Louis County. that locate there. Density translates directly into more residents, shoppers, and visitors. Strong Competition, Weak Merchandise Mix The panel received feedback from members of the Another challenge that faces Jamestown Mall is North County community who are concerned about competition from the abundance of retailers, not the effects on community safety of medium­ and only in North County but in the entire MSA. CoStar’s high­density developments. Density, in and of itself, “Mid­Year 2009 Retail Report” identifies total retail is often not a driver of crime and other illicit activities; commercial offerings in excess of 123 million square feet in the MSA, including 12 million square feet in as a matter of fact, high­density cities often have lower regional malls. The market is saturated with all types crime rates than smaller, lower­density cities. In the of retail, from super regional malls to grocery store– panel’s experience, quality design strategies (such as anchored neighborhood centers to unanchored strip incorporating pedestrian networks with an appropriate shopping centers. Most notably, the Jamestown Mall mix of product types) and the relationships between competes for apparel and department store custom­ buildings and sight lines have more to do with making ers with St. Louis Mills, Saint Louis Galleria, West an area unattractive to crime than density does. County Center, Mid Rivers Mall, and Chesterfield Mall because of their depth of selection and ameni­ In the case of the Jamestown Mall, the panel whole­ ties. These larger malls, with their wider range of heartedly recommends increasing the density of future retail tenants, continue to draw more customers and redevelopment in order to make viable economic dominate the marketplace. development possible. Regional malls typically draw from a base of 200,000 to 250,000 standard customers The panel repeatedly heard that the merchandise mix within their primary trade areas. Within North County, at the Jamestown Mall is aimed at the wrong target 2009 estimates suggest that the 135,000 residents market; however, simply adjusting the merchandise who live within five miles of the mall site have an mix is not the answer to the current challenges in this average household income of $55,131. Although that market. The market influences that created the decline at Jamestown Mall are still in place. Competition is is slightly less than the desired income level, it does getting stronger as the existing malls fight for the North suggest sufficient disposable spending potential County customer base, which is not growing. New re­ (approximately $16,500). Figure 1 Supply: Typical Regional Mall Needs and North County Supply Standard Needs North County Residents 200,000–250,000 135,000 Area Workers 180,000 Less than 80,000 Traffic (ADT) 30,000+ 20,000 Note: ADT refers to average daily traffic. 14 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  16. 16. tail development, encouraged by local jurisdictions that accessibility, visibility, and the competitive environ­ seek higher sales tax revenues and provide incentives ment. Retailers also choose sites by evaluating several and support for new retailers, has created a significant factors that characterize their target market, including oversupply of retail space. As a result, Jamestown the number of households in proximity, household in­ Mall—on the outskirts of a low­density trade area— come, retail expenditures, the value of housing stock, continually struggles against the newer competition. education levels, and family composition. Online Shopping These factors are meaningful only in the context of the competitive environment. Retailers have to think Like catalog shopping in the 1990s, the Internet and like consumers in considering whether in compet­ e­commerce are affecting the built retail environ­ ing with existing and planned retailers they can ment and the potential for new retail construction in capture an adequate share of consumer spending to this decade. Over the past several years, Internet and be successful. Among the reasons consumers choose e­commerce sales have increased at an estimated an­ between shopping alternatives are atmosphere and nual rate of 13.7 percent, according to data prepared safety, convenience, variety of goods offered, and by Development Metrics Consulting. Although this familiarity with the store and product. Retailers need increase has little to no impact on restaurants and to understand existing shopping patterns and how a drugstores, the expansion of e­commerce is under­ site measures up to the competition. Jamestown Mall mining the success of standard retail models such as does not successfully draw expenditures from area regional malls, lifestyle centers, and power centers. residents or from customers from outside the area. In particular, Internet and e­commerce most affect retail stores that stock apparel and accessories; elec­ Currently, retail trends indicate that retail supply in tronics and appliances; and books, music, and sport­ the nation as a whole is contracting and development ing goods. In summary, Jamestown Mall currently is clustering in a small number of highly competi­ faces these challenges: tive locations (those with accessibility, visibility, and transit service). North County has an oversupply of  A location on the northern edge of residential de­ retail