A historic transformation is underway that will soon create a new destination for climbers and fitness enthusiasts around the region. Climb So iLL, an indoor rock-climbing gym in the former Power Plant building in the Lafayette neighborhood of downtown St. Louis, is expanding into another period property, the Steel Shop, located near the Foundry Art Centre and the Missouri River in St. Charles, Missouri.

“The Steel Shop is an incredible historical building and is listed on the national register,” said Climb So iLL co-owner David Chancellor. “Our desire is to preserve the industrial character of the building — which has a sort of gritty, raw feel — then accent it with colorful features and artistic climbing walls.”

When complete later this year, the 30,000-square-foot building will house climbing walls and terrain ranging from 20 to 50 feet in height, able to accommodate a range of skill levels, from beginners to professional rock climbers.

“We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the ever-growing sport of indoor rock climbing,” said Chancellor. “We’re excited to be part of the St. Charles community and hope that this new facility cultivates a powerful climbing community for years to come.”

Chancellor anticipates the new gym will be open by late summer or early fall. The interior has been cleared, and the Walltopia-designed walls will arrive to be installed in June. In addition to multiple climbing zones, including a whimsical space for children, amenities will include areas for yoga and fitness, a boutique pro shop, locker rooms, event space, and a lounge for spectators.