100 Apartments, Retail, Planned for 6300 Clayton Avenue in Dogtown

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A proposal for the long-vacant lumber yard would bring 100 market-rate apartments and 15,000 sf of retail space to the center of the city’s Dogtown neighborhood. The $20M proposal by Pearl Companies of Indianapolis appears similar to its Trail Side project along the Cultural Trail in that city.

The Pearl project attempts to address parking concerns with 123 underground spaces to serve the 89 1BD and 11 2BD units. Proposed commercial is shown as an 11K sf and 4,500sf spaces fronting Clayton Avenue. At five stories, the project will require a variance to proceed. A half-block on either side of the site (Google Maps) sits a four-story mixed-use infill project and a five-story parking garage now owned by the St. Louis Zoo.

In St. Louis, this means the developer will seek the endorsement of the neighborhood association and alderman. Although a 2013 proposal for 63 apartments on the site was approved by the neighborhood, conditions placed on the project regarding parking and building materials led the developer to choose not to proceed.

The new proposal will be presented to the Clayton-Tamm Community Association January 26. Pearl Companies has the site under contract and will be seeking support for tax abatement as well.

  {Trail Side in Indianapolis by Pearl Companies – 69 apartments over parking, with 20K sf of retail space fronting the Indianapolis Cultural Trail}

The 2013 proposal for 6300 Clayton Avenue:

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  • brickhugger

    I don’t know about the upper floors, but the first floor definitely needs to be high quality masonry, preferably brick, with some detailing, that mirrors the neighboring buildings on the street. If they do that, I could live with the upper floors being less than stellar in exterior.
    And the apartment market is going to be reasonably strong for a while, for the simple fact that mortgage lending rules were significantly tightened after the 2007 housing crisis. it’s a valid debate whether that is a good or bad thing, but regardless where you side on the issue, the fact is it pushed a lot more people into the rental market.

  • g

    I’m kinda not getting this issue with parking. Obviously, this proposed structure will be occupied by people who will patronize businesses within the new structure as well as those already there. So, who are these people who will move here? People that know little or nothing of Dogtown and/or don’t already patronize businesses? Gee, I’d say people that are already familiar with Dogtown and would like to live there will be the brunt of potential residents. This project offers the kind of housing that likely will appeal to such people, answering a demand for housing.
    That being said, the architectural drawing shows an auto entrance on the left side. That sure looks like it might lead to sub level parking (what else?). So, I fail to see the issue of parking being a problem. If anything, there may be some increase in traffic during rush hour, but hey…that’s life in the city.

  • Andy

    The majority of homes in this part Clayton-Tamm have alley access from the rear. Perhaps increasing the density in this area will incentivize some property owners here to build parking pads or garages. I don’t think parking should be a reason to knock this proposal.

    I live two blocks from the townhouses in Hi-Pointe between Berthold & Clayton which is adjacent to the Park Clayton Apartments that has ~104 units with ~127 surface parking spots. I’ve never experienced street parking being an issue. At Clayton and Grandview, less than a block from these developments is another ~65 units between three adjacent buildings that only have ~20 off-street parking spaces. (Again – parking is never an issue)

    The only difference here is that on weekends when Felix’s, Seamus, & Tamm Ave Grill are more crowded, the streets will be more crowded, just as they currently are.

    • john

      Exactly. I also think that being more crowded is a good thing. More population density. Less crime. Higher property values.

  • Riggle

    You could have a really mice dialysis place there

  • Dblarsen

    I understand and am sympathetic to some of the concerns for this project (materials, parking, failed projects nearby…). At the same time I feel like this meets most of the the requirements we ask of developments to make the city more urban and marketable. I agree that asking for fiscal help in tax abatement is ridiculous, we have to admit that this is the norm for the region…and that is unacceptable. I would rather have a project that deposits to our city coffers, than argues about the materials on the exterior.

    Seattle, where I lived for 5 or so years (about 5 years ago) was full of crappy clad new buildings to handle their influx of residents. This is where people are paying $2000 for a 1-bedroom place!

