Home » Planning & Design » Recent Articles:

Beyond Housing Development in Pagedale Ignores Pedestrians, ADA

In August 2010 a new Save-A-Lot grocery store opened in the St. Louis County municipality of Pagedale:

ST. LOUIS, August 5, 2010 – Save-A-Lot, a SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) company, one of the nation’s leading hard discount carefully selected assortment grocery chains, has extended its commitment to a local neighborhood in need of access to fresh produce, dairy and meats with the opening of the first new grocery retailer in the Pagedale community in 40 years. The store is a result of a partnership with Beyond Housing, one of the St. Louis region’s leading providers of housing and support services for low-income families and homeowners.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this new Save-A-Lot Food Store, which will serve thousands of families including hundreds in the Pagedale community,” says Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing. “The opening of this store is another step toward our goal of providing families with access to necessities, such as groceries and bringing new jobs to the community.” (Save-A-Lot

Pagedale is a low-income municipality that has long been ignored by for-profit developers.

The Save-A-Lot in 2010, set back from Page
The Save-A-Lot in 2010, set back from Page
Looking from the front of the store out toward Page. Despite being very close there isn't a safe accessible route.
Looking from the front of the store out toward Page. Despite being very close there isn’t a safe accessible route.
An ADA-compliant route does exist, but few will go the extra distance required to use it.
An ADA-compliant route does exist, but few will go the extra distance required to use it. The slope might be too steep to be ADA-compliant.
The red line shows the accessible route from the bus stop to entry
The red line shows the accessible route from the bus stop to entry. Click image to view map
The customer circled in red was headed west on Page, he took the shortest route.
The customer circled in red was headed west on Page, he took the shortest route.
Looking west in 2010, the east end of the site was undeveloped
Looking west in 2010, the east end of the site was undeveloped
Looking into the site in 2010, future development site on the left and Save-A-Lot parking on the right
Looking into the site in 2010, future development site on the left and Save-A-Lot parking on the right
In this 2013 view you can now see the new development on the east end.
In this 2013 view you can now see the new development on the east end.

The new development includes a bank and senior apartments:

Mayor of Pagedale Mary Louise Carter looked on as Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing, and Ron Barnes, Midwest BankCentre (MBC) chairman, recently unveiled the city’s first-ever full-service bank.

“This is a great day for the City of Pagedale,” Mayor Carter said. “This means convenience for our residents because they can now bank right in their own city at a financial institution with a long history of excellent service.” (St. Louis American)

Yes, a local bank branch can be very convenient.

Getting closer to the multi-story building
Getting closer to the multi-story building
Gee, how do we get to the bank or housing?
Gee, how do we get into the housing?
Or into the bank?
Or into the bank? Clearly the drive-up window is more important than pedestrians getting to the entry.
Senior housing as seen from Save-A-Lot's entry
Senior housing as seen from Save-A-Lot’s entry. Can grandma navigate this using a walker?

I applaud Beyond Housing for investing in Pagedale, adding needed retail, banking, & housing. But the common “drive everywhere, walk nowhere” viewpoint is expressed in the design. As a result, I’m disappointed.

Numerous buildings were razed allowing them a clean slate. Nobody on the design team asked how a senior got from their apartment to the 1) bus, or 2) grocery store.  Maybe they thought all low-income seniors have cars?

— Steve Patterson

Roberts Market Place at Kingshighway & Delmar Hostile to Pedestrians

The Roberts Market Place has opened at Kingshighway & Delmar, the site of a former Schnucks. Discount grocer ALDI, the only business so far, is the anchor. Unfortunately, it is designed to be driven to, not walked to.

Roberts Market Place on the NE corner of Kingshighway & Delmar
Roberts Market Place on the NE corner of Kingshighway & Delmar, click image for map link
The same corner back in April
The same corner back in April
Looking east along Delmar
Looking east along Delmar
Looking north along Kingshighway, a stop for the #95 MetroBus is circled in red
Looking north along Kingshighway, a stop for the #95 MetroBus is circled in red. Concrete barriers block the auto driveway.
The fencing blocks pedestrian access, except at the auto driveways
The fencing blocks pedestrian access, except at the auto driveways. Not welcoming at all
Looking east along Enright we see a family leaving ALDI
Looking east along Enright Ave we see a family leaving ALDI
An opening in the fence at the auto driveway.
An opening in the fence at the auto driveway.
At least a walkway was provided at one point
At least a walkway was provided at one point
Not a straight shot or wide enough if you meet someone, but as a bare minimum it works...except...
Not a straight shot or wide enough if you meet someone, but as a bare minimum it works…except…
Who fits between the carts & bollard? Certainly nobody using a cane, walker, scooter, or wheelchair! #adafail
Who fits between the carts & bollard? Certainly nobody using a cane, walker, scooter, or wheelchair! #adafail
Looking back at the problem from the opposite side
Looking back at the problem from the opposite side
Looking west toward Kingshighway
Looking west toward Kingshighway
Looking south toward Delmar
Looking south toward Delmar
Getting closer toward Delmar we can see the fence forces pedestrians to enter/exit via the auto driveway
Getting closer toward Delmar we can see the fence forces pedestrians to enter/exit via the auto driveway

Seriously? The one minimal pedestrian route from a secondary road is blocked by a bollard!?! As I mentioned in April, the site has been divided into three parcels.