space. Based on the performance of comparable velopment, in an area that has natural barriers projects in similar types of markets, the panel has to additional development to the north; identified the following mix of uses as sustainable:  A lack of quality retail space;  Up to six new sit­down restaurants;  Better­located shopping centers with stronger  One or two furniture or home furnishings stores; anchors and market draw;  One stand­alone or center­operated pharmacy  A market base that is not growing with new resi­ with urgent care medical services; and dential development; and  One specialty grocer with beer and wine sales or a  Competition from online shopping. year­round farmers market. Potential Demand The site should not be used for a regional shopping center but rather for an environmentally sustainable, The panel reviewed and analyzed a variety of informa­ mixed­use town center with a focus on community tion to help it determine and set the context for viable retail and dining establishments. This redevelopment retail and other uses at the Jamestown Mall location. would be augmented by other uses, discussed later. Retail Entertainment and Food An understanding of these conditions and challenges Entertainment uses occupy retail space and include provides the backdrop for the panel’s analysis of establishments that allow users to participate in the realistic potential for future retail. Demand for recreational activity. For this reason, food and bever­ retail space relates to a number of factors, including age sales associated with restaurants serving food or household density, household incomes, site location, alcohol that is consumed on site may be one compo­ St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 15
  17. 17. nent of the demand for food. Typical entertainment ity, the quality of the environment, and the number tenants include sit­down restaurants, live­music and character of other area restaurants. Clusters of venues, bowling alleys, movie theaters, performance restaurants can draw from a larger, more diverse area theaters, sandwich shops, cafés, ice cream shops, because they offer customers more options. Restau­ fast­food restaurants, bars, recreational rental facili­ rants can also become strong attracting features, as ties (bikes, skates, etc.), and other similar uses. destinations in themselves. The Jamestown Mall site has a theater with 14 Office screens, stadium seating, and digital surround sound The St. Louis office market consists of approxi­ that offers up to five main showings a day. The exist­ mately 16 million square feet of office space in the ing facility could remain viable in the short term, West County submarket of St. Louis County and with proper management of the complex to attract 13.3 million square feet in downtown St. Louis. local residents. In recent years, a theater as an anchor Most of the region’s Class A office market extends to lifestyle centers has made financial sense. Trends from the City of St. Louis into the western sec­ in 2008, however, showed stagnation in the theater tion of St. Louis County. In the second quarter of market as customers stayed home to watch movies 2009, rents in the Class A market of St. Louis County on flat­screen, high­definition systems. (which includes portions of the Mid­County sub­ The ability to capture customer spending on food and market as well as West County) ranged from $23 to beverages away from home depends on the density $28 per square foot, according to CB Richard Ellis. of the customer base, customer spending capac­ The overall vacancy rate for office space hovered at The Jamestown 14 Cine could remain viable in the short term. 16 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  18. 18. 15 percent for the St. Louis office market as a whole, rounding the Jamestown Mall site by offering other with just under a million square feet of sublease space types of educational programs. available. In a healthy office market, vacancy rates typically remain below 10 percent. Residential Residential development within the Jamestown Mall Larger corporate office users (for example, contrac­ area predominately consists of developments built tors, architects, engineers, consultants, and other in the early 1960s and 1970s, with homes priced in professional services firms) tend to look for business the mid $100,000s. The area’s supply of housing in­ park locations or for Class A office buildings with creased in the first half of the current decade with the prominent locations on transportation corridors, development of new homes; however, the national state­of­the­art building systems, and high­quality mortgage crisis has affected this part of the county, standard finishes. Additional factors that Class A of­ and North County has suffered from subprime fice tenants consider are good access to support ser­ mortgage activity. Trends show householders losing vices and retail, the proximity of executive housing, smaller, older, less expensive homes as well as homes the presence of a skilled labor force, and the quality purchased in the previous 10 years at higher prices. of neighboring office space. These aspects play sub­ The oversupply presents short­term challenges for stantial roles in determining an area’s competitive­ the residential market in North County; however, the ness and the demand for new office space. panel anticipates that residential