The North Sarah Development in the Vandeventer neighborhood is nearing completion. What is it?
Developers McCormack Baron Salazar have a convenient summary on their website:
Unit Count: 120
Street: N. Sarah Street and Finney Ave.
City: St. Louis
ZIP Code: 63113
North Sarah, a multi-family, mixed-use development, consists of 120 mixed-income rental units in garden apartments, townhouses, three mixed-use buildings (approx. 7,000 SF of commercial/retail space) and a fourth mixed-use building that includes management/community space (approx. 4,900 SF). This development represents a critical component of the North Central Redevelopment Plan that was developed over several years and completed in 2000 by the City of St. Louis, community stakeholders and residents.
Located in the North Central area of North St. Louis City, North Sarah is anchored by key St. Louis neighborhood assets on its edges, including Grand Center to the east, the Central West End to the west, and nearby Saint Louis University to the south and east. In the community’s core, a number of new civic, educational, commercial and residential developments have created nodes of reinvestment. However, despite this progress and potential, a number of blocks in the North Central district, including those targeted for the North Sarah development, remain heavily disinvested, preventing the neighborhood fabric from being “knit” back together as desired under the North Central Plan. The North Sarah development is a key connector in bridging current gaps in revitalization and catalyzing further reinvestment in the area.
The architecture of North Sarah celebrates the historic character of the community while featuring modern amenities and sustainable (“green” technology) to improve both the marketability and energy efficiency of the units. Specifically, the development is designed in accordance with Enterprise Green Communities criteria.
North Sarah also benefits from a creatively structured and capitalized Human Capital Planning and Implementation Program lead by Urban Strategies in collaboration with key community stake holders. The development will staff a community liaison that will assist with the coordination of supportive services and implementation of resident activities.
This photograph below shows one of the mixed use buildings that now line North Sarah. These buildings contain live-work retail spaces. In addition, the street has been narrowed with curb bulb-outs to reduce traffic speed on the street. New trees have been planted as well. Finally, new pedestrian-scaled street lights have been added throughout the development.
It must be emphasized that the vast majority of the entire four-block span of the North Sarah development was a vacant lot prior to development.
Residential buildings, shown below, line the streets of West Belle, CD Banks, and Finney. There are two main housing types that have been constructed: one is a gabled version (see first picture below) with colorful awnings and porches that gives off a more “traditional” vibe; the other is a walk-up row house-style unit that is more contemporary.
For more photographs of the development, check out pasa47’s Flickr page.
North Sarah will be breaking ground on a second—and larger—phase of construction in the near future. When all is said and done, the development will stretch from Vandeventer on the east to Whittier on the west, bringing hundreds of new units and thousands of square feet of retail space to an area that is presently mostly vacant lots.