Sunset Ridge

Buildings are standing tall at a former rock quarry in West St. Louis County that has gone through more than its share of developmental trial and error, with plans hitting rock bottom for decades.

The quarry site has sat vacant without use since 1985. Its first development plan sank in 1999 three years after the site was filled. Another plan – to build offices, a restaurant and other facilities in 2012 – also fell through the cracks.

Now, however, progress is steady at the 28-acre space near Interstate 270 at the intersection of Manchester Road and Des Peres Road. The project formerly known as The Quarry is now known as Sunset Ridge at Manchester and is being developed by Casemark LLC of Clayton.

“The development is a unique, mixed-use development for St. Louis County providing residential, office and hotel attributes,” County Councilmember Colleen Wasinger [District 3] said. “It is a multi-million dollar development that hopes to add some amenities to not only the surrounding business community but also the residential area. In addition, road improvements and sidewalks are being done as part of the development.”

Wasinger represents the area surrounding the development, which is wedged between the cities of Town & Country and Des Peres in unincorporated St. Louis County.

The plan for Sunset Ridge at Manchester is to build three apartment buildings with a clubhouse, a two-story office building and a four-story hotel. Also planned are a bank, a fast food restaurant and a 60-unit, two-story assisted-living facility. The cost of the new development is expected to total about $100 million.

The completion of the senior living facility and apartments is expected around August or September of this year, according to Casey Urkevich, principal of Casemark LLC.

“In three to four months you will see the completion of the senior-living and the apartments, and by this time next year, you will see the completion of the hotel and office building as well,” Urkevich said.

Sunset Ridge appears to be succeeding thanks in part to its developers’ due diligence.

“Why did the previous developments fall through? This particular site is challenging to develop and construct,” Wasinger said. “In addition to site conditions, prior developers were requesting government incentives to make the project financially viable for them which is something I was not in favor of.”

Urkevich said, “As we were in the due diligence stage on the project prior to the start of any construction, we were able to line up 90 percent of the end users for the project.”

The project makes use of mixed-use zoning that allows both residential and commercial uses, and promotes pedestrian connections. Included in the current development plan are public sidewalks, increased green space and a less intense layout than previous plans for the site.

“Overall, the site has decreased in square footage density and is more aesthetically pleasing than the high-rise office buildings that were proposed in the past,” Wasinger said. “The site contains more green space and is more pedestrian friendly.”

The hope is that the new layout will make for a more pleasant experience for pedestrians and drivers alike. Over $1 million in improvements have been made to Des Peres Road, and two new traffic signals have been installed, according to Urkevich. Crosswalks also will be present and, within the actual development, there will be sidewalks and green space, including a retention pond.

“There’s a nice balance and flow to the area,” Urkevich said.

Located near the headquarters of Scottrade and Edward D. Jones with immediate access to Interstate 270 and amenities such as West County Shopping Center, developers hope Sunset Ridge at Manchester will attract younger professionals among its residents.

“It is right around that small business district where Scottrade and other businesses are located, so it may attract other businesses as well as provide residential living near places of employment or hotel options if necessary,” Wasinger said.