Outline of the parcel Aldi purchased.
Outline of the ALDI parcel, the other two are just parking right now.
A hearing will be held on the 20th for a drive-thru fast-food restaurant at the Kingshighway & Enright parcel
A hearing will be held on the 20th for a drive-thru fast-food restaurant at the Kingshighway & Enright parcel

It would’ve been relatively easy to plan a north-south sidewalk through the site connecting Enright to Delmar, with a perpendicular walk connecting to the bus stop on Kingshighway. This would’ve provided a pedestrian route to all three adjacent streets and to all three parcels. Instead we’ve got another development that ignores pedestrians almost entirely.

The #97 (Delmar) bus and #95 (Kingshighway) bus generate lots of pedestrian traffic at this location. Many customers & employees of ALDI, a new drive-thru, and a third place will arrive on foot. Development in our neighborhoods should be designed to welcome motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This must be mandated, developers aren’t going to do it on their own — especially not in low-income areas where they do as little as possible.

— Steve Patterson

New Pedestrian Access Route At Third Degree Glass Factory

The last time I was at Third Degree Glass Factory, about six months ago, I tweeted the fact it lacked an ADA access route from the public sidewalk to the entry. The entry walkway led to the side parking lot. Pedestrians arriving on foot, by bus, or those parking on-street had to enter via the parking lot. I never got a response to my tweet, nor did I follow up.

Recently heading home on the #97 MetroBus, I spotted work being done to build a pedestrian access routeI  I meant to return to check it out but it didn’t happen. Then yesterday I attended an event held at Third Degree. I’m pleased with the result. Like so many businesses, this isn’t something they naturally think of. Third Degree is great about teaching you glass blowing. If St. Louis had a law requiring such an access route their architect would’ve included it in their original project. We don’t, so it took a few years until I raised the issue.

The red arrow marks the entry
The red arrow marks the entry as seen from the bus stop at the public sidewalk
The  width of the new walk is minimal, but better than nothing. Had the city raised pedestrian access when planning something more generous & welcoming could've been built.
The width of the new walk is minimal, but better than nothing. Had the city raised pedestrian access when planning something more generous & welcoming might have been built.
The view from the entry shows the original walk leading to parking
The view from the entry shows the original walk leading to parking
Turning toward the street we see the new walkway to the public sidewalk. Circled in red is Metro long range planner Mark Phillips waiting for the #97 bus which showed up seconds later.
Turning toward the street we see the new walkway to the public sidewalk. Circled in red is Metro long range planner Mark Phillips waiting for the #97 bus which showed up seconds later.
The event I attended was a sustainability event, my table was on making St. Louis less car dependent
The event I attended yesterday was a sustainability work session, my table focused on making St. Louis less car dependent. Click photo for information on the event.

Kudos to Third Degree for listening and taking concrete action, pun intended. Now if I can only get the city/region to require such access when buildings are built or substantially renovated….

— Steve Patterson

Two New Outlet Malls In Chesterfield Valley: Prestige Vs. Premium

This year two competing outlet malls opened in the Chesterfield valley, not far from each other. I had a chance recently to visit both by car, a rental. I’d hoped to visit one or both via MetroBus so I could have my wheelchair.  Before you question the idea, the #258 MetroBus stops in the valley every 20-60 minutes weekdays.

The two opened three weeks apart:

  1. Taubman Prestige Outlets on August 2, 2013
  2. St. Louis Premium Outlets on August 22, 2013

There was debate about St. Louis being able to support two outlet malls just 4+ miles apart, in addition to the existing St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood that opened in November 2003. For now I’ll focus on the two new outlets by Taubman and Simon Properties:

Both developers are publicly traded companies with impressive track records in the retail world. But Simon, the largest U.S. shopping mall owner, has been in the outlet business a lot longer.

Linda Humphers, who tracks the outlet mall industry for the International Council of Shopping Centers as editor of Value Retail News, noted that Simon has more than 60 outlet centers in the U.S. compared to basically two for Taubman. (Taubman and Simon both have many full-priced malls in their portfolios.) (stltoday.com)

Taubman, the underdog, opened first. Like many, I tend to lean in favor of the underdog. But I knew that many shoppers more impressed by Chesterfield’s second outlet mall. With all this background I visited both, in the order they opened, on Monday October 28th. Again, I drove a rental car we had for the weekend because both would require using the shoulder for the mile from the closest bus stop.

Similarities:

  • Highly visible from I-64
  • Site was underwater during the Flood of 1993
  • Primarily internally focused
  • Upscale/desirable retail outlets
  • Multiple entrance points from parking lot
  • One level, open air design
  • Indoor, centrally-located, food court
  • Green design elements like rain gardens to handle water runoff

For the differences many have focused on the number & importance of stores, but I’m not going to debate Ralph Lauren (Taubman) vs Coach (STL Premium). My focus is on the layout, approach, physical design, etc.

Taubman Prestige Outlets

Signage is prominent at the several auto entrances
Signage is prominent at the several auto entrances
Green storm water management is attractive, should be highly functional
Green storm water management is attractive, should be highly functional
The white/light color scheme of the exterior doesn't feel upscale to me
The white/light color scheme of the exterior doesn’t feel upscale to me
A typical entry into the interior walkway
A typical entry into the interior walkway
The entrance points are wide and use nice materials, but they feel generic
The entrance points are wide and use nice materials, but they feel generic
Standing at the center looking at the open west end
Standing at the center looking at the open west end

 

Looking east from the center
Looking east from the center

 

The food court building at the center
The food court building at the center
The directory shows the linear design, parking is focused between the mall and highway outer drive
The directory shows the linear design, parking is focused between the mall and highway outer drive

 

Crosswalks connect disabled parking to the mall entrances, but the angle was confusing for new construction
Crosswalks connect disabled parking to the mall entrances, but the angle was confusing for new construction

St. Louis Premium Outlets

This mall is in the center of a much larger site that'll eventually all be developed.  The entrance signs have room for other projects besides the outlet mall
This mall is in the center of a much larger site that’ll eventually all be developed. The entrance signs have room for other projects besides the outlet mall
Outlet Mall Drive approaching the mall
Outlet Blvd approaching the mall
As you turn off of Outlet Blvd into the mall the signage gets specific
As you turn off of Outlet Blvd into the mall the signage gets specific
An ADA pedestrian access route was planned from the start to connect to future adjacent development
Between the entry drive and parking is a pedestrian access route connecting to future adjacent development
Well marked crosswalks to the disabled parking
Well marked crosswalks to the disabled parking
The medium to dark color scheme looks richer to me
The medium to dark color scheme looks richer to me
Entrances are more interesting, false side windows relieve otherwise blank walls.
Entrances are more interesting, false side windows relieve otherwise blank walls.
A children's playground is next to the food court in the center
A children’s playground is next to the food court in the center
The directory shows this mall is more than a shingle corridor. The various colors represent different districts with local names like "Meramec River District"
The directory shows this mall is more than a shingle corridor. The various colors represent different districts with local names like “Meramec River District”
The corridors are not very interesting
The corridors are not very interesting
I got excited when I saw the bus plaza, but then I realized it's for tourist buses, not public transportation
I got excited when I saw the bus plaza, but then I realized it’s for tourist buses, not public transportation

My Conclusions

Both malls will do fine initially, but the smaller Taubman mall will fade out quicker. It feels smaller, less generous, since it’s shoehorned in between the highway and a levee. It won’t close  for many years, it’ll just be the less desirable outlet mall, though still ahead of Hazelwood’s decade-old St. Louis Outlet Mall.

The St. Louis Premium Outlets area will get built up over the next 5-10 years, hotels, restaurants and other retail will be added. They’ve planned ahead so as it gets built out it’ll be connected by a sidewalk network. Nothing you’d call super walkable, but minimally acceptable. The location is right as you enter from St. Charles County, so it’s convenient to many.

— Steve Patterson

New Grocery Store Located Among Walkable Neighborhoods Not Designed For Pedestrian Customers/Employees

A new grocery store will open soon on the near south side, between Soulard to the east, Lafayette Square to the west, and The Georgian/King Louis Square to the north, Lasalle Park. The I-55/I-44 highway interchange is to the south. Technically this is located in the Peabody Darst Webbe neighborhood, partly named after the  former public housing project that were located where King Louis Square was built years ago.

Fields Foods is our vision come to life. A full-service grocery store rooted in the heart of historic Lafayette Square near downtown St. Louis. The Lafayette Square area is one of St. Louis’ oldest neighborhoods with historical stores, parks and homes. It’s truly one-of-a-kind, and that’s why it’s the perfect fit for our store.

