Demo Alert: Delmar and Skinker

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Glorious day! While solemnly surveying the damage to the Delmar Loop, primarily between Melville and Limit, I noticed an AALCO Wrecking dumpster in the parking lot of the boarded-up, blighting, under-productive, auto-oriented, former fast food building last occupied by Church’s Chicken over 4 years ago.

Checking the city’s records reveals a demo permit had been applied for on September 15th.

Church’s Chicken closed in May of 2013 after 40 years on the prominent corner. Washington University leased the property immediately after, planning something more productive in vain. The owner refused to sell or do anything but lease the building. Since ideas like a paid parking lot and most recently a Ferris wheel went nowhere.

Like a sore thumb, its auto-oriented land use sticks out in the human-scaled Delmar Loop while other parts progress. Like a middle finger it exemplifies how low-productivity auto-oriented development patterns bankrupt our city. Here’s hoping for a more productive future for this corner of the city!

Previous Coverage:
Church’s Chicken in The Loop Closes

Washington University Eyes Vacant Church’s Chicken Site for Next Loop Project

Pay Parking Lot May Be Next for Vacant Church’s Chicken in The Loop

Ferris Wheel Proposed for Delmar and Skinker

What Should Be: Delmar and Skinker

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  • Luftmentsch

    Apparently, the owner wants to build a small apt building there, with retail on ground floor, parking in back.

    • Imran

      Depending on the ground floor details, this would be exactly the kind of building we need to stitch the Loop across Skinker.

    • rgbose

      Good to hear the owner is coming around.

  • Earl Higgins

    This lot is just the perfect size and location to hold a small community center. My dream is that one day the University City Delmar Loop will have its own low-power FM station, big enough to cover the neighborhood. for those who don’t know, low-power FM (LPFM) is a new class of small, not-for-profit community-oriented radio stations designed to give a voice to those who traditionally have not been served by major corporate radio. With the unrest in the area recently, there clearly is a need for a voice for the disenfranchised. This location would be ideal for “KLUP FM 97.5 The Voice of The Loop”!

    • STLEnginerd

      ummm so in one of the primest lots in terms of development potential you want to dedicate for a non profit (as in no property tax) FM radio station (as if internets won’t steadily erode broadcast radio over time)…

      I think i would rather have a ferris wheel.

      Why wouldn’t something like this be built on top of an already existing high rise, like the Everly (not likely to happen but you get the point) it would make no sense to build it at street level which is much more useful for generate sales tax. I’m down for putting it on top of a 6+ story building built at this location though.

      Also what is corporate radio, we have plenty of niche radio options don’t we…?

      • Earl Higgins

        I have no problem with that! Street level would be nice to attract interest, but this could probably be accomplished much cheaper via billboards, signs, etc. Additionally, locating on top of a large/tall building would reduce the height necessary of the tower for transmission.

  • kjohnson04

    I agree with HawkSTL. I’ll reserve my cheers when I see some sort of progress. Until then, I remain cautiously optimistic.

  • HawkSTL

    I’ll withhold judgment until we see a redevelopment plan and construction cranes. Until then, this simply means that we’ll see yet another parking lot.

  • Luftmentsch

    A tentative two-cheers. Let’s see what comes next.

    I kinda miss the days when my then two year old daughter would refer to “the chicken-church” as we walked past. I also miss the coming and going of a very different clientele from Piccione’s, Pi, and Eclipse. The Loop should be everything to everyone.

  • PD

    Finally!!!! What an eyesore. Its only saving grace is that it gave Joe Edwards an ulcer every time her drove by it.

  • RyleyinSTL

    Hallelujah