Revised Plan for $40M, 10-Acre Development on The Hill Moves Forward

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In May of this year, a $45M residential infill project proposed for a long vacant, and partially burnt, warehouse in The Hill neighborhood was met with opposition. Its 450 residential units and height of the main apartment building were said by some residents to be out of character for the area largely filled with pint-sized single-family homes.

Now developer Sansone Group in partnership with Draper & Kramer (the same developer as the nearby Southwest Bank/BMO Harris site) is back with a revised vision for the 10-acre site. The revised plan envisions a $35-40M development comprised of 292 apartments, 58 townhomes, and 15 single-family homes.

Details have been shared with residents of The Hill and were discussed with visitors at the popular Giro della Montagne bicycle race over Labor Day weekend. A subcommittee of neighborhood business owners and residents have been meeting regularly with the developer and believe they’ve arrived at a proposal that will find support. With at least preliminary approval from the neighborhood in place, the developer will begin to work with the city to address development concerns and issues. The new plan reduces the height of the development and the number of residential units.

From our previous story: Up To 450 Residential Units, Other Uses, Proposed for Site on The Hill

Daggett_The Hill

Last night, representatives from Sansone Group presented plans for a mixed use development to replace more than 10 acres of warehouse and industrial complex in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis. The developer has the former Owens-Illinois Glass Co. industrial complex under contract, and envisions up to 450 residential units.

The presentation also included plans to rehab a portion of the white brick building on Daggett, which partially burned last July. New single-family homes would front Hereford to the west of the property and behind would be a large multi-story apartment building. Example images shown at the meeting included the luxury 278-unit Cortona at Forest Park

The Hill aerial

The HillLast year the property, including a parcel north of Daggett, was listed for approximately $6M by Berry Grant commercial real estate firm principle Bob Flynn. We wrote at the time that a $4M offer was under consideration. It’s not known if that offer was from Sansone Group.

The mixed-use development plan appears to attempt to retain the scale of the neighborhood by placing single-family homes and retaining at least a portion of the warehouse on the property’s edges. The large multi-family building at the property’s center would be surrounded by a parking garage and appears to include a parking garage as well.

The network of warehouse and office space constituting 5006-5030 and 5019-5021 Daggett Avenue is located in the shadow of the soon to be replaced Kingshighway viaduct, across both streets fronting the longtime St. Louis favorite Rigazzi’s Italian restaurant. Buildings date from 1910, and include expansion in 1923, 1942, and 1946, according to city records.

Continue reading: Up To 450 Residential Units, Other Uses, Proposed for Site on The Hill

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*First images of 09/22/16 revision via @andrewarkills on Twitter (now 293 units):

the-hill_1the-hill_2

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  • mc

    NOI ITALIANI…. QUESTO SVILUPPO NON E’ PER ALTRI MA PER NOI.

  • mc

    Noi italiani sono i migliori di tutto il mondo. The Hill e’ solo per NOI.

  • mc

    I want to see Italian flags and culture everywhere in this new development.

  • STLrainbow

    My 2c on this site is that it doesn’t have to be particularly dense to move things forward… I think having decent urban form is what’s key here for this essentially out-of-sight site. And hopefully utilizing a decent amount of the existing warehouse complex.

    I’m more keen on seeing strong design come to the Shaw vacant lots and ideally a whole redevelopment of the Kingshighway and Southwest corner.

  • Imran

    Wish someone with vision and understanding of social sustainability would REUSE this battered yet handsome complex and create something uniquely beautiful. Why do we keep making the same mistake ad nauseam?

  • Reading the ridiculous overreactions to this and the proposed apartment complex in Mehlville, I realized that “renter” has become the new code word for “black”.

    • Adam

      yep.

    • citylover

      Even worse: “apartment projects and single family homes are like oil and water. They don’t mix.”

      • a black liquid to represent the apartment projects? good imagery. at least the bigots are literate.

        • and extra points for use of the word “projects” instead of “complex” or “buildings”

          • UrbanDesigner

            Designers use the word “project” because that is how they refer to the work they are hired to do. ALL of their work is referred to as a project. Again, don’t assume the worst. Look at the context and intent of the writing.

