Unique Single-Family Development And More Planned for The Grove

Vista 4

A unique four-unit single family development in The Grove has received an endorsement for tax abatement from the Park Central Development Corporation. Planned for 4310 Vista, across from Adams Elementary, the project has added a unit an moved east a few lots from a 2015 proposal.

Not only does the project demonstrate belief in demand for market-rate housing south of Manchester, it introduces a new and interesting housing form to the city. The equivalent of four narrow city lots will see four homes, two behind two facing Vista, and detached four-car garage.

Each home will own the land around it, with common ownership of the central courtyard and vegetable garden. The arrangement allows, not only the sharing of amenities and parking, but a different house form, avoiding the constraint of the typical 25ft-wide lot.

Vista 3

Vista 1

The 2015 proposal stated the exterior material will be all wood. The total project cost is estimated at $1.53M. Construction could begin in September, with completion in June 2017.

In addition, a second phase is planned for the corner of Vista and Tower Grove Avenues. There, a three-story mixed-use building will anchor a prominent corner in the neighborhood. There is also interest in the Columbia Iron Works site and the two and three-story historic buildings facing Tower Grove. The site is owned by Lamb’s Bride Church, which is located on the northeast corner of the intersection.

Vista 7

Vista 6

Vista 5

The previous design for the project included three homes, two stand alone, and one above the shared garage:

Another proposal for infill south of Manchester in The Grove received support for tax abatement as well. Planned are four traditional style duplexes that will feature 925 sf apartments.

The project would acquire four city-owned (LRA) lots on the 4300 block of Hunt Avenue, which has yet to see significant investment. The identical units would be built at 4358, 4345, 4315, and 4311 Hunt. The total project cost is estimated at just more than $1M. The developer is J2 Environs.

Hunt 3 Hunt 2 Hunt 1

For more than a decade, dozens of vacant lots have sat unused south of Manchester Avenue in The Grove (Forest Park Southeast neighborhood). The largest real estate holder is Forest West Properties, Inc. (AKA Washington University in St. Louis). Now, with the expansion of the medical center and adjacent Cortex, a market is emerging for the area.

Forest West owns 85 properties south of Manchester in The Grove, by our count. In February of this year, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued for the properties. It was expected that several developers would be chosen, but deadlines have come and gone without action. It’s anticipated that the RFI could be reissued, or the famously patient landowner could simply continue to wait.

In the meantime, individual parcels are being chipped away for various developments. In December of last year the Park Central Development Corporation endorsed a dozen development proposals from four different developers for vacant homes or lots across the neighborhood, though to-date none have broken ground and some parcels may become available.

Earlier that month, a proposal for a $500K custom home on Hunt Avenue that would repurpose an existing vacant home and occupy two vacant parcels, was given the green light. A $485K construction permit was issued for that project in February of this year.

4201 Norfolk proposal by Grove Investments{one of the approved infill projects for The Grove}

{custom home planned for Hunt Avenue}

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  • Paul Hohmann

    Nice designs and plan. What is the square footage for the homes? The look small for the construction cost. I assume the last building on the site comes down? Its a very plain brick shotgun, but still unfortunate to lose if it was savable. http://dynamic.stlouis-mo.gov/citydata/newdesign/parcelimages.cfm?handle=13982000175&Parcel9=398200175

  • Andy Crossett

    These look interesting. Taking the $1.53 million asking price, spread across 4 units, these would be at least $500,000 each. I’d want more than one space in a shared garage with that asking price. But I do like the design of the homes themselves.

    • Tim E

      Agree, $1.53 million cost on construction for the amount of square footage seems high especially for what you can buy in St. Louis. I’m wondering if a lot of these developments are coming in to steep of price for the actual development to happen. Alex notes 12 development proposals by 4 developers endorsed but no ground broken. I believe of all the good things noted in the posting their is one actual construction permit issued.
      Right now I would put my faith in GreenStreets getting started on the old commerce bank site and hopefully the Drury family can figure something on their end. Unfortunately, the biggest landlord with the biggest checkbook sits on the sidelines hoping for an ideal agreement.

  • Guest

    The new project is very, very nice…love that floor plan! The common courtyard and vegetable garden are great features, too. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if these were grabbed up quickly.

  • Framer

    Wow, those Hunt Ave. duplexes have got to be the ugliest things to come off a drawing board in years! Seriously!

    Love the Vista project, though.

