Every so often I get back to a once-familiar place and I’m pleasantly surprised by positive changes. Recently I drove through the strip mall on Ladue Road that formerly contained a Wild Oats store, in a space previously occupied by a Schnucks. Wild Oats was bought out by Whole Foods in 2007, leaving the dated center largely vacant. The strip center underwent renovations in 2012.
A decade ago I visited the Wild Oats every morning before work, but I’d forgotten the exact layout of the parking lot. So I turned to Google Maps and it still showed the old pattern, with a wide auto driveway where the dedicated pedestrian path is now.
Most of the center, including the pedestrian access, is located in Ladue, while the east end is located in Clayton. St. Louis County records indicate this strip mall was built in 1960, a time when wide auto driveways were valued but more and more developers & retailers know walkability and a more pleasant arrival sells, especially to those with disposable incomes.
Kudos to those responsible.
– Steve Patterson