development may The Jamestown Mall site does not offer many of the be supported in the mid to long term once the unsold ideal characteristics for major office development inventory is reduced. because of its isolated location, lack of visibility, and Given the aging baby boomer population, oppor­ limited services and amenities, and the failing retail tunities for housing for seniors are increasing. The center. Its greatest opportunities lie in attracting number of North County households headed by an neighborhood­serving office tenants, such as den­ individual aged 55 or older has increased by approxi­ tists, real estate agents, tax preparation offices, and mately 230 per year in the past few years. Although the like. The overbuilt supply of strip shopping cen­ many will choose to “age in place” in their current ters in the area fills much of the existing need in the houses, others will seek housing for seniors within a neighborhood­serving office market. A redeveloped continuum of care ranging from independent living mall could attract some of those businesses that value to assisted living to nursing home care. Others may the quality of their surrounding environment and the seek living arrangements that preserve their inde­ image they project to customers. pendence but reduce their yard care obligations. The Nonretail and Other Commercial introduction of new product types with association­ provided maintenance services, such as townhouses Other institutional office users in need of space or and small­lot, single­family houses to mix with the satellite operations in the Jamestown Mall area of surrounding neighborhood, could help meet the North County may be strong candidates for occupy­ demand from empty­nester households. ing space at the site. These tenants might include the community college, area hospitals or health­ and Because of the foreclosure crisis, the panel believes wellness­related businesses, and nontraditional of­ that the overabundance of housing supply will not fice users. Users that offer community services, such be absorbed until 2015 or later, at which point the as a child care facility or adult activity center, may demand for additional housing units will continue, be optimal tenants for surplus commercial space. especially if appropriate products can be added to the Outdoor facilities such as a learning laboratory for housing stock. Based on analyses of similar markets, educating children about nature and local wildlife the panel believes a conservative estimate for supply might serve as a unique area attraction, like the Chain to be around 180 units over a five­year period, which of Rocks Bridge and Columbia Bottom Conservation breaks down to two to five units per month or, more Area. There is an opportunity to take advantage of conservatively, 36 units per year for five years. the unique geological characteristics of the area sur­ St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 17
  19. 19. Planning and Development Strategies T he site is a good candidate for alternative, tion ages, this is an opportune time to examine the mixed­use development. In 142 acres, there is feasibility of developing additional senior living ample space to include a number of different centers in the area, including one at the reconfig­ uses. The panel encourages St. Louis County ured site. A possible location is on the parcels along to be bold and forward looking. Like the 1927 St. Lindbergh Boulevard. Louis business community in its support of the Spirit  Lifestyle and boulevard shopping is another pos­ of St. Louis flight by Charles Lindbergh, St. Louis sible use of some segments of the reconfigured site. County must engage in a bold vision to give flight to Local residents are dissatisfied with the current Lindbergh Place. stores and selection at the Jamestown Mall. The Several uses should be considered in the transforma­ panel recommends creating a “Main Street” retail tion of Jamestown Mall to Lindbergh Place, from an experience that accurately and successfully reflects outdated suburban mall to a mixed­use develop­ the needs and wants of North Countians. ment. Possible uses include the following:  Suburban and small business offices represent  Senior living and activities represent a growing another potential use, although in the current eco­ segment of the market both locally, regionally, nomic environment the appeal of this use will lag statewide, and nationally. As the local popula­ behind others because of the lack of both demand Street signage orients visitors to the Main Street experience in the Central West End and the Delmar Loop. 18 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  20. 20. for office space and available financing. Govern­ A great street is active, ment and civic services, including public safety comfortable, and safe. and administration, such as a satellite government office or a business development center, could be located at Lindbergh Place. Public sector offices would broaden the diverse mix of uses at the site much more than a retail center would.  