  • Presbyterian

    I love the Grove. It has to be the most diverse neighborhood in St. Louis: racially, socio-economically and architecturally.

    • Riggle

      Not even close, and its not really a neighborhood, but I take it you mean Forest Park Southeast. Tower Grove East and South blow it out of the water in most diversity metrics. Fox Park, Benton Park West, and Dutchtown are also probably more diverse by most metrics. If you mean “most diverse place in the City that midCounty people go to”, then yes.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Yes. Tower Grove East, and especially Tower Grove South have A LOT more white people than The Grove, AKA Forest Park Southeast. Fox Park and Benton Park West have pretty similar demographics.

        Dutchtown and Tower Grove South are huge neighborhoods, 16k and 13K, so I suppose there’s just more there, and so more different things?

        I guess it depends on how want wishes to see diversity. Is TGE more diverse than The Grove because it’s closer to 50/50 black/white? Is The Grove more diverse because of a wider spread of education levels?

        • John R

          Places like FPSE are not diverse, imo. It’s a black/white neighborhood. Better than those that are (nearly) all black or all white but it doesn’t really reflect true diversity. That award goes to Dutchtown as it’s black/white/asian/hispanic/immigrant all-of-the-above. .

          • John R

            On closer inspection I need to amend that statement to say TGS & Dutchtown were pretty much neck-and-neck at the 2010 census on broad racial/ethnic diversity…. Dutchtown had slightly higher percentage hispanic origin than TGS did but TGS had slightly higher percentage of Asian population. Both had considerably more than the citywide average with hispanics and Asians.

            I’d venture to say CWE has the highest percentage of Asian population but it doesn’t have many hispanics.

          • Riggle

            Yup. Dutchtown, gravois park, bpw, bevo and the tower groves are where the multi ethnic diversity is. Places like shaw, fox park and fpse are mostly black and white, but they do have a lot of different income levels.

        • Riggle

          The tower groves have asians, and tgs has some hispanics. Fpse is really just black and white, thats what I mean by more diverse.

        • Riggle

          Bpw also has asians and hispanics, fpse does not

          • matimal

            Slicing and dicing everything by race and ethnicity identity is one of America’s biggest problems.

          • Riggle

            Some people value ethnic diversity

          • matimal

            Why? Are some people better than others in some way? Is it just fashion..as in…’some of my best friends are……?

          • Riggle

            This isn’t the place to explain it to you.

          • matimal

            My questions are rhetorical. You don’t have some ‘profound insights’ I haven’t read a thousand times before. My point is that race and ethnicity are not their own justifications. Social difference is the thing that creates a desire for social reform. Difference is not in and of itself good.. or bad. It is simply the circumstance that inspires a society to reform itself in ways that make room for all. Parading ‘our’ ethnics around is the problem, not the solution, for creating a more inclusive and humane society.

          • Riggle

            Whatever you say, I value diversity and want to live in a diverse place, so I do. FPSE aint all that diverse.

          • matimal

            Sounds like tokenism to me. I hope you don’t see it that way and that you actually engage people as human beings and not as representations of ethnicities and races.

      • STLEnginerd

        A part of me wishes there was a concerted effort to burn every copy of the city neighborhood maps, and then water-board everyone who refused to forget the historic designations, for no other reason than so people will stop saying “The Grove,”, and “Dogtown” are not neighborhoods.

        • Riggle

          The Grove was an effort to brand the business district. If we want to refer the FPSE as the grove now thats fine, just change the name. Pretty different situation than dogtown, which is an historic term for a group of three hoods. The grove is more like “the loop”. Do people in Stink D live “in the loop”. Sorta/not really IMO

      • matimal

        We St. Louisians love our boundaries, don’t we.

        • Riggle

          I know I do, our tight city limits keep a bunch of suburban crap out of the City

          • matimal

            I can understand your resentments, but this view is part of St. louis’ problem.

          • Riggle

            The “problem” is not investing in the urban core, “its all one st louis” is the problem.

          • matimal

            I agree. It isn’t the attitude of suburbanites. It’s the behavior of investors.

          • Alex Ihnen

            I hope the off-topic back and forth can be limited. It *can be interesting, but more often just occupies the conversation with uninformative argument.

          • matimal

            No development is an island. I argue that there is a connection between the behavior of investors, attitudes of suburbanites, and the number and quality of developments such as the one you describe in this article. Still, I don’t seek to crowd out others.

  • Justin Idleburg

    What a great plan of action!!! I can’t wait to see the finished project.