Downtown St. Louis

KAI Design & Build, HBD Construction, Inc. to Build New 136-room Fairfield Inn & Suites in Downtown St. Louis


The KAI Design & Build/HBD Construction, Inc. team has been selected to build one of the first new hotels in downtown St. Louis in years – Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new hotel was held on Oct. 18 at the corner of 22nd and Market streets, the former site of iconic Harry’s Restaurant & Bar.

“We are truly excited to be a part of this dynamic project and the revitalization of such a landmark site in the Downtown-West area of St. Louis City,” said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr.

St. Louis-based Equis Hotels is the developer on the $20 million hotel and parking garage project, with Chiodini Architects of St. Louis providing its design and Peak Construction Group serving as the construction manager. KAI Design & Build/HBD Construction is the general contractor.

“HBD is very excited to be starting its third project for Equis and its second project with joint venture partner KAI and team. The project will be an important amenity to the downtown St. Louis area, which continues positive growth,” said Michael Perry, President of HBD Construction.

The new hotel will feature 136 rooms and suites, 2,000 square feet of meeting rooms, a lobby lounge and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, free breakfast, fitness center, outdoor patio, business center and shuttle service within a 2-mile radius of the property. With easy access to downtown St. Louis businesses and attractions, the modern Marriott-branded hotel will be suitable for business and leisure travelers and is expected to open in early 2020.

The Fairfield by Marriott hotel will revitalize a highly-visible lot in the western portion of downtown St. Louis and create an important addition to the region’s hospitality offerings.

“Equis’ new Fairfield by Marriott hotel is unique as it truly is the first, ground up Marriott select service hotel to be built in the City of St. Louis’ downtown market in decades,” said Equis Hotels Chief Executive Officer and Founder Michael Mullenix. “This hotel will now capture the traditional Marriott hotel customer seeking a true, ground-up Marriott select service hotel brand downtown. It will provide a quality offering so that guests do not have to travel outside of downtown to satisfy their lodging needs. Our new Fairfield by Marriott hotel will not only serve the existing hotel demand generators in the city, but it will definitely accommodate the exciting growth now taking place in the City of St. Louis, including the new $600 million Saint Louis University hospital project and the new $1.6 billion National Geo-Spatial Intelligence or NGA headquarters campus currently under construction just a mile north of our site.”

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. A renowned leader in the industry, KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through collaboration, technology, processes and expertise. For more information about KAI Design & Build, visit or call 314-241-8188.

HBD Construction, Inc. is a diverse, full-service general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information about HBD Construction, Inc., visit or call 314-781-8000.

Downtown St. Louis Alive With Plethora of Boutique Hotel Development

By Kerry Smith, Editor – St. Louis Construction News & Review Magazine

After more than a decade of stagnancy in St. Louis hotel development, more than $400 million is currently in play creating, restoring and repurposing historic structures into boutique hotels.

Of that total, more than $304 million is being invested in a total of six Downtown St. Louis boutique hotel projects. Another $111 million is being pumped into three ventures in the Central West End, Midtown’s Cortex Innovation Community and Clayton.

Boutique hotels are often known for having fewer rooms, a unique ambiance and character that embraces a structure’s historical significance.

“I continue to be amazed at the detailing work that exists in these classic buildings,” said Steve Schrage, BSI Constructors project manager for Hotel St. Louis, 705 Olive Street, one of several downtown hotel developments that are under construction. “For example, there are stone lion heads surrounding and accenting the building, which was built in 1893 as an office headquarters for the Union Trust Company. We’re cleaning the building, tuckpointing it, making masonry repairs and replacing the windows. Other than that, structurally it is in great shape,” he added, noting that BSI is aiming for substantial completion by late 2018.

Developer Restoration St. Louis’ architectural arm, Checkmate Design, has been working in tandem with SPACE Architecture+Design on Hotel St. Louis. Kelly Dawson, Checkmate design VP, said the 140-room hotel will also include 15 apartments, one of which is a penthouse. “This is a Louis Sullivan building,” she said, referring to the legendary architect. “It’s critical for us to work to keep architectural gems like this in the fabric of St. Louis’ history.”

Jay Reeves, architect at SPACE, said the resurgence of design-driven boutique hotels is a logical progression within the evolution of hospitality options such as Airbnb. “Over the past five years, we’ve seen people open themselves up to unique space-sharing concepts within hospitality,” Reeves said. “It’s great for St. Louis because it provides us with the opportunity to meet a demand in the market while showing off who we are in terms of a sense of place.”

LaSalle Building

Hotel Indigo at 303 North Broadway is the site of an $11 million investment by Chattanooga, TN-based ViaNova Development. Known to many as the old LaSalle Building, Hotel Indigo hopes to open later this year under the Curio Collection by Hilton brand. Amy Gilbertson with Trivers Associates is the designer. “The fact that the entire building is only 25 feet wide posed a design challenge for us,” she said. “It’s not an easy floor plate in this unique, historic building.”

Another out-of-state developer, Milwaukee-based Fe Equus Development, is investing in two downtown boutique hotel projects: The Last – a $54 million boutique hotel emerging at what was long regarded as the International Shoe building 1501 Washington Ave. – and Fairfield Inn & Suites, on the site of the old Harry’s Restaurant & Bar property at 2144 Market Street.

Dallas-based developer Alterra Worldwide is injecting $104 million into rehabilitating the 1904 Jefferson Arms landmark into a hotel bearing the AC Hotels by Marriott brand.

