The Bottle District
The Bottle District is a six-block area north of Downtown St. Louis that is being redeveloped as a mixed-use entertainment and residential district. The area is located north of the city's convention center and west of Laclede's Landing.
The district is located in what was once known as the Kerry Patch neighborhood of the city, which was home to thousands of Irish immigrants in the 19th Century. The neighborhood gradually became more industrial in nature. The neighborhood is now called Columbus Square.
McGuire Moving and Storage Company, a longtime business located in the area, announced plans for redeveloping the district as an entertainment destination in 2004. Noted architect Daniel Libeskind was hired to design the district. The Ghazi Company of Charlotte, North Carolina is the co-developer of the Bottle District.
The first phase of the redevelopment was scheduled to open in 2007, but it is unclear when tenants will be able to move in. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 27, 2005. The first phase will include a Rawlings Sports museum, a Grand Prix Speedways kart-racing center, a boutique bowling alley, 250 residential units, and several restaurants. The first phase of the development is anticipated to cost $290 million and is being funded in part by $51.3 million in tax increment financing.
Several explanations for the origin of the name of the Bottle District have been given. It has been suggested that the name honors the longstanding connection between St. Louis and the brewing and bottling industries. Others have suggested that the name comes from bottles found buried on the property, or the many broken bottles found in the neighborhood. Finally, the site is noted for a decades old, 34 foot tall advertisement for Vess Soda, shaped like a bottle, which the developers intend to restore during the redevelopment.