City Manager Gregory Rose at the Feb. 25 meeting of the City Council of University City recommended that the city develop and conduct a hotel feasibility study.
“I think it is a reasonable thing to do,” said Rose. “Currently, if you wanted to stay in a hotel in U. City, you can’t. There are none.”
Rose said there is a “sizable” market for hotel users due to University City’s proximity to St. Louis, Washington University and to Clayton. He said there is a lot of building activity going on, particularly the Centene Corporation’s headquarters expansion.
Centene is building on just over nine acres along Forsyth, between Hanley to the west and Forest Park Parkway to the east. A small portion of the project area, near the Forest Park Parkway, is within University City.
Centene officials claim the project will bring several thousand new jobs to the area, and that they also intend to bring in staff from around the country for events and training. That training would be held at a 1,000-seat auditorium that is proposed as part of the project, and at a training facility at the former Maryland School, which is currently being rehabbed.
Maryland School, which Centene purchased from the Clayton School District, is in Clayton but very near University City.
Rose anticipates that the entire city will be looked at as possible sites for a hotel. He said two likely locations would be Delmar or Olive near Interstate 170.
Joe Edwards owns the Moonrise Hotel on Delmar, just outside of University City in St. Louis. He observed the discussion and afterward said that the process would be “interesting to see.”