The Orion is a perfect example of how much things have changed in the neighborhood since I began writing this blog. Five years ago I reported on community discontent regarding "the hole in the ground" at Euclid and West Pine. This is that same site today!
Due to a hard winter, followed by heavy rains this past spring and early summer, construction of the 7-story, 177-unit luxury apartment complex, which began in December 2013, is behind schedule. However, in December the first tenants will finally be moving in.
The City Walk project was recently renamed "The Orion" when it became apparent that everyone who works for Mills Properties was confusing the name of the CWE project with City View, another Mills project located downtown. Bruce Mills, middle above, first name is Orion and, as CWEnder and Mills Properties Senior Developer and Construction Manager Ron Silverman, above left, said; "'The Orion' seemed appropriate given Mills commitment and investment in the project. This is a labor of love for the developer." Also photographed above is Project Manager Cassie Walter, right, whose title Silverman says "should be V.P."
Before we started our hard-hat tour, Silverman said that The Orion was designed to fit the character of the neighborhood. When I remarked that the building has dramatically changed the streetscape of the CWE, he added that, ".... while we may perceive the neighborhood as being urbanized, St. Louis doesn't have the density of high-rise buildings you'll find in New York, Chicago or other large cities."
"Because land values have gone up in the CWE, the days of single-family houses are long gone, and buildings such as The Orion are what's being built." It's projected that The Orion's 177 units will add an average of 1.3 people per unit (230 people) to the population of the neighborhood.
The Orion is divided into two sections by a 7-story garage accessed from West Pine Blvd. There are 66 units in the east building, 111 in the west. Residents can drive up to their floor and park on the same level as their unit. The garage will offer a mini car wash, electric car charging stations, and the availability of a car sharing vehicle.
Shown above is the Euclid side of The Orion where Whole Foods will open May 4, 2016. Silverman half-jokingly said, "The reality is that most people will call this the Whole Foods Building." There will be patio seating on both Euclid Ave., above, and West Pine Blvd.
Whole Foods will occupy 35,000 s.f. on the first floor, above, roughly the size of the Brentwood location. 150 parking spaces in the garage have been allocated for Whole Foods customers.
The City of St. Louis Parking Division has prescribed angled parking along West Pine for customers of Whole Foods and other visitors. Drivers will be required to back into these spaces, which promises to be interesting given how much difficulty people seem to have parallel parking.
An interior courtyard on the second floor will feature fountains, a fire pit, comfortable seating and a giant chess set. Inside, the second floor will include a 24-hour "Euclid Club Room" with a catering kitchen, billiards table, wine storage, fireplace, and large screen TV. There will be a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, and residents will also have access to a 24-hour concierge service.
There are 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units ranging from 634 to 1,734 s.f. priced at $1,477 to $5,165 per month. This is a photograph of a hallway leading from the master bedroom of a two-bedroom unit to the dining/kitchen/living area. Ceilings are 10' high on floors 2 thru 6, and 12' on the 7th (top) floor.
There are 3 "Brownstone" units with street-level direct-access entries on West Pine. In addition, there are twelve "select homes" stacked at the corner of Euclid and West Pine and on the 7th floor. Select homes are equipped with upgraded appliances, gas fireplaces and California Closets. With a total of 34 floor model options, there are lots of possibilities to consider at The Orion.
The photograph above provided by property manager Steve Krajczar, shows a standard kitchen featuring GE stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Each unit also includes a full-size washer and dryer.
Some units have balconies and fireplaces, such as this one above on the southwest corner of the building overlooking the bustle of Euclid Avenue.
This photograph shows what will be a salt water pool on the rooftop. Alongside, there will be another terrace that will feature a fire pit, barbeque grills, giant checkers set and an outdoor TV.
The views from the top floor are wonderful. This one was taken from what will be a balcony in a 7th floor unit looking south toward BJC.
And above, a view to the northeast taken from the garage showing the Cathedral Basilica in the distance. There are Arch views from some southeast corner units.
There are already 38 reservations for apartments without even a display unit to look at (the project is still considered a construction site and under a "hard hat order"). Another 150 people are pn the wait list for more information about making The Orion their home in the CWE. As Ron Silverman said, "We've built this apartment building with condo amenities." For a list of those amenities, click here.
For more information contact property manager Steve Krajczar at The Orion, (314) 367-6700, email@example.com.