St. Louis Municipal Courts Building

DesMoines-based developer MCB Hotel Owner LLC is investing $60 million in the renovation of St. Louis’ Municipal Courts Building at 1330 Market Street into a boutique hotel property under the flag of Hyatt.

Beyond downtown, St. Louis’ Central West End, Midtown and Clayton micro-markets are also teeming with hotel development. HomeBase Partners out of Bozeman, MT, is working with local Koplar Properties and Keeley Development Group on a $43 million AC Hotel by Marriott on York Avenue in the CWE. The joint venture of L. Keeley Construction and PARIC Corporation are the builders. HomeBase President Andy Holloran said a longstanding friendship with the Koplar family led to the partnership and to working with Trivers. “Existing hotel stock is in short supply in both the Central West End and Clayton,” said Holloran.

St. Louis developer Midas Hospitality and its affiliate, MC Hotel Construction, are paired with Gray Design Group to create Aloft Hotel, the $28 million boutique offering under development in Cortex. Midas and MC hope to break ground in May on Element by Westin, an extended stay hotel on Forest Park Avenue near the medical district, according to Jim Heinz, MC Hotel Construction VP.

Demand generators for hospitality developers, according to Midas President David Robert, remain strong across the Central West End and Midtown for a different flavor of boutique living development opportunity: the extended-stay, niche hotel.

“On the boutique and lifestyle hotel opportunities, we look at what exists in the market…and more importantly, we look at what’s missing in the market,” said Robert. “A lot of guests are looking for a unique experience,” he said. “A lot more millennials who travel for business or leisure are seeking a lifestyle hotel rather than a traditional hotel. They don’t want to live and work in their room – they’d rather interact in communal spaces.”

In contrast with a prolonged stagnation in hospitality development corresponding investment in St. Louis, Robert said the last three years show solid evidence of resurgence.

“The last three years, St. Louis has set occupancy records,” he said. “There haven’t been a lot of hotels coming online here over the last 15 years, but the market is clearly catching up.”

Downtown St. Louis Boutique Hotel Developments 

  • Hotel Indigo, 303 N. Broadway
  • Developer: ViaNova of Chattanooga, TN
  • Investment Amount: $11 million
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites, 2144 Market
  • Developer: Fe Equus, Milwaukee, WI
  • Investment Amount: $20 million
  • The Last (Hotel), 1501 Washington 
  • Developer: Fe Equus of Milwaukee, WI
  • Investment Amount: $54 million
  • Hotel St. Louis, 705 Olive
  • Restoration St. Louis of St. Louis, MO
  • Investment Amount: $55 million
  • Hyatt Hotel, 1330 Market 
  • Developer: MCB Hotel Owner LLC of Des Moines, IA
  • Investment Amount: $60 million
  • Jefferson Arms Hotel, 415 N. Tucker
  • Developer: Alterra Worldwide of Dallas, TX
  • Investment Amount: $104 million

(source: St. Louis Development Corporation)

McClure Engineering Purchases the Cupples 1 Building in Downtown St. Louis

After 15 years on Oleatha Avenue in south St. Louis, McClure Engineering has purchased and will be moving to the historic Cupples 1 building at 1000 Clark Street. Built in 1896, the building is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is part of the Cupples Warehouse district downtown. Located two blocks west of Busch Stadium, the firm will occupy two of the building’s six floors while leasing the remaining space to new and existing tenants. The iconic St. Louis warehouse was renovated in 2006 yet maintains the building’s historic appeal with large windows, exposed brick interior and wood frame timber structure.

The move comes after expressed interest from neighboring company, Huvepharma, who plan to expand into the firm’s Oleatha location. The purchase of the new building will allow McClure to grow, providing needed space to add 15 to 20 workers over the next few years. The firm will renovate two floors of office space to house staff and will adopt a new open floor plan to promote teamwork and collaboration.

Hotel Indigo Underway in Downtown St. Louis


Trivers Associates’ hospitality work dates back more than 20 years. Our St. Louis-area hotels alone total nearly 1500 rooms, 2,000,000 square feet and over $180M in construction cost. These projects include the Westin Hotel at Cupples Station, Embassy Suites at the Laurel and the conversion of the Adam’s Mark Hotel into the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

Our latest hotel project is in partnership with ViaNova Development and will finally revitalize the long vacant historic LaSalle Building in the heart of downtown St. Louis. The project is currently planned to open as a Hotel Indigo. Originally designed in 1909 by Isaac Taylor, the LaSalle Building rises 13-stories and features bay windows beginning at the third story with terra cotta and cast iron details at the first and second stories. Trivers is leading the design team through a full rehabilitation of this unique building as well as a renovation of the adjacent office building for use as an 88-key hotel. Exterior improvements on the LaSalle building include full window replacement for all upper stories, masonry and terra cotta repair, roof replacement, and a new rooftop bar with exterior patio. The adjacent office building will receive a completely new façade meant to deliver a modern interpretation of the historic bay windows on the LaSalle building. Trivers also served as historic consultant on the project working closely with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

The Hotel Indigo flag is particularly well suited for this site as the required development of a neighborhood story utilizes a building’s placement within a city as inspiration for the design. With no shortage of historic material, the design team worked with the Owner and Hotel Indigo brand representatives to create a narrative focused on the history of transportation in St. Louis which then acted a lens through which the interior design was developed. The program includes a full restaurant and bar on the first level, meeting rooms and suites on the second and third levels, a fitness center and specialty roof top bar. Selective demolition is underway with full construction anticipated to begin this spring.

Team members include Nehring Design, KPFF Consulting Engineers, G+W Engineering, Civil Design, Inc. and KH Lemp.