Posts Tagged ‘New Development’


North Sarah Redevelopment Moving Past Phase I

November 11, 2012

Phase I of the North Sarah Redevelopment celebrated its grand opening on October 16th.  This is a project that I have written about in the past, and the type of development that we definitely need more of in the City of St. Louis.

North Sarah and West Belle in November 2012

In the press release that followed the grand opening of Phase I, it was revealed that a grocery store would be one of the development’s retail tenants.

The community includes a mix of two and three-story buildings, plus almost 12,000 square feet of commercial, management and community space, which will include a small, locally-owned, fresh food grocery store.

The developers here also demonstrated an extremely encouraging understanding of the community’s 21st century needs.

Vincent R. Bennett, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of McCormack Baron Salazar said, “Sustainability means a lot of things: reducing a building’s impact on the environment is just a piece of this.  The sustainable features at North Sarah also include creating healthy living environments for our residents by reducing toxins and ensuring sufficient air flow. The community is walkable and connected to transit, keeping non-drivers like seniors and the disabled from becoming isolated. And the fresh food grocery will provide healthy living choices that will sustain our residents in the long-term.”

While Phase I is still getting its finishing touches, work continues on Phase II.  This work is apparent on the west side of Sarah between C.D. Banks and Finney, and along Vandeventer between W. Belle and Finney.

North Sarah as seen on Google Maps

I was hoping that this phase would include at least one renovation.  Unfortunately the home pictured below has been demolished.  Several Homes North and West of Turner Park appear to be headed for demolition as well.

Alley Between W. Belle and C.D. Banks near Vandeventer

I truly hope that the urban character of the development is maintained as it expands into Phase II.  Although I have no idea what the next phase will be like (hopefully not like the new strip mall on Vandeventer between Finney and Cook), some clues can be gathered from the newly launched website for the development.  Check out the rendering’s redevelopment of Turner Park.

Turner Park at W. Belle and N. Sarah

I hope that the developers are working with the neighborhood’s existing residents on this.  It would be a shame to remake the park into something that nobody would use.  See my photos tracking this development’s construction here.


North Sarah Project is a Good Role Model

September 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.

North Sarah Redevelopment

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.

Homes under construction along Finney

The project also makes use of green technologies such as permeable pavement for the sidewalks.

Permeable Pavement

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.

New Commercial Space on North Sarah

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.

Belle Avenue

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:

History of the Sarah Finney Business District

Comet Theater on Finney

NextStl Forum Topic

Construction Details

Flickr Photos


New Investment on North Grand

July 17, 2010

Grand Center has been on a great roll this year and the whole area has seen dramatic improvement in my opinion.  While driving down Grand recently I was pointed out a newly rehabed building at Grand and Windsor Place just past the northern limits of Grand Center.  Justine Petersen recently renovated and moved into the Olivia building at 1023 North Grand.  The organization “helps low and moderate income families and individuals buy homes and build financial assets for the long term” which sounds to me like something that is good to have around.  Its building is the former home of The School of Social Economy (affiliated with Washington University).  Jones and Henderson’s Business College also called the Olivia Building home.

Ad for the Olivia Building May 18th 1903

Because of the building’s history, I am unhappy with the current owners for removing the original name (Google Streetview shows the building in its recent dilapidated state).


1023 North Grand could read Olivia Building

The building has a lot of neighbors that could really use a renovation, and adding activity to the block is a really positive infusion of needed momentum to this dead zone that separates Midtown from North City.  Its bike rack, added to the fact that Grand has the best bus service in the city, really boosts the place’s attractiveness.

Bike Rack and Grand Bus

More projects close by have been recently completed or are in the works.  Just one block away, at Grand and Finney, another rehab was completed recently.  Two years ago the building was boarded up and not being used.

Grand and Finney - Summer 2008

Now it is in much better shape and had a clothing store in one of it’s Grand facing storefronts when I drove past today.

C.W. Fashion

Another couple of blocks away is a great example of the kind of infill we need just about everywhere in St. Louis.

PNC Bank on Page

This two-story building that faces Page half a block East of Grand is home to a branch of PNC National Bank, a refreshing site in an area with far too many storefronts advertising payday loans and surrounded by surface parking in every direction.  Grand is in pretty bad shape around this area but I see it improving.  Maybe the next renovation will be for the Douglas E Kelly Community Resource Center – advertised here 2 years ago.

1027 North Grand

Whatever it is, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next development to report on.