Community recreation, both indoor and outdoor activities, is another viable use. Currently Jame­ stown Mall is the site of informal walking groups at various times throughout the day. This activity brings foot traffic to the site. At Lindbergh Place this activity could be a catalyst, retaining its infor­ mal function while taking on more formal expres­ site linked to the commercial, retail, county office, sions. In addition, the site could be an ideal location and related uses. Many local child care facilities are for basketball courts or other types of sports facili­ in churches. Once Lindbergh Place achieves a criti­ ties that are popular with the community. Such cal mass of commercial, nonprofit, professional, and facilities would represent a positive investment in retail uses, the demand for on­site child care will be Lindbergh Place by St. Louis County. apparent. Numerous benefits can accrue to tenants of Lindbergh Place from on­site child care.  Family-oriented activities such as a YMCA with a teen center should be explored as a use. Although  Medical and health care facilities are other pos­ there is a YMCA in Ferguson, St. Louis County seems sible uses, given the site’s proximity to Christian to be underserved by this type of agency, given the Hospital. Health care is a growing industry, and it size of its population. In addition to its core func­ may be possible to capture this growth at Lind­ tions, a YMCA can also serve as a focal point for other bergh Place with the development of professional activities that help bind a community together. office space that could house physicians’ offices as YMCAs are also characterized by active boards of well as those of related professionals. directors and volunteers, which in themselves can bring traffic and dynamism to Lindbergh Place.  Entertainment and food, such as movie theaters and restaurants, are other feasible uses. Jamestown  Youth facilities and activities such as Boys & Girls Mall has a history of restaurant and movie theater Clubs are an extension of the YMCA­type use and uses. The 14­screen theater should be examined in can address concerns about the limited structured a later phase of the project as a driver of foot traf­ activities for middle­ and high­school­age children fic. In other places first­run theaters have driven in the area. Malls remain a point of congregation traffic to mall retail sites. A good example is the for these age groups. Augmenting such a draw with Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. An exhibi­ structured youth­serving activities at the reconfig­ tor experienced with first­run films should be ured site could produce a beneficial synergy among identified to manage the theaters. An experienced these uses. Like YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs have exhibitor can generally provide a safe, secure movie strong and committed boards of directors and vol­ viewing experience for all ages, thus lessening con­ unteers capable of bringing traffic and dynamism to cerns about intergenerational tensions in theaters. Lindbergh Place. A successful example of a mixed­ Another possible movie theater experience could be use project incorporating such a use is the Eastgate similar to the video wall at the Old Post Office Plaza Complex in Chattanooga, Tennessee. in downtown St. Louis. That video wall is adjacent  Child daycare is another potential use at Lindbergh to a waterfall feature which brings vitality and a Place. Often YMCAs provide child daycare for mem­ community experience to the open space at this bers and guests. It may also be useful to examine the site. The plaza is ideal for performances, weddings, feasibility of a for­profit child daycare center at the classes, and more. St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 19
  21. 21.  A high-tech center is another viable use. This  Farmers markets are popular uses in cities and center could be a focal point for research, devel­ towns throughout the country. Successful local opment, sales, and marketing of energy­efficient examples include the markets at Soulard, Tower products and services. Another element to consider Grove Park, and Clayton. At Lindbergh Place a is an environmental engineering center, which market could also feature a nutrition center that addresses health and wellness topics. Included in could be run in conjunction with a local school or this nutrition center could be a nutrition learning university. Having both a green technology focus laboratory and a demonstration kitchen facil­ and an environmental engineering use could bring ity. Health and wellness retailers would be ideal local universities into the programming and site tenants to retain or court in order to optimize the planning for Lindbergh Place. farmers market and its related uses.  A small business incubator and research and By including some of these uses, North Countians development space can be adjuncts to the proposed can create a new center at Lindbergh Place that— high­tech center. The incubator and research and coupled with thoughtful marketplace management— development functions can bring in local univer­ encourages high utilization and rational circulation sity resources, including technology transfer office patterns. The amount of development each proposed and laboratory uses. The incubator use also creates use could support at this site should be established through a comprehensive market analysis and report the need for venture capital uses, a shared office from a professional, experienced market research service, and education and training functions. firm. St. Louis County is fortunate to have excellent  Community gardens are popular uses with the resources for researching, analyzing, and