Old Famous-Barr site ideal for hotel in University City, consultant says

Old Famous-Barr site ideal for hotel in University City, consultant says

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The Famous-Barr in Clayton, seen here in 1948, was from downtown St. Louis. (File photo)

UNIVERSITY CITY — City officials say they hope a market study and feasibility analysis will help them determine the best location for a new hotel in University City.

Daniel McCoy, with contractor HVS/Hospitality Valuation Services, told the City Council on Monday that the “strongest site” for a new hotel — based on transportation access, proximity to commercial and leisure opportunities, and other factors — would be at Washington University’s West Campus (formerly the Famous-Barr Clayton store) on Forsyth Boulevard near Forest Park Parkway.

Other locations considered were at Olive and Interstate 170, Delmar Boulevard and I-170, and the Delmar Loop West.

McCoy said based on the performance of other hotels in the area, there’s potential for more hotel development, and he recommended the city push for an upscale establishment (such as a Courtyard by Marriott) at the Washington University site, with about 165 rooms, bistro food and beverage facility, some meeting facilities, a fitness room and other amenities.

The estimated construction cost of such a facility on the Washington University site would be about $35 million, McCoy said.

City Manager Gregory Rose said some hotel proposals are now going through the approval process in the city.


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