            BTW most design offices have some of the most diverse work forces out there. They come up with their ideas as a collaboration of those diverse ideas. If they are true urban designers, they will invite input from those in the area, and include them in the design process.

          • Adam

            I think he’s making an intentional distinction between “project” and “projects”. he’s referencing government housing projects, not the word “project” in general.

        • UrbanDesigner

          Those are the actual roofs.
          Don’t look for racism under every rock. Look for ways to bridge the gap.

          • Adam

            i doubt he thinks it was intentional. it’s an unhappy but appropriate coincidence.

          • (a) this is America: I don’t have to look under any rocks at all, racism is the air we breathe.

            (b) unconscious racism is a thing. unintentional racism is a thing. and together, they’re a bigger problem than open prejudice.

    • Will M

      people are using renter negatively because they associate renter with transient (i.e. not inclined to invest in the neighborhood, moving quickly through it without being considerate for those who are invested in the neighborhood). I agree that such an argument is more emotionally based than factually founded, but i doubt anyone honestly associates renter with black alone, or assigns a “renter” a stereotypical superficial association (like that the renter has a race or gender). I encourage you to view such criticism through the eye of a development oriented urban planner, so as to offer a reaction that is productive to the overall conversation of this development and others.

  • It seems that, in an effort to cater both to the neighborhood and a denser (see, more lucrative) project, developers missed the mark on each.

    My “perfect world” scenario starts and ends with a Daggett/The Hill Metrolink station (go DeSoto route!) at Kingshighway wherein the easternmost, red brick facade is preserved and incorporated into a new mixed-use project. I envision 8-10 commercial stalls here, with a mix of new and relocated businesses creating an uninterrupted stretch of activity from the station and into the more traditional Hill neighborhood.

    Here I also see appropriately setback market rate apartments (or condos, I guess) for floors 3 to 6 at the red brick portion, and to a wedge portion immediate southwest along the rail line, which would create an excellent visual presence at “street level” on Kingshighway. The remainder of the site — west of the red brick on Daggett and the Hereford block — would be single-family townhomes or three-flats more befitting and respectful of the “residentially-ness” always prescribed by the Hills’ inhabitants.

    This, to me, is the best possible use for the property (Metrolink station or not!). Heck, I’d even volunteer to coordinate a regular street event (Italian-focused or otherwise!) here where the road is closed, lights strung across Daggett, and good times are had by all, young and old!

    If someone could put this design idea through SketchUp (or another preferred design program), I’d just love to see how this concept looks — especially the Daggett side. I’d take a run at it, but I suspect it wouldn’t go over to well with my higher-ups if used staff time on it. 🙂

    • Scott Nauert

      Kevin – The final answer from UP about Metro using the Desoto Sub and/or any adjacent right-of way is absolutely no. Dreams may be a good thing, but it won’t be going that way.

      • I know, I know! Maybe in a far-flung future where business and industry boomerangs back from the suburbs and we’ve added another 150,000 or so residents. Like I said though, even without a Metrolink line here, I believe a development like that I described would seem to offer the best possible use for this space.

        It all goes back to cultural sustainability, to me. Strangely (and disappointingly) unheard of in St. Louis, The Hill has retained its heritage. But it also is considered by outsiders (wrongly?) as a closed community. To thrive, The Hill needs a refresh of sorts. And to secure its cultural heritage, it needs a little more…promotion, I guess?

        The Daggett corridor I described would provide just that — a signature stretch that meshes traditional Italian and a unique St. Louis vibe. Light strands strewn above the street, sidewalk cafes, buskers, and Italian pride prevalent in flags, wall art and decor. Maybe the easternmost commercial stall becomes home to a two-story Italian cultural center and language center. Maybe that’s connected to a music venue with a heavy slant toward traditional and modern Italian music and entertainment.

