Apartments, condos, senior housing, offices and a hotel are among potential uses for 35 wooded acres at Page Avenue and Interstate 270, in Maryland Heights.
The owner, an affiliate of Cypress Real Estate, calls the project Maryland Oaks and plans to retain much of the site’s woodsiness.
Pending before the city is the owner’s request to rezone the property to allow a mixed-use development. Ben Stegmann, a Cypress principal, said he hoped the rezoning request was approved this summer. The area is currently zoned for manufacturing.
If a “critical mass” of projects is lined up, construction could begin this year, Stegmann said. Though Maryland Oaks would probably be built in phases, key to its success would be starting with several projects at about the same time, he said.
“We want to get this right,” Stegmann said. “We want to make sure that when we start, we’re going to fill it and finish it.”
Maryland Oaks site plans are preliminary, but a main feature is a street linking McKelvey Road and Basston Drive. Stegmann said the street plan included a roundabout that could center an area of residential and, perhaps, commercial buildings. He called Maryland Oaks a “life cycle” development designed for residents ranging from young professionals to senior citizens who needed assisted-living accommodations.
“We’re committed to doing a high-quality development plan there,” he said.
Hilary Perkins, Maryland Heights’ city planner, said Thursday that officials believed the developer’s project would benefit the municipality.
“We’re excited the property is developing,” she said.
Planners are pleased to see the developers are proposing a bicycling- and walking-friendly project and “want to make sure that it’s a nice place to be in,” Perkins said.
Stegmann has yet to estimate Maryland Oaks’ cost but said it would be “a pretty significant capital investment.” Cypress will act as the project’s master developer and sell separate parcels to builders of residential and commercial structures.
Eight miles south of the Maryland Oaks site is a similar project at I-270 and Manchester Road, near Des Peres.
That project, called The Quarry, is close to getting underway, said Casey Urkevich, principal of Casemark LLC of Clayton, the project’s developer. Construction of streets and utilities should begin in July or August, he said.
About two months after the start of infrastructure construction, work will begin on a 60-bed assisted-living building by Provision Living, Urkevich said. Also in the works are a 254-unit apartment project and a hotel, he said.
The Quarry and Maryland Oaks have several similarities. Each covers approximately the same acreage. Each is near a major current development — West Port Plaza in Maryland Heights and West County Center in Des Peres. As Cypress is for Maryland Oaks, Casemark is the umbrella developer for The Quarry.
And both are planned on the sites of developments that never got off the ground.
In the late 1990s, HBE had hoped to build a 550-room Adams Mark Hotel and a 200,000-square-foot office building at the Maryland Heights site. Two plans for a mixed-use development at the Des Peres site, once a rock quarry, fell through before Casemark arrived last year.
Urkevich and Stegmann said the St. Louis County real estate market was strong enough for both projects to do well.
“We’re in full support” of Maryland Oaks, Urkevich said. Eight miles of separation put the similar developments in different real estate submarkets, he said.
Stegmann said that the strong county market “creates an opportunity for both of us, frankly, to come in with a large-scale development.”
Shared streets and other infrastructure, including stormwater detention, of master-planned projects reduce overall costs, he said. A common architectural style and streetscapes will give Maryland Oaks a “Main Street” feel, Stegmann added.