    This is the Stl…I want to bolster the pop, boost the tax base, and build on what makes this place great! I think if we can get rid of the subsidy and not demand more we’re getting a pretty good deal…development!!! But that’s just me…

  • mc

    I applaud this development and will push as hard as possible for it to go through. We need parking underground. Cars are not needed for a successful neighborhood.

  • Robert Huskey Sr

    I live a block from the proposed project. The same concerns as were brought up for the last attempt are being brought up this time. Traffic, parking and architecturally blending into the neighborhood (this is where the building materials came in as stated in the above article). Parking is tight now with the current businesses and residents. It will probably take at least 2 spots per unit. People trying to move into the area now are looking for houses or apartments in the 6 to 8 hundred dollar range to rent ( this is from requests posted on the neighborhood Facebook page). Market price as quoted for the last project attempt was 1100 for one bedroom and 1500 for 2 bed rooms. This will probably have people getting roommates to share in the rent meaning 2 cars per unit. Thats where 2 parking spaces per unit comes from ( not 123 but at a min 200 spaces required.) Any overflow parking will take away the parking for residents living next to the project. Whether its the apt tenants or the local residents no one wants to have to park a block or more from home because of overflow of visitors of the tenants or customers to the new retail spaces taking their parking spaces especially in bad weather. Do you want to walk a block home carrying groceries in the rain or snow because the apt people took your parking space infront of your house? As of now with parking on both sides of the streets it leave a single lane down the street wide enough for only one car at a time. Locals have experienced the worst of this year after year with the St Patrick’s Day Parade we host each year, People coming from both directions on a single lane street and meeting in the middle of the block with no room to move to the side and not being able to back up because of traffic behind you. This is where traffic flow comes into the picture. Then there is the problem of architectural style. Read the signs as you enter Dogtown. They say “Historical Dogtown”. The building materials that were requested last time was that the apt be brick faced to blend into the neighborhood. The developers didn’t want to spend the money. Look at the artist rendering of this project. It doesn’t blend into the neighborhood. Can they guarantee they will get enough tenants? The new building at Tamm and Clayton ( Lehmans Place) stood empty for years after it was built ( I heard the bank foreclosed on the building after it was built because they couldn’t get tenants), not even sure it is fully occupied now. There are Town homes that were built at Kraft and Clayton that stood empty for 10 years and incomplete development for several more at the same location that they keep running out of money to complete in a timely manner. Many of the people I see in other posts about this project are for it but have no “Skin in the Game” ie… will not be affected by parking and or traffic problems.

    • Adam

      Yeah, I’m fine walking block. I walk multiple blocks to work and back every day. In most healthy cities, people are alright with walking a block. A block isn’t very far. Don’t worry, you’ll survive PARKING ARMAGEDDON. Blah blah blah architectural consistency. Any other baseless complaints about how change is scary? Terrorists! Sorry for all the snark but I’m very tired of this record.

    • Adam

      Blah blah blah traffic. Blah blah blah parking. Yawn.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Incredibly, this is a much more tactful comment than I was going to offer.

        • Adam

          You should have read the one that I deleted.

    • Riggle

      Dogtown pretty suburban with plenty of parking, the idea thats its hard to park there probably comes from the fact that you go to midcounty for everything and never go anywhere in st louis.

    • MRNHS

      So your main concerns are the ability for the project to get completed, building materials, and parking? This developer has a good track record of completing projects. I would think they have financing secured (or know they can) or they wouldn’t be at this step. Don’t see this as an issue.

      Parking is what it is. I used to live on the Hill and very often had to park a block (or more) from my house on weekend nights. I didn’t complain, because it meant the neighborhood was getting an influx of people spending money. If parking is your biggest concern, you should live in Chesterfield or St. Charles, where density is non-existent. Sure, in an ideal world this project would have sufficient parking but the market will self-regulate. If the tenants find parking to be a burden, they will not renew their rents. I doubt, however, that this is an issue as the developer does market research on this (the number of parking spots is not a random number).

