St. Louis is a city and port in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city developed along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms Missouri’s border with Illinois. In 2010, St. Louis had a population of 319,294; a 2014 estimate put the population at 317,419, making it the 60th-most populous U.S. city and the second-largest city in the state in terms of city proper population. The St. Louis metropolitan area includes the city as well as nearby areas in Missouri and Illinois; with an estimated population of 2,905,893, it is the largest in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau and named after Louis IX of France. Claimed first by the French, who settled mostly east of the Mississippi River, the region in which the city stands was ceded to Spain following France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War. Its territory east of the Mississippi was ceded to the Kingdom of Great Britain, the victor. The area of present-day Missouri was part of Spanish Louisiana from 1762 until 1803.
After the United States acquired this territory in the Louisiana Purchase, St. Louis developed as a major port on the Mississippi River. In the late 19th century, St. Louis was ranked as the fourth-largest city in the United States. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics. Immigration has increased, and the city is the center of the largest Bosnian population in the world outside their homeland.
The economy of St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. The city is home to several major corporations including Express Scripts, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Ralcorp, Monsanto and Sigma-Aldrich, as well as a large medical and research community. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball, and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The city is commonly identified with the 630-foot (192 m) tall Gateway Arch in Downtown St. Louis. As of 2013, the St. Louis Metropolitan Area is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, the third-highest in the Midwestern United States. St. Louis is home to two Fortune 500 companies: Peabody Energy and Ameren. In addition, seven other Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the MSA: Express Scripts, Emerson Electric, Monsanto, Reinsurance Group of America, Centene, Graybar Electric, and Edward Jones Investments.
With its French past and waves of Catholic immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, from Ireland, Germany and Italy, St. Louis is a major center of Roman Catholicism in the United States. St. Louis also boasts the largest Ethical Culture Society in the United States, and consistently ranks as one of the most generous cities in the United States, ranking ninth in 2013. Several places of worship in the city are noteworthy, such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, home of the world’s largest mosaic installation.
The city is defined by music and the performing arts, especially its association with blues, jazz, and ragtime. St. Louis is home to the St. Louis Symphony, the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, which has toured nationally and internationally to strong reviews. Until 2010, it was also home to KFUO-FM, one of the oldest classical music FM radio stations west of the Mississippi River. Unique city and regional cuisine reflecting various immigrant groups include toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, provel cheese, the slinger, the Gerber sandwich, the St. Paul sandwich, and St. Louis-style pizza, featuring thin crust and provel cheese. Some St. Louis chefs have begun emphasizing use of local produce, meats and fish, and neighborhood farmers’ markets have become increasingly popular, as well as one downtown. Artisan bakeries, salumeria, and chocolatiers also operate in the city.
FOREVER FLAWLESS Store-Plaza Frontenac
The Forever Flawless Store is located in Plaza Frontenac an upscale, two-level, enclosed, regional shopping center in the Frontenac area of metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri. Opened in 1974 and anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, it has been known for high-end tenants; many of which are unique to the region. Since 2011 Plaza Frontenac has been owned by a joint venture between Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and General Growth Properties.
Plaza Frontenac, designed to resemble a colonial style building, opened in 1974. Developed by a local real estate development company, its location and development was chosen in part because of the affluent surrounding areas. Saks Fifth Avenue, which had a store in Central West End St. Louis since the early 1950s, relocated its St. Louis store to the Plaza Frontenac location in 1973. Neiman Marcus, as part of a national expansion, signed on to anchor the project as well. In addition to the luxury retailers that could be found, it also became known for its opulent design. It featured fountains, wood floors, and prominent staircases at each end.
Plaza Frontenac is located in the affluent, first ring St. Louis suburb Frontenac off of Highway 64 and South Lindbergh Boulevard. It is roughly 12 miles from downtown St. Louis and only two and a half miles from the Saint Louis Country Club. It is considered part of “Mid County” neighborhood, but borders “West County” which is known for its wealthy, second ring suburbs and for attracting professional athletes and celebrities. These communities include Clarkson Valley, Chesterfield, Ladue, and Creve Coeur, Missouri. General Growth Properties reports the trade area as having a current population of 376,833 and a current average household income of approximately $110,000. Plaza Frontenac has a mix of specialty stores, beauty services, home goods, and apparel and is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, making it one of only nine malls in the country to have both department stores as anchors.
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