designing general public. They provide access to fresh pro­ redevelopment projects. An appropriate local firm should be engaged early in the process to assist St. duce and plants while improving the neighborhood Louis County in preparing appropriate vision and and instilling a sense of community pride, as well as development plans for the site. The panel believes providing a connection to the environment. that to achieve its maximum potential, the project would take 15 to 25 years to accomplish. An example of a successful local Public Sector Financial Participation farmers market, at Soulard. Public assistance for similar projects has included different types of federal, state, and local tax credits, as well as temporary property tax relief, tax increment financing, government purchase of the site, grants, expedited entitlement and building permit processes, and discounted development and building fees. In addition to these options, St. Louis County could utilize its eminent domain powers, if necessary, to assemble the site and then initiate a process to select a master developer. This process should include a request for proposals (RFP) and re­ quest for qualifications (RFQ) to identify and qualify capable developers. Once the RFP/RFQ process is completed, the next step should be to select a mas­ ter developer for Lindbergh Place. After the county gains control of the site, it can determine whether its strategy should be to ground lease or to sell par­ cels in order to achieve development objectives. 20 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  22. 22. Design and Planning T he panel approached the Jamestown Mall pri­ needs and wants—ultimately delaying the transition marily as an economic development challenge. into a modern, high­quality facility. Many possible solutions emerged during the Partial Preservation week and were evaluated against competing ideas for the long­term economic health and vitality An alternative approach is partial preservation of of the region. Historic changes and emerging trends the two department stores still in operation, Macy’s were considered and incorporated into the evaluation and JCPenney. Large, existing anchors are generally of solutions. The range of options included everything desirable because they have the ability to attract large from refurbishing the existing facility to preserving numbers of shoppers. These department stores are and repurposing portions of the existing structure, to also local employers, supporting families within the eliminating the existing structures and creating an en­ community. Although the panel members discussed tirely new entity. Of the three scenarios, transforming a partial preservation approach in some depth, they the site would create the greatest value for the proper­ thought that retaining two of the anchor facilities ty owners and the county. would cause the reinvention of the mall to remain unrealized. In panel members’ experience, keeping The panel’s discussions of a site concept that will existing stores so compromises the redevelopment remain viable into the future revolved around five effort with additional risks and constraints—not only primary ideas: community, beauty, intensity, balance, in the present, but especially in the future phasing— and imagination. These five ideas not only mirror the that more economic momentum would be created by national trend in the redevelopment of malls, but also starting fresh than by saving the stores. address the major amenities required to attract a broad array of modern businesses, contemporary commu­ Comprehensive Redevelopment nity uses, and people of all demographic groups. The proposed approach, a comprehensive develop­ Renovation ment plan, requires the assembly of site parcels under single ownership and demolition of the existing One option that the panel considered was refur­ facilities. These efforts would make approximately bishing the existing structure and bringing in new 142 acres available for redevelopment. The plan leaves tenants. In the panel’s view, this option did not ample space for open­space amenities that include lend itself well to community development goals and agriculture and parks. This open space will enable the would leave substantial space either vacant or under­ overall density of the development to remain compat­ leased. In addition, the mall has already undergone ible with the density of surrounding areas and permits several renovation efforts that have yielded lackluster some land banking (keeping the land in reserve with results. The panel believes that a similar effort would no active development until demand rises). have even less success now, in an environment that is both more competitive and less robust for retail The primary element of the plan is a central gather­ occupancy than it was during the 1990s. Even cos­ ing space and town green, which will be readily vis­ metic improvements to the physical facilities would ible from Highway 67 and extend visibility well into not address the three main reasons for previous the site. The central green space would be bounded failures to attract new shoppers and new retailers: on both sides by buildings that house retail on the location, market strength, and population density. ground floor and offices and residential uses above. The opinion of the panel was that renovating the The recommendation also includes a significant existing facility would perpetuate the status quo and farmers market fronting the green space, which consequently fall short of responding to community is intended to bring a strong presence of health, St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 21