      I wrestle with the materials myself, as this project appears to be modern design, which is reflective of the time period. There is nothing wrong, per se, with having multiple time periods reflected in a neighborhood. In a perfect world it would be all brick, but that wouldn’t even fit in I don’t think. It seems that most of the houses are siding in Dogtown. But it would look nicer if it was brick. So I will give you the materials complaint.

      I don’t think rents would be out of line here, as it is new construction with all the 2017 things that people current look for (open floor plans, natural light, etc) that many of the older homes simply do not compete with. Newer = higher rents and these are not out of line with any other apartment project around town.

      Right now I come to Dogtown frequently for the three restaurants and the frame shop. I would imagine more retail would only bring more people to the neighborhood which would make it more vibrant and perhaps even increase your property value.

    • Nick

      Not a resident of Dogtown, but sympathize with your situation. Parking is already pretty tight on most streets, there’s already empty retail in the neighborhood, and the building doesn’t blend in at all. As an outsider, the one positive thing I can say is this building would certainly look better than the currently-existing empty parking lot…but if I lived there without off-street parking I’d be just as upset as you.

      • Riggle

        Its so packed with people that no one can support the retail… makes sense

        • Alex Ihnen

          Indeed. I hear it’s so crowded that no one goes there anymore. (OMG I agreed with Riggle)

          • Nick

            There can be high demand for residential with low demand for retail in the same neighborhood as evidenced by the already-existing empty retail spaces a few doors down. Reality can be a bit more complicated than snarky soundbits will imply.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Yes (I think) we all know this, but still, the seemingly knee-jerk PARKING! concern with any and every proposed change is quite silly.

          • Nick

            Well, people cry PARKING! because it’s an actual problem for them. I fail to see how that’s silly.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Yes, people have a way of defining their own “problems”. The solution to the “problem” here is clearly to not allow any development on the site. That’s what would result in no increase in traffic or parking demand. Is that what should be done?

            And while it’s not this simple…the city has lost more than half a million people. No matter the other changes (women joining the workforce adding to drivers more than any other single factor since 1950), there are few people driving (and parking) on city streets today. The city, today, isn’t sustainable. There aren’t enough people, businesses, or tax revenue.

          • Nick

            I’m not saying we should halt all development because of NIMBYism. I’m saying the needs of the local residents should at least be considered when projects like this come in, which it appears is not happening here. You yourself have argued as such, for example in regards to the Monogram Building in Downtown West.

            To your next points, if you think fewer people are parking on city streets today, Dogtown (or at least many parts of it) would definitely be an exception. And while I certainly agree new development is a big part of turning St. Louis around, just throwing up new buildings isn’t going to magically increase population. While a building such as this may bring in a few people within city limits, it will also certainly poach tenants from other properties both in Dogtown and surrounding areas. (If this building is like most others similar in size, tenants themselves won’t take up much street parking, it will visitors who are forced to park on the street, thus adding traffic that wouldn’t already exist). As this building conflicts with the existing neighborhood both architecturally and in size, it might not do much to make Dogtown attractive to existing residents, nor make it a more attractive neighborhood for outsiders to visit (unless you’re meeting a friend who lives in the new building). Long story short, there might be better uses for the property.

          • Wayne Burkett

            “I’m saying the needs of the local residents should at least be considered when projects like this come in, which it appears is not happening here.”

            I’m going to say something controversial here: no, they shouldn’t. Or rather, we should say flatly that growth is worth more than existing parking freedom. It’s more important on this site. It’s more important on sites in Soulard where residents have similar concerns. It’s more important on every site. Full stop.

            We don’t need to litigate this each and every time. I get it. People like parking. But growth is more important.

          • Nick

            Luckily there are historic preservation boards in neighborhoods like Soulard and Lafayette Square to (at least try to) prevent folks with this mentality from just building whatever they please.

          • Wayne Burkett

            I oppose parking minimums and reject objections based on parking fears. That’s clearly not the same as saying, “build whatever you please.”

            Although “build whatever you please” might not actually be so bad, if the alternative is the process mess most cities have today.