        Perhaps there’s a cozy winery across from Oliva, or a daytime bistro/coffee house or two — either from a new entrepreneur or as an expansion of an existing Hill mainstay. Add in regular heritage series like dances, bocce tournaments, and food/drink events and it becomes an (inter)national postcard for the City and the neighborhood!

      • Tim E

        I don’t think KevinB’s thinking is too far fetched if the price to buy the RoW is right. I believe UP has stated that they are not agreeable to having metrolink next to their active tracks. However, I believe they have only one active customer on this line that ties in with another active line that follows the river front. This is very different situation where as a cross county extension into south county (which I believe is being tagged as MetroSouth) from Shrewsbury via a much busier and active BNSF line is going to be an expensive affair.

        Another way to put it. I think it would in the city and county best interest via Bi-State to pursue an outright purchase of the UP RoW future corridor and transit use. Name a price

        • That’s been my thought too.

          Spinning out the idea completely, the City could identify all rail-reliant businesses currently located along the DeSoto route and incentivize them to move operations to (or near) the renovated and remediated Carondelet Coke site along the Lesperance Branch.

          Then it’s just a matter of purchasing (or long-term leasing) De Soto from UP/TRRA…and maybe giving up some City-owned land near the Lesperance for UP track improvement/expansion. With the grade separation already in place, Bi-State saves on site preparation and avoids unneeded demolition.

          • Scott Nauert

            Kevin – On a local/city level, both the Lesperance Branch (Davis Street to Lesperance along the river) and the Oak Hill Line (Davis Street to Tower Grove) has seen a notable decrease in the level of manufacturing and industry over the past decade, a trend that mirrors the rest of the nation. Both lines were busy, double track operations into the 1980s and Lesperance Yard was a major terminal for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. After several major rail mergers in the 80s, Union Pacific acquired larger classification yards on the Illinois side of the river and began downgrading operations on the Missouri side, particularly Lesperance Yard and the Lesperance Branch which fed traffic to both the Desoto Subdivision at Davis St., and the Carondelet Branch through Lemay and on out to Kirkwood, much of which is today’s Grant’s Trail. From a public policy standpoint, my opinion is the City should capitalize on the level of vacant industrial sites along both lines and work with the railroad to attract new rail-reliant businesses. Diversity is key to a successful metropolis.

        • Scott Nauert

          Tim – Not sure how closely you follow rail ops, but UP performed major upgrades to this portion of the Desoto Sub (Oak Hill Branch) in 2012 due to major traffic increases. In addition to a new quarry recently opening in Middle Brook, MO, and with the other two quarries doubling their amount of rail business, this route is used as a relief valve to UP’s Chester Sub across the river. It currently sees Amtrak’s Texas Eagle 2x a day, a daily local freight, and 4-10 through-freights including loaded rock and empty oil trains. There are no alternatives to routing trains away from the Oak Hill Branch, as there are VERY restrictive tonnage and train length requirements on the Carroll Street approaches to both the TRRA High Line under the Arch and to the MacArthur Bridge. Compounding this is how Amtrak’s Texas Eagle enters the City. If it ran via Lesperance Street, not only does that add a lot of time to the schedule due to slow speed and conflicting local trains, it would mean a shove move into the station from Poplar Jct., causing more congestion/interference on the TRRA’s tracks. Simply put, you will not ever see UP sell this right-of-way.

          • Scott Nauert

            Last weekend, here’s a southbound empty rock train approaching Bischoff Avenue on the Desoto Sub/Oak Hill Branch in The Hill, headed to Fred Weber’s Iron Mountain, MO, quarry. This is one of several daily through freights

          • STLrainbow

            I noticed an oil train yesterday… good to hear you say its empties.

