Mills Properties

By on Jan 7, 2014 in News

St. Louis isn’t known as a hipster haven.

A rendering of the Citywalk project from Mills Properties, coming soon to St. Louis.

A rendering of the Citywalk project from Mills Properties, coming soon to St. Louis.

But the city’s developers are gradually embracing the concept of walkable urban neighborhoods. The reinvention of a portion of the city’s downtown, into what’s now known as the MX District, leads the way. MX stands for Mercantile Exchange, hearkening back to the days when downtown St. Louis was a commercial center.

Yardi client Mills Properties was one of the first new developments to open its doors in the MX District when The Laurel apartments began leasing and welcoming residents in fall 2011. The Laurel, a mixed-use property with food and shopping on the ground floor, has attracted young professionals working in the biotechnology and medical fields, as well as students attending nearby colleges and universities. A popular local pizza joint, deli, wine bar and a restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine are a major draw for residents, who enjoy a 10 percent discount on all purchases.

The company has a second mixed-use project in progress that will feature a Whole Foods gourmet grocery on the ground level, and 177 apartments above. City Walk on Euclid will be located in the Central West End, and the Whole Foods will be St. Louis’ third such store. The Central West End has been a popular residential neighborhood since the 1904 World’s Fair, and City Walk residents will enjoy walkable access to a variety of restaurants and other amenities on Euclid.

Mills Properties marketing manager Melissa DeCicco anticipates that the market’s widespread popularity will make walk-up leasing of the City Walk apartments as convenient as popping into Whole Foods for an easy deli-counter dinner.

“I think we’ll have quite a few people right at the start of lease up who will want to be there because of the location, and Whole Foods being there as well. The high volume of shopper traffic from the market will draw visibility to the property itself.  We’re going to definitely benefit from that constant foot traffic and activity,” DeCicco said.

Many of the residents who are moving into St. Louis’ new mixed use buildings are newcomers to the city, seeking a lifestyle where they don’t have to drive far, if at all, to shopping, entertainment, work and dining.

“St. Louis is usually behind the times a bit, so it’s neat to see that this new development downtown is drawing people from the (West) Coast. A lot of start-up people are starting to come down there. That’s what they look for, that walkable city, and it’s cool that we have that to offer them and that we are working on more of it with the Euclid project,” DeCicco said.