Webster University ‘Gateway Campus’ to Anchor Arcade Building in Historic Old Post Office Square Redevelopment

| June 4, 2014
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Webster President Beth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster, and Dominium developer Jeff Hugget at the lease signing.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Webster President Beth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster, and Dominium developer Jeff Hugget at the lease signing.

Expansion will increase access, complete 20-year effort to redevelop Old Post Office Square

Webster University announced a partnership with lead developer Dominium Development and multiple commercial enterprises to complete the final piece of the Old Post Office Square redevelopment in downtown St. Louis, with Webster serving as the anchor tenant of a $116 million renovation of the historic Arcade Building.

As it was in the initial 1997 effort to renovate the Old Post Office, Webster University will again serve as the lynchpin and key tenant in the restored and remodeled Arcade Building, which is located at Ninth and Olive streets across the street from the Old Post Office building.

Set to open in 2016, just months after the conclusion of Webster’s centennial celebration, the new Gateway Campus will include offices, 12 classrooms, a café, an art museum and small auditorium.

“Webster University has been the university anchor for downtown St. Louis for 40 years. This expansion marks the next phase of our partnership with the city and those who live and work downtown,” said President Beth Stroble in the University announcement.

Arcade Building tour

Guests donned hard hats for a tour by Dominium, the lead developer of the $116 renovation.

“We know that vibrant cities depend on the educational opportunities and cultural offerings that universities provide. This dynamic new space enables us to partner more effectively with all who welcome a thriving St. Louis. For that reason, we have now named this campus of our university the Webster University Gateway Campus, grounding in this city’s history and future.”

Webster will use the ground level, mezzanine and second story of the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The rest of the 19-story building will include artist lofts and market-rate apartments.

Mayor Salutes Webster at Media Event

Local media and many Webster University community members were on hand for the press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, with passers by able to peer into the street-level space of the building for the first time in years.

Arcade media

After the announcement, media conducted interviews with Mayor Slay, President Stroble, and Provost Schuster.

At the announcement, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay had a message to future students of Webster at the Gateway Campus location.

“You’re in a prime location, the heart of downtown, in the fastest-growing neighborhood in the St. Louis region,” Slay said. “Webster University’s expansion is another example of the transformation that is happening here.”

In her remarks at the event, President Stroble cited the continued commitment to Webster’s now 40-year-long presence in downtown St. Louis.

“We know that having a downtown location means more St. Louisans have access to high-quality education right where they live and work,” Stroble said. “The potential that is here allows us to expand partnerships and reach even more people.”

“This is a great day for the generations of students who are going to enjoy the fruits of this project,” said Julian Schuster, Webster’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “The Gateway Campus is of course a gateway to a better future. But most importantly a  gateway to dreams — dreams to be conceived, dreams to be lived, dreams which will be achieved.”

Visitors perused architectural renderings and historic photos of the building's dramatic vaulted arcade.

Visitors perused architectural renderings and historic photos of the building’s dramatic vaulted arcade.

Dominium’s Jeff Hugget called the University “A great lead tenant for this project.” He also emphasized that with the completion of this long-dreamed project, “Webster University will be occupying some of the most architecturally stunning space in St. Louis.”

After the announcement, Hugget led visitors on tours of the space, explaining how its history and how it is about to be transformed.

The Arcade Building is itself made of two combined structures that were each built within a decade of the University’s founding in 1915 — the Wright Building in 1906, and the Arcade Building in 1916.

Many of its historic features will be restored as part of the redevelopment, with most St. Louisans and visitors getting to appreciate the building’s unique architecture for the first time.

Arcade Building - OPO

The Arcade Building is across the street from the iconic Old Post Office, which Webster helped redevelop in the ’90s and began occupying in 2004.

More Coverage

The news made its way through news media — and social media — throughout Wednesday:

 

News Coverage

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Category: St. Louis Campus News, Webster News

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