          • Scott Nauert

            Residue in empty cars can be just as flammable or in some cases, more flammable than a load. With that said, we have not lost a single life to an oil train crash in the United States. Going further, we have significant fatalities related to semi truck crashes on I-44, which also traverses The Hill neighborhood. On a national level, an average of 4,000 people lose their lives in semi truck crashes (I’m sure you see the lawyer ads on TV frequently!).. Conversely, we see an average of 900 fatalities in the rail industry – a vast majority of which were either motorists or trespassers who were breaking the law. In summary, I-44 through this neighborhood claims more lives in just a few years than the subject UP line has in over 120 years…

          • Tim E

            Thanks, I didn’t realize that UP had started to put that much traffic back on the line… Undoubtly the right price is way beyond the budget for foreseeable future

          • Scott Nauert

            Last weekend, here’s a southbound empty rock train approaching Bischoff Avenue on the Desoto Sub/Oak Hill Branch in The Hill, headed to Fred Weber’s Iron Mountain, MO, quarry. This is one of several daily through freights that use this trackage. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8c6f391bddb9d85e70e727a06712a2e2e4d88e2130cd3ca481a780997553655.jpg

  • Don

    The Hill is a unique neighborhood unlike any other in the City. Even in the darkest days of the City, The Hill was always a solid community of families that revolved around St Ambrose. People newer to St Louis look at the housing stock and don’t appreciate how this community has functioned for more than 100 years and remains full of several generations who have lived their lives here. There is no crime on the Hill and there never has been. If you wanted to buy a house on The Hill, you went to the Monsignor and told him you needed a house for your family. He found you a house that was right for you (as he defined it). If you wanted to sell your house and move to a bigger house, you went to the Monsignor and if he agreed your family needed a bigger house, he found a you a bigger house and a buyer for your old house. I’m told to some extent it is still this way.

    There are many neighborhoods in the City that could use a development like Sansone is proposing, but I don’t believe The Hill is one of them. I want that old glass plant and warehouses gone probably more than most, but not at the expense of cheap apartments. I’d like to see serious single family brick housing stock built in it’s place for sale to people who want to make a home in this community. Nothing less is appropriate.

    Concerns about the narrow one way streets and traffic are legitimate, but those problems can be easily solved. Good housing stock for sale and not rent is the real issue here.

    I assume any ‘neighborhood committee’ reports to Monsignor Bommarito. I hope they don’t sell out one of the last remaining great urban communities in the country.

    • johnny1421

      I’m a 4th generation Hill resident myself. What makes me stay is close proximity to Forest Park, the businesses inside the Hill and of course my Italian ancestry. The Hill population isn’t immune to population loss just like most neighborhoods. I personally rather have a luxury apartment complex of about 300 units with some townhouses and single family homes then hold out hoping eventually we can just add a bunch of single family homes. In turn it’ll help the current businesses in the neighborhood and maybe even open up some new ones as well. Alex here from NextSTL said in a previous article that this development would get the neighborhood population close to 1990 levels which is a good thing. I don’t see traffic being a concern at all. We’re talking about 500 cars a day maybe? Over the course of the day it’s really minuscule

      My only concerns are how it’s going to look. They need to make it fit the feel of the neighborhood, even have the streets have an Italian feel to it would make it that much more of a impact

      • Billikens&Bricks

        Agreed. And I’ll add that it will not “fit” or have a good “feel” in the way it is currently proposed.

        I know this has been mentioned before but reconnect the street grid. It will force many of the buildings to be built smaller and to scale.

        • johnny1421

          Yea I’m hoping the design itself changes. I don’t mind the numbers they’re putting out unit wise just make it something that feels like it belongs in the city but doesn’t forget the Italian heritage that the Hill retains

          Hopefully we’ll see a more detailed design because the one new photo doesn’t leave a lot to be desired

        • zante

          It has to be better than the mess that is next to Rigazzi’s. That looks like a war zone.

        • rgbose

          Why is this so hard? Lack of vision? City doesn’t want more streets to take care of? Less profit?

          • Tim E

            Take about a great basis for a design, proposal if the stakeholders would start with RG’s map. You can easily more dense dwellings near existing RR RoW that matches with other larger structures exist on other side and the single residential, row houses, townhouse etc would match up better with existing neighborhood & structures to the east as you go into the Hill

      • Your comments made me think of something, and as a 4th Generation Hillster (Hillian? Hilladian?), I hope you can answer or estimate.

