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As construction starts on $67M Crestwood mall project, development along Watson Road corridor should follow, developer says

"We’ve seen additional leasing activity and additional projects up and down Watson Road, and I think the best is yet to come," Crestwood Mayor Grant Mabie said.

CRESTWOOD, Mo. — With construction starting on the Crestwood mall mixed-use redevelopment, officials said they believe the project will spur even more development activity along the busy Watson Road corridor in south St. Louis County.

Crews have been working for about a month on grading the land at the former site of the 1-million-square-foot mall at 1 Crestwood Plaza, which was demolished in 2017 after closing in 2013. The official groundbreaking for the redevelopment was held Tuesday.

What's now called the Crestwood Crossing development divides the 46-acre site roughly into two halves: a $67 million retail development anchored by a Dierbergs grocery store; and a new 81-home subdivision from McBride Homes. The project has in tax-increment financing that applies to the retail side, but not the subdivision.

“Ever since this project was approved by the Board of Alderman, we’ve seen additional leasing activity, and additional projects up and down Watson Road, and I think the best is yet to come," Crestwood Mayor Grant Mabie told 5 On Your Side at the Tuesday groundbreaking.

St. Louis-based grocery store chain Dierbergs Markets currently is targeting the opening of its new 70,000-square-foot prototype grocery store at Crestwood Crossing by mid-2023, Dierbergs Director of Real Estate Brent Beumer told the Business Journal.

McBride plans to start construction just before the end of this year on its houses, with sales launching in early fall, a spokeswoman for the homebuilder said.

Dierbergs and McBride had purchased the land for their projects in January from Chicago-based developer UrbanStreet Group, for an undisclosed price. The companies are the fourth developers to try to develop the site since 2013.

While subcontractors of general contractor PARIC Construction have been busy crushing the concrete of the existing foundations and parking structures that were buried under the site as the mall was demolished by previous owner UrbanStreet, Beumer said Dierbergs is busy talking with potential tenants that could open in the retail sites directly next to the new grocery store.

Credit: McBride Homes
This rendering shows Crestwood Crossing, the mixed-use redevelopment from Dierbergs, which purchased the former Crestwood mall site Jan. 26 along with McBride Homes.

Those retail spaces next to Dierbergs could house service-type businesses such as urgent care, financial services, dry cleaners, hair care or small retail as you would see in any shopping center, Beumer said. The developer is making progress in negotiations for letters of intent with potential tenants, but it’s difficult to sign up tenants without knowing the exact opening date, he said.

An office/bank building and the building that formerly housed the City Music store were purchased by Dierbergs separately from the UrbanStreet transaction. Those buildings could be demolished as soon as May and become one of the project’s 13 potential retail outlots fronting Watson Road toward the east.

Read the full story and see more project renderings and plans on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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