The agenda of today’s meeting of the Preservation Board at 4 pm includes two new builds and an appeal to demolish part of the Wells Fargo campus sold for redevelopment into hotels. Zoom link. You can comment at the meeting or submit comments in writing.
First up is a 3-unit condo building at 6000 Washington at the corner with Des Peres in the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood. A neighborhood resident is seeking to build senior-compatible housing for himself and others. This site was once to be a set of four townhomes which didn’t happen.
The proposal fulfills the Skinker DeBaliviere Neighborhood Plan‘s call for filling some of the vacant lots along Des Peres, more housing diversity, and senior-oriented housing.
CRO Staff Recommendation –
That the Preservation Board grant Preliminary Approval to the project subject to the stipulation that siding be a dark color and that final plans, details and exterior materials be reviewed and approved by the Cultural Resources Office.
Next is the Grove Properties proposal to demolish 4534-56 Manchester and replace them with a four-story apartment building in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. The Preservation Board tabled consideration of the proposal at their last meeting so that the developer could engage the neighborhood to seek support.
A great sign of progress is a parking ratio of less than one per unit, the usual city mandate. There are 50 spaces for 71 units. The FPSE form-based code actually has a parking maximum of one space per unit. It’s been said that projects without more parking than this can’t secure financing in St. Louis, again a sign of progress here. Had the developer sought to provide more parking, either more land would need to be occupied by parking at the cost of something else more productive, or they could build costly structured parking leading to a combination of higher rents and “but for parking” tax incentives.
CRO Staff Recommendation-
That the Preservation Board grant Preliminary Approval for the demolition of six buildings and the construction of a 4-story mixed-used building with the condition that that Cultural Resources Office review and approve final design details and exterior materials and colors.
Some readers may ask how this gets CRO staff support and not the proposal for Kingshighway and Oakland around the corner. They can speak for themselves of course, but from the discussion in the meeting materials, the compelling difference is that this proposal is more consistent with what’s already on Manchester nearby while the proposal for Kingshighway and Oakland was way too big compared to its surroundings.
Next is an appeal of the decision of the Preservation Board to approve the demolition of existing “Merit” buildings at Jefferson and Market on the list of the Mid-Century Modern survey done in response to the demolition of the San Luis at Lindell and Taylor for a tax-exempt parking lot to make way for hotels, but with the catch that the developer must pull a building permit before demolition can commence. The strategy being to better ensure there is follow-thru on the new construction and not just demolition. You’ll recall that the PB placed the same contingency on the demolition of the Pevely building at Grand and Chouteau. SLU ultimately got its way via the creation of the Midtown Redevelopment Corporation; a Chapter 353 redevelopment corporation that, among other things, allows the corporation to handle demolition requests and avoid the Preservation Board. The site is still a vacant lot.