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Accessing Yorkshire Village Shopping Center

In March I took MetroBus out to the suburban Yorkshire Village shopping center to meet my then-fiancé, now husband, for lunch. I hadn’t been in this area since I sold my car and the Sappington Farmers Market closed, both in 2012. Although the parking lot had been improved with planted islands in the last decade, I didn’t think a pedestrian access route existed. I’d looked at an aerial and at Google’s Street View, but I know for sure after a personal visit.

Google's Street View in March 2014 showed a spot where I could access the parking lot from the bus stop, no designated route. Click image for map link
Google’s Street View in March 2014 showed a narrow spot behind the bus shelter where I could access the parking lot, no designated route though. As of today the aerial is updated to show demolition of the old corner, the Street View remains the one I saw in March. Click image for map link

Based on a friend’s recommendation, we planned to meet at a newish place called Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, located on the far west end of the shopping center. When I arrived on March 21st what I encountered was very different than what I had expected, the entire corner of the old shopping center was gone, with a new building going up.

View from the bus stop
View from the bus stop, my only option was to head to Laclede Station to try to enter that way.
The construction zone separated the two wings, preventing me from reaching my destination that way. I ended up rolling along the Watson Rd shoulder until reaching an auto drive.
The construction zone separated the two wings, preventing me from reaching my destination that way. I ended up rolling along the Watson Rd shoulder until reaching an auto drive.
The new building is a CVS. Disclosure: we'd bought a small number of shares a month earlier when they announced they'd stop selling cigarettes.
The new building is a CVS. Disclosure: we’d bought a small number of shares of CVS a month earlier when they announced they’d stop selling cigarettes.
After lunch I got as close as I could to the construction, wondering if they'll provide an access route to the bus stop, connect the new separate buildings.
After lunch I got as close as I could to the construction, wondering if they’ll provide an access route to the bus stop, connect the now separate buildings.
When I passed by the new entry while on the shoulder I didn't see any evidence of a public sidewalk or access route to the shopping center
When I passed by the new entry while on the shoulder I didn’t see any evidence of a planned public sidewalk or access route to the shopping center
Across Watson waiting for a return bus you can see the overview.
Across Watson waiting for a return bus you can see the overview, and a pedestrian walking on the shoulder as I had to do.

It’s the suburbs and during construction everyone will be inconvenienced. My husband returned to Fuzzy’s a couple of times since our initial visit, after he said construction was completed we decided to meet again on Friday July 11, 2014. What would I encounter?

Looking west there was no public sidewalk along Watson
Looking west there was no public sidewalk along Watson
I was so pleased to see a proper access route, in concrete to contrast with the asphalt paving!
Looking inward I was so pleased to see a proper access route, in concrete to contrast with the asphalt paving! The planter helps to protect the route from vehicles.  Bravo!!
I quickly checked and found a great connection to the north building across the drive through lane
I quickly checked and found a great connection to the north building across the drive through lane
So I head west alongside the new CVS. so far so good.
So I head west alongside the new CVS. so far so good.
And a connection to the west...but what's that I see?
And a connection to the west…but what’s that I see?
A new curb!?!
A new curb!?! Not sure who’s fault this is: engineer/architect, contractor, or owner, but someone screwed up an otherwise adequate access route.
I had to roll behind 13 parking spaces to reach a ramp, one car nearly backed into me.
I had to roll behind 13 parking spaces to reach a ramp, one car nearly backed into me.
Looking back from in front of the shops you can see the new concrete, this could've easily sloped to provide access.
Looking back from in front of the shops you can see the new concrete, this could’ve easily sloped to provide access. Again, nobody caught the mistake.

Had it been done right initially the cost would’ve been zero, no different than what they spent.  Did the drawings show it correctly but the contractor missed it? Why didn’t Webster Groves’ inspectors catch it? I can’t answer these questions but I’ll be emailing a link to this post to Matthew Stack at Koch Development Co and Webster Groves, the various parties can figure out who’s responsible for the costs to bust out the new concrete and redoing it correctly.

Koch Development originally built Yorkshire Village shopping center in 1951.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Next, you’ll need to check the new CVS and the new Quik Trip, both at Manchester and Big Bend in Maplewood . . . .

     
  2. backprop says:

    Steve, I hope you follow the Kenrick Plaza development as well. The developers explicitly said they’s provide proper sidewalk access from Watson to the stores, but their record isn’t so great.

     

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