          • Nick

            I’m not saying we should have parking minimums either. I’m saying there is some value to trying to incorporate whatever development to fit in with the existing neighborhood.

          • Riggle

            Agreed, its called retail leakage, it doesn’t help that all these hipster county millenials that move to the City for a few years drive to Brentwood for everything, its a big problem for the City.

        • Nick

          I said the neighborhood is crowded with cars, not people….

          • Riggle

            But, it isnt crowded with cars, its easy as fuck to park there, you are delusional

          • Nick

            Here’s a Google street view of Tamm on a random July day. Have you actually ever been to Dogtown?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d7594e12bee6dcf322abb44f49e5c66a7e6b8adb6a02c678d3c9abb0ab88f21.png

          • Riggle

            I see a commercial district, I don’t see blocks of single family homes or any resident parking being taken up in front of their house. Have you ever been consistent? If it really is bad (its not) get a permit system, thats what cities with Actual parking problems do

          • Nick

            First of all, the right side of the street is housing. True that not every street in the neighborhood is clogged with cars at all times, but the side streets definitely become clogged already at high traffic times, which is what residents are complaining about. Second, I never even said this project shouldn’t go forward, the whole point of my original comment was to say maybe it’s not so crazy to consider what the local residents think about major projects that can drastically change the neighborhood…and like most conversations with you it devolved into a pointless bullshit slinging fest. You’re right though, I am being inconsistent, I broke my own rule by responding to a comment from riggle. I’ll make sure not to make that same mistake in the future.

          • Riggle

            And thats why I would never live in such a conservative, backward suburban neighborhood as Trog-toen

          • JB

            I lived on Tamm for three years about 100 yards from that photo and can confirm that parking on Tamm was never more than a minor inconvenience at worst. At that time, there was actually more retail traffic in the central area.

            Side note: can anyone guess where Riggle lives? He’s constantly ripping on city neighborhoods and we all know that he views the county as a lava-filled hellscape. I personally find it quite entertaining.

          • Riggle

            And I count mutliple spots on the right side, may have to parallel park, OMG!

      • Chicagoan

        If there are empty storefronts in the neighborhood, then that’s all the more reason to build this proposal.

        • Nick

          My apologies if this is not what you’re getting at, but here’s my issue with pretty much everyone’s line of reasoning in this thread: St. Louis has a population problem, and St. Louis has a density problem, right? Well, everyone on here is acting like projects such as this six story building solve that somehow…like adding 100 apartments will magically add 100 families to the city. Problem is it doesn’t work that way. Maybe a couple of people will move into the city that wouldn’t have otherwise, but mostly this project will just poach from other buildings in the neighborhood, and other neighborhoods in the city in general. People aren’t deciding not to move to the city because of lack of high rise apartment buildings. The primary reasons they don’t move within city limits (or leave) are crime and poor schools. This building does absolutely nothing to address either of those things. So in the end, this building will do nothing to address overall density and population in the city. It could, on the other hand, potentially irritate others in the neighborhood, enough so that they may leave as they prefer the neighborhood as it already exists. Many have spoken out against it. You’re not going to see a bunch of retail businesses move in because, overall, population is only going to shift, not grow. So until we address those real issues, what are we even having conversations about density for?

          • Adam

            If there’s demand they’ll rent and neighborhood businesses will reap the benefits. If there’s no demand, they won’t rent and neighborhood parking “problems” won’t get any worse. See? It’s a win-win. It’s unrealistic to think that the entire city is going to densify uniformly. That’s not how it works. People want to live where there are amenities. That means certain neighborhoods—the ones that already have a head-start—are going to grow faster. Development will then spread outward from those neighborhoods as real estate becomes scarce/unaffordable. Solving crime and school issues isn’t going to change that pattern.

          • Nick

            “It’s unrealistic to think that the entire city is going to densify uniformly.”

            Never said that’s how it works.

            “People want to live where there are amenities.”

