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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last week I posted about Forest Park’s 140th anniversary. Earlier this month my husband and I visited the Science Center, looking out from the walkway over Interstate 64 I was reminded that land was originally part of the park. In 1958 Kingshighway hadn’t been straightened, but a small road cut thr...