Mixed Use Infill Proposed for Prominent Vacant Lot In The Grove

4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_1_feature

A proposal to build a small mixed use building on the northeast corner of Chouteau and Taylor Avenues in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood will go before the Park Central Development Corporation next week. The prominent corner in the city’s hottest development area has been vacant for more than a decade.

It was late last decade when the lot was to be part of a large mixed use development that disappeared with the Great Recession. The site was later proposed to be part of Aventura Phase III, which ended with Phase II. Then in 2013, a Hilton Home2 hotel was built along Taylor to the north, leaving the corner lot as a “pocket park”. Pushback from the neighborhood resulted in the developer, Above All Development, LLC, agreeing to eventually develop the corner lot.

They are now back with a proposal for an three-story building of approximately 7,000sf. The first floor would have a 1,300 sf office space, residential lobby and covered parking with a curb cut on Taylor. The second and third floors would each be comprised of three one-bed, one-bath apartments. The project description states apartments will have granite countertops, vinyl plank flooring, and stainless steel appliances. The project cost is estimated at $1,300,000 and could break ground as early as November of this year, with occupancy in May 2017.

4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_34475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_8

The developer is seeking support for a 10-year tax abatement. The 2015 property tax bill for the 5,800 sf lot was $655.32 according to city records. Tax abatement, especially in the city’s central corridor where the majority of development has occurred in recent years, has come under greater scrutiny, with residents and city political leaders calling for more scrutiny and fewer incentives.

Tax abatement across the city has been given as a matter of routine for projects big and small for years, with alderman endorsing incentives benefitting their ward, and aldermanic courtesy and the lack of a city development plan, allowing the practice to go unchecked. The argument was that in a city starved for investment, such an incentive would help stabilize neighborhoods and eventually pay off as properties rolled off 10-year or longer abatements. A recent comprehensive study of economic development incentives, first revealed by this site, has pushed the issue to the fore.

Images and project information were made available on the Park Central Development Corporation website.

4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_2 4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_4 4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_5 4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_6 4475 Chouteau at Taylor_The Grove_7

Chouteau_Taylor first render{2013 rendering of mixed use corner building at Chouteau and Taylor}

Chouteau_Taylor first site plan{2013 site plan of mixed use corner building at Chouteau and Taylor}

{site plan for Hilton Home2 hotel with pocket park}

{Aventura site plan showing unbuilt Phase III}

{pre-Great Recession proposal for the northeast corner of Chouteau and Taylor}