Ameren is planning to raze 5207 Loughborough in the Princeton Heights neighborhood. The company acquired the properties 5207, 5211, 5215 Loughborough in 2019, boarded them up, and submitted demolition permit applications in August of 2020. The electric utility has a substation on the triangular-shaped parcel formed by alleys and Macklind Avenue to the north.
The plan is to have the alley in between vacated to expand the substation to the south into the backyards of the three properties. The garages for 5211 and 5215 would be demolished. 5207 would be demolished and replaced by a parking lot with a brick wall. Then the properties would be sold off.
The assessed value per acre of 5207 in its current state is $211k. No doubt a parking lot would be less and the substation is tax exempt. A nearby parking lot at 7039 Gravois is $104k per acre. No doubt being zoned F. Neighborhood Commercial and being on Gravois helps its assessed value which is 80% due to the land. The complete street wall along Loughborough between Gravois and Hampton would be interrupted by the missing tooth. Plus the loss of 4 housing units of the missing middle variety would be regrettable especially with the rapidly rising rents of late around town and high occupancy rates in the neighborhood. It is also illegal to build a 4-family here (and in almost all of Princeton Heights) since it is zoned A. Single Family. These could be a more affordable entry point into the neighborhood lost to parking.
The properties are in a Preservation Review District so the demolition goes to CRO and possibly the Preservation Board.
A reminder of what Mayor Jones said during the campaign last year in our candidate survey. Let’s see if she and her administration follow through.
Would you spend political capital to protect a walkable, human-scaled building from being demolished for parking? Do you support preservation review city-wide?
T. Jones – I would. In St. Louis, our architecture is an incredibly valuable asset and must be protected from demolition to promote more parking. I believe we can make a concerted effort to rebuild our population without the removal of these buildings. We need a more comprehensive and citywide strategy for protecting our historic buildings and structuresMayoral Candidate Survey