            Yeah, and they also want to live where they feel safe, where their kids can go to a nice school, where their family/friends are nearby, where they have a short commute to work, etc. People don’t just move somewhere simply because it has nice amenities. It may be a factor, but it’s typically pretty far down the list. For example, the majority of the StL region live in suburban subdivisions in the county, and they certainly don’t live there because of how convenient they are to amenities.

            “Development will then spread outward from those neighborhoods as real estate becomes scarce/unaffordable.”

            That might be how it works in growing cities, but in St. Louis, neighborhoods have been ebbing and flowing for decades. One grows, others shrink, and on and on.

            “Solving crime and school issues isn’t going to change that pattern.”

            Actually, if we could accomplish that, we’d change quite a bit in this city.

          • Adam

            Yes, solving those problems would increase the city’s overall growth rate. But the pattern of growth is going to be the same: people will still shift from less “it” neighborhoods to more “it” neighborhoods, and those new to the city will settle first in the “it” neighborhoods. Apartments and houses are two different markets. I don’t see how these apartments are going to detract significantly from the struggling single family neighborhoods in the city’s north and south wings. And neighborhoods like Benton Park and Fox Park are predicted to be hot this year, so unless the developers didn’t do their research (unlikely considering the success of new apartments in the CWE, the Highlands, the Loop, etc.) it would appear that there’s room for growth in both markets. Sorry but expecting all development to halt until we fix the crime and school issues, or expecting all the empty structures to fill before allowing any new development, is not realistic IMO.

          • Nick

            Agreed we shouldn’t halt all development, but the city can only sustain so many high end apartments. There comes a point where we’re just canabalizing across neighborhoods, not growing, kind of like how we get by with retail in this region (also propped up by tax dollars). Add to the fact that this building doesn’t fit with the neighborhood, this is one projct that may be worth revising.

          • JB

            Yes, the population has remained stagnant, but let’s not make the assumption that it’s the same group of people indefinitely. Old people die. Young people grow up. It isn’t the same collection of individuals moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. STL city can see growth without it being net new population to the metro area.

            Projects like this are aimed at younger demographics who aren’t interested in owning a house at this time (and sometimes older people who don’t want to own anymore). Where St. Louis city needs to improve – and crime and schools are a significant factor – is keeping those people in the city as they get older, start families, etc.

            I actually believe St. Louis has some momentum in attracting younger people into the city neighborhoods which is why we’ve seen a boom in the multi-family residential market, but the cycle that we seem stuck in has many of them moving out to the County not long after. Schools is the #1 reason and probably the hardest problem to solve.

          • Nick

            No doubt there is a lot of truth in your comment. As a St. Louisan, I, like many others, get frustrated seeing our beautiful old buildings crumble…as such I always dream of a renaissance which includes most of our existing infrastructure being rehabbed vs. building new apartments such as this. But of course, people like new construction, and if that’s what the market dictates gets built….such is life.

            With that being said, I do think the region is overbuilding new multi-family buildings such as this project in Dogtown. Much like municipality-assisted retail projects in the county that poach business from one another, so do these TIF/abatement-fueled buildings in the city. I think developers are trying to push as many of these projects through the pipeline while the economy is hot, knowing the TIF money will dry up when things slow down. I think it’s pretty obvious the current building spree is unsustainable.

          • STLEnginerd

            “St. Louis has a population problem, and St. Louis has a density problem, right?”

            Both true but St. Louis also has a demographics problem. As in the average income of the residents is below the average for the region. Newer premium (or at least expensive) housing option will bring in people who can afford them who will, as a general rule, pay more in income taxes than the average resident. This means more revenue.

            ” I think it’s pretty obvious the current building spree is unsustainable.”

            I can understand that gut reaction but the best way to determine that is bench marking the leasing rates of other projects. If the Cortana, the Standard, Aventura, the Everly, the Orion and Citzen Park lease up quickly there is reason to think the demand is there for more multi-family mid-rises in the area. Softness of demand should be pretty easy to determine.

