Amazon Or Not, St. Louis Has Big Plans For Its Mississippi Riverfront

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Bids are due Thursday from cities vying to land Amazon’s second headquarters. We understand the St. Louis region intends to pitch both sides of the mighty Mississippi River.

amazonstl 625x3522 002 Amazon Or Not, St. Louis Has Big Plans For Its Mississippi RiverfrontWe got a tour of the “front door to our region” from Great Rivers Greenway executive director Susan Trautman. Plans for this area have been long in the making and were even altered to accommodate a potential NFL stadium.

Standing at the head of the Riverfront Trail, in front of the Ashley Street Power House, Trautman unfurled a map of the mixed-use plans and KMOX reporter Michael Calhoun asked where office space would be.

Trautman replied: “Based on the maps that I’ve seen for Amazon, we’re really looking at south of the Musial bridge and north of Lumiere.”

img 6711 Amazon Or Not, St. Louis Has Big Plans For Its Mississippi Riverfront

(Photo by Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

The entire site stretches from Eads Bridge to the Musial Veterans Bridge. Yes, that includes parts of Laclede’s Landing. A plaza is planned around the MetroLink station and residential buildings with retail are planned along Commercial Street.

Trautman says those low-rise buildings will have “great views of the river.”

gettyimages 696675222 Amazon Or Not, St. Louis Has Big Plans For Its Mississippi Riverfront

People walk past the signature glass spheres under construction at the Amazon corporate headquarters on June 16, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

But back to Amazon: has Trautman seen the “nature domes” being built on their Seattle campus?

“I have seen that,” she said. “That’s really cool, but I would invite you to live life outside here.”

Imagine a barge floating in the river with a biergarten. One rendering even showed a swimming pool on the barge. There’s an amphitheatre. Plans for a stream alongside the river where people could kayak.

Don’t forget Bissinger’s chocolate is already in the middle of all this.

These recreational components of the master plan are mostly directly along the river bank, leaving buildings to be set back beyond the reach of floodwaters. That’s a frequent question.

Trautman’s sales pitch for the river bank to any company looking for a headquarters. “This is the beginning of industry in the west and St. Louis has very much been the frontier.”

Amazon or not, Trautman says plans to remake the riverfront will press on.

“We really want to make St. Louis a better place to live,” she said.

More from Michael Calhoun
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