        The Hill is a great neighborhood with a rich Italian heritage, yes. I’ve always appreciated that The Hill continues to thrive as one of the city’s few cultural enclaves, but it seems that as the old families leave or pass on, it loses that a bit. Of new people moving in, what percentage do you think are Italian?

        I’m with you. To keep the heritage alive — to maintain The Hill as an Italian enclave — I think modern living options — and new residents — must be sought. Even if those moving in aren’t Italian (or of Italian descent) themselves, the neighborhood gets strengthened and refreshed, allowing the charm of The Hills culture, food, events and community to be refreshed and appreciated itself.

        • johnny1421

          That’s always a concern as I doubt the majority moving in are Italian but I don’t really have any estimates just anecdotal evidence of course. Nothing wrong with it as well. Even if it ends up being a huge melting pot I think it’s great for the neighborhood to embrace that culture. You see it with many neighborhoods in the city. Hopefully this developer does the same

          Also Hillster sounds good lol

        • Terri

          You’d be surprised how many people move back to The Hill after a generation or two have been away. I moved here about 8 years ago and my grandson who lives with me is a 5th generation Hill descendant. I know we are not the only ones.

    • Riggle

      This must be a parody

    • Alex Ihnen

      I agree that crime is quite low in The Hill, though it’s not crime-free: https://graphics.stltoday.com/apps/crime/neighborhoods/the-hill/.

      And I know the mantra of the neighborhood is that all the homes sell off-market, but that’s no longer true.

      Lastly, as we documented here, The Hill isn’t without threats to its future – namely depopulation. It’s very clearly at its least populated since its founding, losing 18% of its population since 1990. The most recent Census counted 11% of properties vacant. The population isn’t going to rebound with single family homes and pressures of traffic and supporting local businesses will continue to increase with population decrease (more here: https://nextstl.com/2016/07/stl-400k-add-residents-st-louis-city/)

      The Hill’s a great, wonderful, beautiful neighborhood, but we can’t ignore its challenges.

      • Don

        I’m not naive to these challenges and understand realtors sell more homes in the neighborhood than ever before. The neighborhood doesn’t have to be at maximum density to thrive and density alone is hardly a panacea. It is essential to the future of the neighborhood that subject property be redeveloped but not with a suburban apartment complex akin to what appears to be proposed. Urban townhomes, condos, lofts, etc. would make an excellent addition to the neighborhood. Much of the housing stock on The Hill is too small, too old and too dilapidated for contemporary living. New, modern housing stock would go a long way to reversing depopulation. If we want families to remain they need a place to live including modern single family homes.

        I don’t mean to suggest that the way the neighborhood survived the past is how it must proceed into the future. I just want to see redevelopment that maintains the neighborhood as a place to raise families. The long term survival of St Louis depends upon people no longer leaving when they have children. This means there must be places for families to live. The Hill has been such a place for generations. Surely we can do better than a large sprawling ‘apartment complex’.

        The City needs to demand more for this neighborhood.

    • STLrainbow

      “one of the last remaining great urban communities in the country.” I live in one of those over here in Tower Grove South. I bet we have others in the city, too!

  • Will M

    how much of the existing structure will be saved? im mostly concerned with the larger brick warehouses on the southern and eastern edges of the site.

    edit: i guess most of it is brick. my revised question would be this – how much of the existing structure will be incorporated into the new development? in my opinion that would go a long way and would really cement the project with the history of the hill and its past for this specific site.

  • bob

    all that traffic on the one way streets…all those renters speeding through the neighborhood…all that parking looks awful…all those people in this small area…crime will go up..traffic will go up…there will be less parking…less families, more college kids and renters. we might be moving.

    • Riggle

      Have a nice life, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!

      • Josiah

        Apparently only renters speed. Crime will go down because they won’t be this massive abandoned warehouse taking up a huge portion of the neighborhood

        • tony

          Apparently families can’t be renters either.

          • billings

            a lot of renters on the hill already.

          • zante

            So true. Young moderns don’t want the tiny shotgun houses, so they become landlords when they inherit them.

        • Don

          There is no crime on The Hill and ever has been.

          • LoveTheHill

            Don, there is crime on The Hill. You must not live on The Hill.

          • Don

            https://graphics.stltoday.com/apps/crime/neighborhoods/the-hill/

            Fortunately, records of these things are maintained. For as long as records have been kept, Crime on the Hill as always been among the lowest in the City. The Hill has never had a “crime problem” while it is literally true that crime occurs. And more to to the point, the subject property has never been a factor in criminal activity on the Hill.

      • later bob!

    • Mark Leinauer

      Am I the only one here that took his comment as satire?

  • Ian Storm

    Is the scale off on that last site plan, since the article mentions houses fronting Hereford, but I don’t see those in the picture. Would the houses have no yards then and basically just back up to a large parking lot?

  • Brett

    Would enjoy just single and two families. A complex has no place in The Hill.

    • Riggle

      Boohoo

      • Brett

        This development is just going to be made of shitty materials and look like Aventura or CWE apartments. Brick rowhouses and single lot homes would look a lot better and would bring more permanent residents to the neighborhood.

        • Will M

          no doubt about it that what you are saying would be more advantageous. What makes you think this will look like aventura?

          • Brett

            Why? Complexes and towers should be thriving near the urban core. Sorry to say, but The Hill is just inside the city limits, and already has dense residential existing, but on an appropriate scale to the neighborhood. I probably will never understand why people want to live on top of one another, especially in this city where everyone owns a car and has no incentive to change that. Towers are suitable for an urban area like CWE or Downtown — here there neighborhood is 1-3 stories for the most part.

            I’m not against development here, in fact it’s needed. They could easily start with rehabbing the warehouses into lofts or condos, though, and not but put an eyesore over another eyesore.

          • Adam

            just inside city limits? have you looked at a map lately?

          • Brett

            It’s just over a mile into the city limits, yes?

          • Adam

            Ellendale, Franz Park, and Lindenwood Park are “just inside” city limits. the Hill is well inside. the entire city is only about 8 miles wide.

          • Will M

            about 3-4 from the river to clayton at its widest from East-West. the Hill is not in the center like Shaw, but it borders it as well as those that nearly border the county. I would put it well inside the city

          • John

            Agreed. It would be nice to see owner occupied loft condos, in addition to the single family houses. Brick, stone and other high-end materials are preferred. Too many lackluster apartment complexes are sprouting in St. Louis. Although rehab of the warehouse is admirable, this proposal warrants more enhancements. Make it better and enhance the neighborhood.

          • Adam

            “I probably will never understand why people want to live on top of one
            another, especially in this city where everyone owns a car and has no
            incentive to change that.”

            there IS incentive as is clearly demonstrated by the success of the housing markets in the city’s few semi-dense neighborhoods. density allows for wonderful things like public transit and walkable services so that people don’t HAVE to drive everywhere because—believe it or not—many people would prefer to not have to drive on a daily basis, not to mention the damage it does to the environment. but any time there’s a movement to densify anything in St. Louis all the NIMBYs come out and say “why would anybody want density when you can just drive everywhere?”

          • Brett

            Or not, given the previous proposal which includes a ton of parking spots.

            What I’m saying is that the Hill already has dense housing, and is walkable. I just think that an apartment complex will look like shit.

          • johnny1421

            It’s going to look amazingly better then the shit that has been there for 25 years. The look of it can be changed for sure. They will be a lot of brick that’s going to be saved from what was mentioned in the past so hopefully it can be tied into the development

          • Adam

            it’s walkable as long as you don’t need to go anywhere outside of the Hill. and it’s only dense in comparison to, say, a subdivision in Fenton. St. Louis has a ton of gaps to fill if it’s ever going to be a place where people can choose to live without a car. sorry that you automatically speculate that an apartment building will look like shit. i’ve seen lots and lots of apartment buildings that look rather nice.

          • Don

            We’re not talking about abstract apartment buildings that can be amazing, we’re talking about the renderings here of a suburban apartment complex with a sprawling parking lot.

          • Adam

            great, then work to get the aesthetics changed instead of immediately shitting all over the prospect of apartments. sure i’d rather the apartment portion of the development not be surrounded by parking, but the parking will be hidden by the portions fronting Dagget and Hereford. if this turns out anything like the Highlands apartments over on Oakland—which all have ample surface lots—it’ll still be a win for the neighborhood and the city over all due to the increased population and density. i just think it’s funny that nobody in the Hill complains about ample parking until it’s coupled to rental units and *gasp* RENTERS! remember how back before WW2 most of the people in St. Louis and every other city rented instead of owning?

          • Riggle

            Well, if you want to leave the Hill you take something called… THE BUS! Its not hard, some of us do it everyday

          • Adam

            that’s why i said “walkable”. you know, that thing that people do in practically every other city outside of the midwest?

          • Riggle

            Actually, people use tranist all over the world to get around cities, it has nothing to do with the midwest. If you take walkable to mean only walking you can walk to south grand, shaw, morganford, the grove and even the cwe from the hill

          • Adam

            I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT TRANSIT. I NEVER MENTIONED TRANSIT. I’m talking about being able to walk comfortably BETWEEN neighborhoods without crossing through vacant deserts. Sure, you COULD walk from the Hill to anywhere else in the city but the journey would be miserable, which is why nobody does it. Go to any major city on the east or west coast and people walk everywhere all the time. it’s not rocket science.

          • Riggle

            Its not miserable to walk to from shaw or tower grove south or east to the Hill, in fact, thats how I get there. Just because you dont do it doesn’t mean nobody else does. Go to any major City neighborhood, walk everywhere all the time, its not rocket science. Youve got some great data.

          • Adam

            you mean drive to any city neighborhood, walk around a little bit, then get back in your car and drive to a different neighborhood? because that’s what people do in St. Louis. if it’s so enjoyable to walk from the Hill to surrounding neighborhoods then why don’t more people do it? go walk around in, say, Boston or DC for a while and you’ll have all the data you need.

          • Riggle

            I dont care how you get between neighborhoods. I’ll continue to walk and take the bus, you can keep telling me how I dont exist, good luck with that

          • Adam

            oh, you exist. but you’re a unicorn in St. Louis. and that’s because, in general, St. Louis’ pedestrian environment is shit. and it’s shit because—with the exception of a few choice neighborhoods—it’s low-density with tons of vacant lots and wide roads. density = better pedestrian experience = more pedestrians. i’m not talking about 40-story towers everywhere. i’m talking about a contiguous urban fabric.

          • Riggle

            Great talking points, I’ll be out there walking between nabes. Like I’ve been doing my whole life, with many others that also do it it here in st louis. Enjoy the basement. I’ll keep walking my City

          • Adam

            fight the good fight. say hi to that one other person you encounter during your walk. and let’s remember what we’re arguing about. i’m not contesting that you and a few other people walk in St. Louis. i’m saying that St. Louis’ fractured fabric discourages many many more people from walking on a regular basis, as is obviated if you go to any city in the US (ne the world) that has a more contiguous fabric than St. Louis. that’s why this apartment development on the Hill is a small step toward a more pedestrian friendly St. Louis.

          • Riggle

            No, we are arguing about the existence of an urban fabric in st louis. Its there, you might see it if you walked places, but driving between them you wont see it. Im arguing that you dont know what you are talking about. There are many gaps, but there are also connected neighborhoods you can walk between. Soulard, benton park, cheokee, south grand. Downtown, midtown, central west end. the central corridor and the near south side are two fantastic nodes of walkabilty. Get out of your car and give them a shot.

          • Adam

            i grew up in St. Louis and haven’t lived there for a while, but i visit a few times a year. and when i’m there i walk around as much as possible. to be clear, I love St. Louis and hope to move back soon. that said, it’s patently clear that St. Louis does not have as much pedestrian activity as many many other cites. and that’s reflected, for example, in this: http://cityobservatory.org/the-storefront-index/ i admire your conviction, but the reality is that St. Louis’ fabric is broken and that’s why people don’t walk around more. island nodes separated by a sea of vacancy don’t encourage walking (they’re also not conducive to robust transit). until St. Louis addresses those gaps by building things like the proposed apartment complex on the Hill (which is where this entire discussion started, remember) and adding many more poeple, the city’s streets will not be vibrant. again, i appreciate your anecdote but the data is pretty clear.