            “Add to the fact that this building doesn’t fit with the neighborhood…”

            It doesn’t fit into the current neighborhood, until it does. Neighborhoods change. The zoo is planning a massive attraction that also doesn’t fit into the current neighborhood and incidentally would have a far bigger impact on the parking situation than this project could ever be. This project fits with THAT vision for the neighborhood IMHO. The question is what does the city WANT Dogtown to be.

          • Nick

            Agreed developers are going to using current occupancy rates of comparable units as a measure to start new construction. What I’m getting at is various subsidies give us more construction than what the free market would normally bear, and I think that’s what we’re seeing in St. Louis now…overbuilding. Also fair enough regarding the zoo expansion. However, last I heard there’s not much going on with the chunk of land.

          • Adam

            The point that I and Enginerd are making, though, is that—subsidy or no subsidy—current occupancy/sales rates suggest that there is still demand for new multifamily and single-family housing. We’re not overbuilding as long as they’re selling, which they are. Now, I do agree that we should continue to build slowly to make sure that the market absorbs the new stuff before we build more. And I definitely agree that TIF is overused. But demand is a separate issue from subsidy (if anything the demand suggests that we don’t need to be awarding so much TIF.)

          • Nick

            I understand demand is independent of subsidy rates. However, increased levels of residential building construction will thin out occupancy rates for any given level of demand. What I’m saying is developers are willing to start new projects that will generate less rental/sale revenue than they would otherwise because a subsidy is available. If I build a 100 unit apartment building and require 80% occupancy to turn a profit, if you give me a subsidy, maybe now I only need 70% occupancy to turn a profit, and will now build when I might not have otherwise. This is a bad deal as their can be a lot of negative consequences from overbuilding, both in the rental and sales markets…it can lead to higher interest rates as capital is overused, homeowners see smaller returns when they go to sell their house, and worst case scenario, it contributes to a housing market crash.

          • rgbose

            Is there a pro forma out there for this project? It could be they’d need 110% occupancy to make a profit and thus a subsidy makes the numbers work.

            My guess would be $1.5-1.6M a year in revenue. Is that enough to cover construction, debt service, insurance, maintenance, etc?

            A way to reduce construction costs (and subsidy) would be to reduce parking, but it sounds like the level of parking proposed feels too low to many neighbors.

            I’m conscious to the overbuilding argument. This region has been really good at it on the edges undermining already built places.

            At least here there’s no new infrastructure burden as with greenfield devel and after the subsidy is over we have a much more productive land use over current conditions..

            How are occupancy rates in the neighborhood?

          • Riggle

            “The majority of STL region live in suburban subdivisions in the County”

            Thats isnt true

          • Adam

            How is that not true?

          • Alex Ihnen

            It’s ~true if places like Maplewood, U-City, Old Town St. Charles, downtown Belleville, etc. are considered “suburban subdivisions”? Still not in “the County”… ?

          • Riggle

            Region approx 2.8 mil

            County approx 1 mil

            And not all of st louis county is suburban subdivisions

          • Adam

            2.8M – ( 1M + 0.32M ) = 1.48M that live either in St. Charles county or in the Metro East, the vast vast majority of which is not urban by the very standards that you so frequently shout about (e.g. “car slavery”). It’s so weird how you randomly go from disparaging reasonably urban parts of the metro to defending horribly unurban parts. It’s almost like you just enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing (not unlike many others of us.) 😉

          • Adam

            Oh I see, you took big-C “County” to mean St.Louis County. In his defense he didn’t specify a county, and I think it’s pretty clear that he meant county in the general sense.

          • Riggle

            The County generally means st louis county. Like the City, generally means st louis city. I would say that is the geneal sense.

          • Adam

            Not sure how a specific county is the general sense but whatever. This whole conversation is without relevance.

          • Riggle

            It seems you think the word “County” means suburbs. It doesn’t, most American cities are in Counties, St Louis is an exception, not the rule

          • Adam

            C’mon. In St. Louis, “the county” is commonly used to refer to everything within the metro outside of the city limits. Stop pretending. It’s irrelevant that most other cities reside in larger counties. We’re clearly not talking about any of those cities/counties. This has just become a stupid argument over jargon when the author’s intent was exceedingly clear. You just wanted to pick a fight.

