North Sarah Project is a Good Role ModelSeptember 15, 2011
Construction on an exciting new development is underway in North St. Louis. On the east side of North Sarah, between Belle and Cook, what was recently urban prairie is now being transformed by St. Louis based McCormack Baron Salazar Development.
The area in question here was once the Sarah-Finney Business district. In Ain’t But a Place, Miles Davis reminisces about the area.
Luckily the area is going to have some business activity returned to it. Unlike almost every new project that I have seen in North St. Louis, this one includes mixed uses: both residential and commercial spaces.
The project also makes use of green technologies such as permeable pavement for the sidewalks.
Building setbacks are pretty much non-existent on the buildings to contain commercial space, and quite small on the residential buildings. Density appears to be relatively high, and parking looks like it will be hidden behind the residences, but also allowed on-street. Each intersection has eight curb-cuts and well marked crosswalks. The pedestrian experience has not been overlooked here.
Directly across Sarah from the southern half of the development is Turner Park, home to a softball field and playground. Along the southern edge of development on Belle is an in-tact block of the kind of homes that make St. Louis what it is proud to be.
Sarah is a key connector to the north side, and activating this corridor is a great step toward inviting St. Louisans into the north half of their city. With the success of the Gaslight Square redevelopment to the south and close proximity to everything in the city, I am extremely optimistic about this project. Even without these advantages, however, the good urban planning involved makes this development a great asset to the city, and will hopefully set a good precedent for future ideas.
For more information about the project and the history of the area, please see the links below: