UIC Puts Hyde Park Parcels Under Contract, Proposes 350-Acre Chapter 99

Developer UIC has 19 parcels in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood under contract from the Land Reutilization Authority for future development. The parcels are concentrated on Salisbury and Mallinckrodt Streets near the neighborhood’s park.

UIC has found success in the redevelopment of McRee Town, an area sandwiched between rail yards and Interstate 44 in central St. Louis City. While the eastern half, eight city blocks, of McRee Town was demolished for new housing, UIC has selectively rehabbed and built infill on the eight blocks nearest Tower Grove Avenue. [Read more NEXT STL coverage of UIC]

The Hyde Park neighborhood has seen waves of redevelopment ideas and creative interventions come and go. In 2010, artist Theater Gates founded the Rebuild Foundation, which saw a partnership with Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Pulitzer Arts. You can read more about that effort at Art21 magazine and Art Place America.

Despite academic interest and creative energy, much of Hyde Park remains abandoned and crumbling. The neighborhood lost 29% of its population (3,741 to 2,668) from 2000 to 2010. What UIC is proposing, according to information presented at a recent public meeting hosted by Alderman Brandon Bosley, is a Chapter 99 development agreement with the city’s Land Clearance for Reutilization Authority (LCRA) as developer. Eminent domain would be prohibited, as would Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

The Chapter 99 designation could cover as much as 350 acres, closely mirroring the Hyde Park Local Historic District. UIC has stated that it would actively work to help educated developers on how to take advantage of tax abatement and other incentives to develop in the area.

Chapter 99 does not designate a single controlling development entity in the same way as does a Chapter 353 designation. For example, a Chapter 353 redevelopment area was recently established surrounding the Saint Louis University medical school. A development corporation created by the university has been granted a wide array of development rights for the area. Chapter 99 would allow various developers to access incentives and complete projects with 10-year tax abatement. (Missouri Revised Statutes – Chapter 99, Municipal Housing)

According to LRA documents, the parcels UIC has under contract total nearly 90,000 square feet and are under contract for $30,154. UIC holds a 24-month option on the properties. Sixteen of the parcels are vacant lots planned for new construction. The remaining three at 1519 Bremen, 1914 Salisbury, and 1901 Mallinckrodt have structures:

The largest parcels, along 20th Street between Mallinckrodt and Salisbury were the site of the Nord St. Louis Turnverein, a landmark of the area’s German heritage dating to 1879. From architectural historian Michael Allen: “Hyde Park began as the German-founded town of Bremen in 1844, and for the first 100 years of this area’s development, Germans were involved in every aspect of civic life here. Despite annexation by the city of St. Louis in 1855 and an influx of immigrants of other nationalities, Hyde Park retained a distinctly German character.”

Allen covered the neglect of the Turnverein in 2005, its destruction by fire in 2006, and its demolition in 2011. The Nord St. Louis Turnverein in 2006:

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  • Bobby Gissendanner

    Improve the image from I-70, Grand to Broadway.

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  • STLrainbow

    Will be very interesting to see what UIC has in mind for Hyde Park… real community input and a lot of modesty are going to be key here; being the anti-McKee if you will.

    Old North STL Restoration Group has just put a few single-family new construction housing on the market on Monroe for $155,000 (iirc); something along those lines seems much more appropriate than what is going on in gentrified McRee Town.

  • asqface

    I believe the artist’s name in the third paragraph is ‘Theaster Gates’. Spellcheck may have struck again.

  • Butler

    I live in Hyde park Area great community close to everything …jump on board …this is the next up coming area…

  • Always thought Hyde Park could be the Lafayette Square of the north. Some beautiful (or potentially beautiful) homes around the edges of the park, a ready-made business district (Salisbury), and okay transit access.

    It’d be great if UIC takes a center-out approach to historic rehab/re-creation vs. modern. Retaining a sense of history and place at the neighborhood’s center, and feathering into something new on its periphery, sounds like a good mix to me.

  • miguel2586

    So Hyde Park’s neighborhood boundary extends to Natural Bridge. The project scope seems to stop in the alley west of 25th Street. Would it be that hard to include the remaining blocks? The block I grew up on could use some development. It’s been almost a complete vacant lot on one side even since I was little.

  • brickhugger

    could they rebuild the Turnverein please?
    in all seriousness; nothing is going to take off in Hyde Park, ONSL, or the near north riverfront as long as the elevated highway sits between downtown and the riverfront. Put it in a tunnel between Walnut and Cass, and put a planted boulevard on top, and between that, the NGA project, and Metrolink expansion, the near north would very much take off. But not until then.

    • jhoff1257

      No need for a tunnel, just get rid of it. The precious truck drivers can cross the river on the Musial and circle back to the Poplar.

      Also, the highway isn’t elevated in this section of Hyde Park. It’s sunken, a couple of well placed caps could work here.

      • JB

        If you cap the highway near Hyde Park, you give the neighborhood residents easier access to…acres of industrial? Capping it or switching it to a traditional boulevard from the Musial bridge south to the Poplar Street, I get. But north of that, capping or removing 70 doesn’t really do much.

        • jhoff1257

          Completely agree, I simply suggested capping as an alternative to tunneling. Giving people access to the river and the north biking trail aren’t terrible ideas either, even if they have to walk through a few blocks of industrial sites.

          • brickhugger

            ok; I should be more specific. I am referring to the section from Walnut to Cass (and possibly even the new I-70 bridge), and no further. I don’t see what could be done farther north of that point (although conceivably it could be tunneled as far north as St. Louis ave, but that seems like over kill). My point is that the highway blocks off downtown from the river, to the detriment of both sides; removing that blockage will foster more development, which should (in combination with NGA and metrolink expansion) spread to ONSL and Hyde park.
            I get the desire to remove it entirely, but I don’t think the highway is going away anytime soon, so for me the next best thing is to put it in a tunnel under a planted boulevard.

          • jhoff1257

            I know what you were talking about and no one disagrees that 70 is a major blockade between the waterfront and downtown. My point is a tunnel doesn’t make any sense, the whole idea of building a freeway tunnel in downtown St. Louis is overkill. That’s an extremely cost prohibitive project that would benefit very little traffic. Build much cheaper ramps to make that connection in the Metro East and simply turn it into a boulevard on the Missouri side. The highway is already below grade south of Washington, that could just be fully capped, no tunnel required.

            The one thing you’re right about is that highway is going nowhere, certainly not underground.

          • brickhugger

            I’m going to stay with I-70 underground, from Walnut possibly as far north as St. Louis. I believe it is worth the expense, because IMO many of the vacant buildings are such because the current highway design kills off the market. It’s too chopped up for traffic, and too depressing for pedestrians. I know we’re not going to agree on this and that’s fine. We’ll just have to let it stand there.

      • RJ

        Well not really there is no ramp connection between the Musial and Poplar Bridges along I-70 and I’m afraid I-70 will remain for the rest of our lives. I would prefer to see a tunnel between the two bridges since I’m a realist and know there needs to be a connection with the interstate freeway system. The cost would be huge but they managed to do it in Boston and now Seattle. Since I just returned from a trip to London the post regarding running metrolink down Florissant instead of Jefferson is a point well made but in London there would be subway lines going down both streets and very few single family dwellings but six to eight story residential neighborhoods to provide the necessary density for transit lines. I also agree Hyde Park should become the Lafayette Square of the north side. One other point, our city fathers never thought about using our riverfront for residential uses, instead we have miles of industrial areas that serve commerce for the area, however couldn’t we designate no industrial development on BOTH sides of the river between the MacArthur and Musial bridges! Develop these riverfront areas with residential, offices, green space and pedestrian promenades like they have along the Thames in London and Harbourside in Bristol.

        • jhoff1257

          St. Louis isn’t London and the Mississippi isn’t anything like the Thames. And building a couple of ramps in the Metro East that could make that connection would be far cheaper and easier then building tunnels around downtown St. Louis.

          As far as the Big Dig that was approved in the 80s and the situation there was quite a bit more dire then what we’re facing with 70 in downtown St. Louis. Mass and Washington State are also considerably more liberal then Missouri. You’d NEVER get a project like that off the ground in a state like Missouri, and honestly for good reason. St. Louis doesn’t have the traffic levels that would warrant such a massive project. Not saying what you’re proposing wouldn’t be cool, but I’m just being realistic here. St. Louis has no need for subways and big digs.

        • Nick

          “however couldn’t we designate no industrial development on BOTH sides of the river between the MacArthur and Musial bridges!”

          If the world operated like Sim City, this would be a great idea. However, there’s still quite a bit of existing industrial in this area, not to mention a large halfway house. Moving these operations alone would cost tens if not hundreds of millions. The football stadium was that area’s only hope for development.

          • jhoff1257

            Good points, thought I don’t know that I’d agree with the football stadium being the only chance for redevelopment in the Near North Riverfront. I think that would have been easiest because it would be done in one fell swoop, but I think with a good plan they could make something happen up there. Though it would be very, very tough. I’d be interested to see what (or if anything) happens with GRG’s plan for that area. I thinking filling in Laclede’s Landing and the area in front of Lumiere would go a long way toward making the area north of that a bit more attractive for development, but that’s a tall order as well.

            Also, Sim City is the best game.

          • rgbose
          • jhoff1257

            It most certainly did not. I still think with the right plan something could be done up there though.

          • Nick

            Agreed re Sim City.

            Filling in Laclede’s Landing and the Lumiere lot would be a start. I have faith the Landing can make a comeback once the Arch grounds work finishes up, especially with that large 11 mil rehab on the way. The next lowest hanging fruit IMO would be Chouteau’s Landing. North of Lumiere, I’m not so confident.

          • STLrainbow

            I’m keen on that area… more good things will happen; it’s just a matter of time.

  • jhoff1257

    I think this is outstanding news. UIC has show themselves as a very capable developer in McRee Town and have done some excellent work in that area. Using Chapter 99 to help grease the wheels so to speak could go a long way towards making something substantial happen in the Near North.

    Keeping my fingers crossed about McKee’s potential housing development still getting done too. Combine that, with UIC and a new NGA and suddenly you have some serious momentum in the North Side.

    • Resident

      McRee Town has lost 40%+ of it’s black residents in the last 5 or so years. That sounds a whole lot like gentrification and displacement instead of “excellent work.”

      • jhoff1257

        Yeah because McRee town was such a shining example of a successful neighborhood before.

      • Rusty

        exactly what this City needs, gentrification

  • Presbyterian

    Hyde Park is a fantastic neighborhood that has suffered greatly from neglect and the flight of the middle class. I would love to see quality new mixed income housing with a respect for the neighborhood’s urban form.

    • SnakePlissken

      This is great news. Hyde Park and Old North should both be highly targeted and attractive neighborhoods.

      • citylover

        This is why I argue that north metro link should go up Florissant instead of Jefferson (nga). Would hit right on Old North boundary. Those neighborhoods should take priority over a corporate campus.

        • brickhugger

          How about a Gravois/Tucker/W. Florissant/Riverview line? The Jefferson line can stay (with a right turn onto [under?] Chippewa to Lansdowne and the Shrewsbury Metrolink Station), and this way many more neighborhoods are covered.