  23. 23. One possibility of 1: Central Green Space what a detailed 2: Chain of Lakes development plan 11 6 3: Hike & Bike Trail through Park for Jamestown Mall 7 might look like. 7 7 4: Farmers Market 4 1 7 5: Movie Theater 12 8 6: County Office Building 5 8 13 7: Office over Retail 14 8 10 8: Residential over Retail 9 15 9: Agricultural Uses 2 10: Townhomes 11: Medical Office Buildings 12: Small Offices 3 13: YMCA 14: Environmental Research Facility 15: Daycare Facility food, social activities, and connection to the natural  Intensity: To create a place that supports the most world as well as to be entertaining for everyone. intense activity within the region that it serves. That involves multiple overlapping activities— In the proposed scheme, the green space extends into multiple reasons to visit, to work, to live, to shop, the area that is currently undeveloped. This greenbelt to learn, to be with other people. The panel proposes offers a variety of amenities. The proposal incorporates that entertainment facilities be woven throughout a chain of lakes, which serve a stormwater manage­ the property in the forms of a central video screen, ment function as well. Around the lakes, a hiking and electronic kiosks, and wireless access. biking trail meanders through parkland within view of the existing stream that winds its way around the  Beauty: To create a place that reflects beauty. southern end of the site. Whether natural or built, beauty is one of the best and most universal attractions. Stately buildings Incorporating residential components will increase that accommodate multiple uses over time add to a the intensity of site use, making the area lively for sense of classic beauty. A variety of landscape set­ more of the day and consequently safer, with more tings from wild and natural to highly clipped and eyes on the street. Where offices are located above manicured is also an attraction. retail space, the offices add to the customer base for the retail and the retail provides an amenity for the  Balance: To create a place that offers balance offices, reinforcing each use. through variety. The panel recommends a broad array of land uses from intense ones such as The panel recommends that the mix of uses include street­level retail to pastoral ones such as agri­ these or similar components in order to promote cultural uses. The concept is to encourage bal­ economic development in the area. Toward that goal, ance between work and family, indulgence and the panel recommends five other goals: health, and development and sustainability.  Community: To create a place that serves and  Imagination: To create a place where the develop­ strengthens the community. It should be a place ment astounds and delights. Imagination is the that engenders pride, as well as a place where peo­ most elemental tool of value creation: it builds on ple want to be—to watch people, to meet friends, to knowledge and creates higher levels of utility and make new friends. 22 An Advisory Services Panel Report
  24. 24. efficiency to reach higher standards of quality and excellence. Other Considerations Achieving the goal of creating a place that success­ fully attracts business and the community to the site depends on setting the bar high. A mix of densities and proximity to an attractive natural landscape are tremendous assets to the development and will serve as amenities for both residents and office workers. The streetscape and public spaces should follow prevailing standards for town center development. Among these are sidewalks lined with shopfronts that have large display windows. The sidewalks should be wide enough to allow for street trees and sidewalk dining, and should be lined with on­street parking. Signage and awnings are needed as an ad­ ditional layer of detail that enlivens the streetscape. There should be a continuous accessible pedestrian route along the sidewalk. The central public green space should be landscaped to make it possible for large crowds to gather. It could be designed to accommodate performances around or in front of the proposed video screen. The programming of the public space is as important as the design of it. To ensure that there are frequent events and reasons to be there, and to keep the space lively and attractive, a management entity will be required. Finally, the importance of active participation by the St. Louis County Economic Council cannot be over­ stated. Its role is to reach out to potential tenants and business owners to get them to join in the revitaliza­ tion effort to create Lindbergh Place. Examples of mixed­use projects that are underway throughout the Midwest include the following:  Easton Town Center (Columbus, Ohio);  New Albany Market Square (New Albany, Ohio); The panel recommends incorporating such elements as a central public green space and active retail streets  Park Place (Leawood, Kansas); into the redevelopment plan.  Randhurst Village (Mount Prospect, Illinois); and  Zona Rosa (Kansas City, Missouri). St. Louis County, Missouri, September 20–25, 2009 23

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