Our team of friendly, dedicated, knowledgeable foodies guides our customers through a vast arrangement of local, healthy, delicious foods that will inspire your inner gourmet. You will walk through lush fields sampling vine-ripened fruits and vegetables. Stroll down urban streetscapes and visit the local butcher and baker. Head down to the docks to our seafood shack and enjoy what truly fresh from the sea means. And if you’re not in the mood to cook tonight, that’s okay. Stop by our prepared food section and pick up a slice of brick oven pizza, a toasty panini, salads and so much more. Need a bit more than a slice of pizza? We have a chef on staff creating restaurant quality dinners for carry out. A Sushi bar and a Wine and Beer cellar stocked with vintages from across the globe and local craft beers completes your experience.

Many area residents, tired of having to drive to the grocery store, welcome a neighborhood store they can walk to.

“Can’t wait to have a grocery store within walking distance. Actually I can see the store from my 3rd floor window.”— Jean C.  commented on a Facebook picture.

A market here was proposed in early 2007:

Koman recently partnered with Chris Goodson of Gilded Age on plans for an $80 million mixed-use development just east of the Lafayette Square neighborhood and just south of downtown. Goodson’s Georgian Square development includes plans for a Walgreens, grocery store and coffee shop. Goodson has helped transform Lafayette Square in recent years. In 1999 he helped spearhead the creation of an $8.5 million tax increment financing district in Lafayette Square. Through Gilded Age, a development company Goodson founded with partner Trace Shaughnessy, he has developed more than $125 million in real estate projects since 1996. He also is president of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. (St. Louis Business Journal

Immediately south of downtown, another grocery store is under development. St. Louis-based Gilded Age plans to break ground on a Walgreens across the street from its Georgian Condominiums this August. Next to the Walgreens, a City Market grocery store, a unit of SuperValu, will open in the summer or fall of 2008, said Gilded Age principal Chris Goodson. (St. Louis Business Journal

In March 2008 things were still moving forward:

The SLDC already has approved forgivable loans for two other projects to receive funding from the pool of excess revenue: Gilded Age and Koman Properties’ planned $30 million first phase of its Georgian Square retail development, across from Gilded Age’s Georgian condominium project, will receive $300,000. The developers have signed an agreement with Walgreens to locate on the site, said Gilded Age principal Chris Goodson. A City Market grocery store, a division of Supervalu, and a Starbucks are also planned for the development. “We’re moving forward with the Walgreens, that will be built first,” Goodson said.  (St. Louis Business Journal

The Walgreens opened in 2009. Several other attempts were made to get a grocery store here, but each fell through:

When Gilded Age announced plans for a grocery in 2007, it was with Minneapolis-based Supervalu, a project that never materialized. Other pending deals with Phoenix-based grocery chain Sunflower Farmers Market and local operator Sappington Farmers’ Market also failed to move forward. (stltoday.com)

I’m very glad to see the store nearing completion. It’ll provide needed jobs, though jobs may be lost elsewhere as people change where they buy groceries. Sadly, it doesn’t appear any consideration to the many who will arrive daily on foot, some pushing strollers, and even the occasional wheelchair user.  Let’s start in the adjacent Bohemian Hill to the east.

Looking west on Soulard St, the new Fresh Fields is on the left, Walgreens center.
Looking west on Soulard St, the new Fresh Fields is visible on the left, Walgreens center.
The concrete curbs between the parking lot and Soulard St are already poured, no provisions for ramps, sidewalk
The concrete curbs between the parking lot and Soulard St are already poured, no provisions for ramps or a sidewalk
Looking south across Lafayette Ave on 14th the new grocery store is straight ahead
Looking south across Lafayette Ave on 14th the new grocery store is straight ahead
The circle indicates the location where the new store is being built
The circle indicates the location where the new store is being built next to the Walgreens
The area has good sidewalks but it takes careful planning to design new developments to encourage walking.
The area has good sidewalks but it takes careful planning to design new developments to encourage walking.
The parking lot will blend into the Walgreens lot
The parking lot will blend into the Walgreens lot

I understand most customers and many employees will drive to this new store. I also know many will opt to walk here from home, Walgreens, nearby bus stop, etc. How many isn’t know, but if we do a pedestrian count later it’ll surprise you just how many do walk, or bike.  Had the civil engineers, architects, & developers actually planned a welcoming sidewalk approach the numbers would be higher. From press releases and articles it’s clear they’re  not targeting local residents, “Goodson and Randol also hope the store’s proximity to major highways will attract customers entering or leaving downtown St. Louis.” (Sauce)

Clearly the city has been working with the developers for six years on this project, there was time to figure out how residents of his own project across the street can walk to his new grocery store.  The city failed big time by not requiring good pedestrian access.

Hopefully, somehow, I’ll be proven wrong when the grocery store opens January 4th.

— Steve Patterson

Advertisement



Recent Comments

FACEBOOK POSTS

Ped signals at 18th & Olive are corrected, but 18th & Market still not correct

See 6/2 post: http://urbanreviewstl.com/2016/06/…
... See MoreSee Less

23 hours ago  ·  

UrbanReview ST LOUIS updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago  ·  

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe