Contemporary Single-Family Home Planned for Sarah in The Grove

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The Forest Park Southeast neighborhood (AKA The Grove) is quickly becoming the center of contemporary architecture in St. Louis. Single-family contemporary infill has been led by UIC with its Avant Grove and custom homes. A UIC-designed mixed-use building at 4321 Manchester brought infill on a larger scale.

Now, a single-family residential project on Sarah Street may introduce a contemporary home among traditional four-family brick homes. Anthony Duncan Architect designed the Sarah Street home. That office has produced a number of contemporary designs, some completed, some unbuilt. Townhomes on Olive in the Central West End were completed last year. Proposals for three-story infill in The Grove have yet to get off the ground (image below).

Earlier this month a contemporary design by Trivers Associates and Spencer Development was chosen to be built on the wedge-shaped lot at Machester, Chouteau, and Sarah. Other infill projects, such as Chouteau’s Grove by Green Street, and 4400 Manchester by Restoration St. Louis (both have broken ground) are set to add more contemporary infill to the area.

The owner of 921 S. Sarah is listed on city records as the adjacent property owner at 917 S. Sarah. A new construction permit for $380K has been issued for the site. If this is indeed a project from a current neighborhood resident, it could be a good test of whether the exploding development in The Grove will be done for, or at least with existing residents, or is more tilted toward changing the character of the area.

It’s likely that the curb cut, which stands out for this site, would need a variance, though the building does lack alley access. And it’s hard to find a project in The Grove (other than several recent examples by Restoration St. Louis) that have not received tax abatement. If sought, would this project be granted abatement?

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As The Grove and surrounding area have been changing fast, the value of short sections of what some may consider out-of-place homes and buildings continues to increase. The 4400 block of Chouteau would be worse without Station G, for example. This also true of some historic residential buildings on Manchester, and a four-family at the north end of Taylor Avenue.

This can also be seen on the south side of 4300 Forest Park Avenue and the 4000 block of Laclede Avenue. Historic homes and residential buildings that remain there are exactly the type of structures that help integrate big developments such as Cortex with the surrounding city. When the aim is to connect new and old, contemporary with historic, this is what these buildings do. And they’re already here, we just need to let them continue to exist. But the threat, and assumption, is that these buildings are targets for demolition in order to clearcut sites for larger apartment projects and institutional uses.

With large projects already slated for several adjacent lots, this corner of The Grove can keep a small, but meaningful, part of its history, character, and residents, by supporting infill like this.

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An unbuilt design for The Grove by Anthony Duncan:

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Contemporary infill in The Grove:

4400 Manchester_2{4400 Manchester by Restoration St. Louis}

4321 Manchester - design by UIC{4321 Manchester by UIC for Paramount Property Development}

4101 Manchester by Trivers rendering{4101 Manchester proposal by Trivers Associates for Spencer Development}

Avant Grove{Avant Grove by UIC}

Custom home in The Grove by UIC{UIC’s first custom home in The Grove}

UIC custom on Hunt{custom single-family home by UIC on Hunt Avenue in The Grove (now completed)}

contemporary infill condos - Vista Avenue{a contemporary design and unique housing form proposal in The Grove}

Rise Adams Grove_Trivers_1{prelimary design by Trivers Associates for affordable infill}

{initial design for Chouteau’s Grove by Green Street and Koman Group}