          • Riggle

            I have honestly never heard someone refer to JeffCo or the East Side as “the County”

    • JB

      I lived in Dogtown for several years and currently am still in the 24th ward although another neighborhood (Dogtown was our first choice). No intent to minimize your comments as you currently live there but comparing traffic to even a fraction of what that neighborhood sees on St. Patty’s day is absurd. I lived on the parade route for three years and if you dropped a 20-story apartment complex on this site it still wouldn’t replicate St. Patty’s traffic.

      The public pushback on apartment developments in that area surprises me because it’s not as if it’s void of apartments and renters. They’re scattered all throughout the neighborhood and it hasn’t suffered from the vaunted “transient” population or parking issues. Even more ironic is the resistance to any modern developments that specifically appeal to a younger demographic while also fighting to keep St. James the Greater from closing due to rapidly decreasing student-base.

      Dogtown always seems perennially on the fringe between solidifying itself as a high demand, prominent neighborhood and falling into disrepair and seeing people flee. It has some new pockets of housing development and infill, rehabbed houses and some strong retail staples. But it also has a lot of rundown housing, empty storefronts, and aging lots that seem to keep it from really taking that next step. I think the fact that in your post, you’re unsure if it will cause overcrowding/parking issues while also questioning whether it will ever be filled, speaks to the basic state of flux in the neighborhood.

      I’ll leave the critique of the aesthetics to the architects in this group, but I’m of the opinion that a development like this will be a net positive for Dogtown. Increasing density to a point where the walkable areas will flourish is a key element to that neighborhood’s health. It will never been Grand or CWE, but there will always be demand for those hybrid urban areas, where it’s reasonable to have a house/yard/car, yet have access to many amenities on foot/bike if you want to take advantage of them.

      I personally think Dogtown is a gem of a neighborhood with it’s proximity to Forest Park and would love to see it thrive by adding more residents and investment.

    • Wayne Burkett

      This long and thoughtful comment suffers from a false premise, which is that the city should optimize for the ability of people in single-family structures to park on the street directly in front of their house.

      If you remove that assumption — and you should! — then the rest of the comment is rendered incoherent. Note that I understand *why* you like parking right in front of your house (and did even before hearing your harrowing and seemingly unthinkable tale of groceries in the rain!)

      I just don’t think that’s the optimal public policy.

      • Mary K

        Wow. What a tone with which to respond to one of your neighbors.

        • Wayne Burkett

          This is exactly why we should adopt a city-wide policy on issues like this one. Not only wouldn’t we need to argue the parking issue for every project, but maybe we could even avoid litigating my tone!

        • Adam

          OMG, Mary, how dare he respectfully disagree with you and that other neighbor!

      • Brian Randazzo

        Couldn’t agree more.

  • John

    I read about this apartment building last week in the Post-Disgrace (er, Dispatch). I agree that the rendering with lush landscaping paints a false picture of the concrete jungle reality. I’d like the developer to provide a clearer rendering with more accurate detail. The building materials look cheap. The building example in Indianapolis is not impressive…very basic and non-descript. The skinny tree plantings look dreadful. They could have done a better job in Indy.

    Most importantly, I am disappointed in the developer asking for a welfare handout in the form of tax abatement. This is the same old, tired “ask” and argument that “it would not be financially feasible” without welfare funding for the developer. Blah, blah, blah.

    I’m all for urban development, but make it quality, make it aesthetically interesting, and stop asking taxpayers to pay for private interests.

  • RyleyinSTL

    The rendering makes it look as if the building will be in the middle of a forest…strange as the sight is completely surrounded by buildings.

    We used to live only a few blocks from here back before the lumber yard closed. While the Wife and I actually liked living there, Dogtown was an equal mix of dilapidated and cared for homes. When we bought, we ultimately chose to go elsewhere in the city. This lot needs to be developed in an effort to help keep the area on the upswing. Anyone living here will likely have money to spend at neighborhood businesses and and interest in improving the community.