Updated Thursday at 10 a.m. with new information from the developer.
ST. LOUIS — A developer is considering a plot of land on the north end of town for an entertainment destination including a marina, water park, hotels and restaurants.
M2 Development Partners announces its intention to acquire the 67-acre site just north of Interstate 270 at 11000 Riverview Drive for the project, which it calls “Lighthouse Landing.”
Tim Morris, the company’s chief executive, told a city commission on Thursday that his company saw a “huge opportunity for a world-class marina.”
M2, which describes itself as an international real estate development and investment firm, says it is in talks with potential entertainment users, and it cited the St. Louis Zoo’s WildCare Park planned 1.5 miles away. to the north as a major attraction for the region.
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The firm lists plans for a more than $500 million development in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, anchored by a Ritz-Carlton, though construction has yet to begin.
The St. Louis Port Authority on Thursday approved a resolution to begin negotiating a development agreement and potential incentives for the waterfront project.
The site has already seen major projects, including a lighthouse, boat launch, hotels and restaurants launched in 2015 by developer Adam Hartig. The land was once the site of the North Shore Golf Course until the 1993 flood destroyed it. Casinos and then developers eyed the site for years but failed to make it work.
But city development officials hope M2’s plan could finally deliver results on the empty lot.
“There’s a lot of positive momentum around development opportunities in the Port Authority District,” said Neal Richardson, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corp., which manages the Port Authority. “SLDC is very excited about Lighthouse Point, which will continue to transform our waterfront, provide quality training and employment opportunities for the citizens of St. Louis, and invest in the revitalization of North City.”
The site has been raised off the floodplain since previous development proposals, partly with fill soil that the city paid the owners to dump on the site after the municipal landfill on the Hall Street.
The site has been owned since 1998 by Discovery Pier Land Holdings LLC, which is registered in the name of Beth Daniele. Her husband, Tony Daniele, and another partner, Mark Repking, have run the site for projects for over a decade. Tony Daniele, a former city policeman, at one point bought the old riverboat “Belle of the Night” and moved it next to the property as part of his plans. It then parted its moorings and was overtaken by Coast Guard tugs. It was then scrapped.
Morris said the current owners have undertaken a “Herculean effort” to elevate the site and extend utilities to the grounds.
“The table is now set to move this process forward and it will be quite a successful project,” Morris said.
M2 does not yet have control of the site but is about to finalize a purchase agreement. He hopes to start construction in the second quarter of next year.
M2 Development’s proposal to purchase the site is the second major redevelopment proposal for sites along the Mississippi River that have gone underutilized for years. Last month, a development group led by Greg Gleicher – a University of Washington grad who worked in New York City real estate development – presented plans for empty lots and warehouses in Chouteau’s Landing south of Gateway. Arch.
The north shore site, Morris said, came to M2’s attention through a “long-standing relationship we have with the building trades unions.”
M2 Development said it was working with Local 1 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on a deal that could use a union property investment program to help fund part of the Lighthouse Point project.
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