          • Alex Ihnen

            I think it’s +/- miserable. I think it’s valid to conclude that others think it’s miserable too, judging by the foot traffic between such places. Do people do it here? Of course. Not enough people. Why? Because it’s miserable, or if you rather, not as accommodating as some other “walkable” cities.

          • Riggle

            There are plenty of miserable gaps between stl hoods. Ive walked them all. This isnt one of them, its called Magnolia ave. Its very pleasant

          • Alex Ihnen

            Love the passion – “Go to any major city on the east or west coast and people walk everywhere all the time.” This isn’t quite right. Any city I’ve spent time in (DC, Baltimore, Boston, etc.) has walkable areas and is often described as walkable, but also has big gaps, AND the vast majority of people in these cities do not walk to work/school/shopping.

            That said, perhaps THE big failing in STL city in terms of urbanism are the gaps between neighborhoods.

          • Adam

            The majority may not walk, but many many more walk than in St. Louis. and, yes, there’s a continuum of pedestrian activity that probably scales with the completeness of the urban environment. the reality is that DC, Boston, and even Baltimore are all much more contiguous than St. Louis and correspondingly they all have considerably more pedestrian activity.

          • Adam

            “That said, perhaps THE big failing in STL city in terms of urbanism are the gaps between neighborhoods.”

            i 1000% agree with this.

          • Don

            “Go to any major city on the east or west coast and people walk everywhere all the time. it’s not rocket science.”

            What about Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indy, Nashville, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, KC? There are certainly hug pockets in Chicago. Lets compare apples to apples.

          • Adam

            because i’m comparing the form of environments with large numbers of pedestrians to that of environments with few pedestrians. All of those cities, except for Chicago and maybe Pittsburgh which seems to have preserved its fabric better than the others, have similarly low rates of pedestrian activity for similar reasons.

          • Adam

            Clarification: I never mentioned transit in response to you, or in response to Brett’s comment on walkability. my earlier comments on transit concerned the general city-wide level of density needed to support robust transit.

        • MRNHS

          A lot of houses on The Hill are crappy siding. While I would love to see brick too, it is very easy to find siding throughout, including the *gasp* townhomes on Cuggiono Ct. Still, materials are something the neighborhood can push the developers to change prior to the approval.

          • Don

            What you say about ‘a lot of houses on The Hill’ is true, but that doesn’t mean Brett is wrong. I share Brett’s concerns and don’t have any faith in Sansone. I’d love to be wrong.

        • Don

          Agreed. This is not a neighborhood that needs rental apartments.

          • Will M

            renting is becoming a much more accepted way of living than it has been in the past. the same type of families that brought prosperity, engagement, and investment to the community will still come, only in the coming decades they will probably prefer to rent than buy.

          • zante

            You have rental homes all over the Hill.

    • Will M

      the city is changing. we may have to embrace non traditional developments in otherwise traditional neighborhoods for the city to move forward as a whole

  • Mark Leinauer

    Any thoughts on this? I really hate the sea of parking that surrounds it. Makes it decidedly non-urban and walking hostile to me.

    • Josiah

      That bottom picture the revised plan? I agree if it is that the sea of parking is awful

      • Alex Ihnen

        The bottom image/site plan is old. If you squint, I think those are townhomes, maybe single-family, on the left. The site plan is unclear, and it’s changed since then. We’ll share when we get it.

    • Will M

      that picture is not the revised plan, that is from the original propoasl, and i agree it is as suburban as it can get, its atrocious. i believe the revised plan calls for housing to be built up to the street

    • Don

      This speaks to my concerns re Sansone. Their interest, I fear, is making a quick buck with cheap apartments and townhomes. They do apartment complexes and have no interest in do a true urban neighborhood development.