By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Real estate developer and civic leader Chris Goodson opened his second location of Fields Foods in St. Louis this week, with more stores yet to open this year.
On April 25 the entrepreneur celebrated the grand opening of Fields Foods inside the mixed-use development at 1706 Washington Avenue known as the Monogram on Washington. The nine-story, 315,000-square-foot, building – known for its historic significance as a women’s hat-making factory and warehouse in the 1900s – welcomed 168 luxury apartments in 2018, built by PARIC. On Thursday, Goodson’s 17,000- square-foot Fields Foods opened and occupies half of the building’s ground floor.
Goodson said Fields Foods’ expansion beyond its original site in Lafayette Square is part of a concerted effort to bring wholesome, reasonably priced grocery options downtown.
“Our first store opened five years ago in Lafayette Square,” said Goodson, noting that his development firm, Gilded Age, also paved the way for a Walgreens and a 63-loft development at that same site where the former City Hospital operated years ago. A total of 104 condominiums and Butler Pantry’s Palladium are also part of this development. BSI Constructors and The Lawrence Group were partners in these revitalization projects, he added. “Fields Foods was a great addition that really helped fill out the neighborhood,” he said. “Our brand-new store inside the Monogram fills a similar need…it’s a locally operated, locally focused grocery store in an area that for a long time had been a food desert.”
Local project partners that built out the new Fields Foods downtown include St. Louis-based Fixture Contracting, Reinhold Electric and Maplewood Plumbing.
Fields Foods’ third St. Louis location, anticipated to open later this year, is at Euclid and Delmar. Goodson said the 9,000-square-foot, bodega-style store complements 100-plus apartments in a similar mixed-use development, this one spearheaded by Cullinan Group.
Location number four of Fields Foods, a 16,000-square-foot layout in Dogtown, is also online for completion in late 2019.
“Our business model is ‘a third, a third and a third,’” said Goodson. “One-third healthy prepared foods, one-third local vendors (150 of them) and one-third St. Louis favorites such as toasted ravioli and staple sodas and snacks. St. Louis has been about dots (of development). The dots are starting to connect in the neighborhoods of our city, and Downtown West is part of that. It’s all synergistic. More building will come from the mixed-use apartment/amenity developments that are in existence now in St. Louis’ urban areas. It’s an exciting time,” he said.
Photos by Jen Singleton