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This Eminent Domain Thing Is Fun

October 16, 2005 Big Box, Planning & Design, Politics/Policy, South City 13 Comments


I got to thinking more about eminent domain and decided to play developer. How fun! Someone should make a board game version.

So where would be a good spot for a new sprawl center I thought? They love highway access so I-44 came to mind. The area South of Arsenal seems perfect with good on and off ramps and being close to Watson as well. High traffic count on Arsenal was also a plus.

The image at right shows the area I had in mind. It is bordered on the North by Arsenal Street, Leona Ave on the East, Bradley Ave on the South and I-44 on the West. Just the right size for a typical development.

I’m sure the people that live there wouldn’t mind moving. After all, this is the kind of thing that is good for the city — taking homes for big boxes. The owners will get settlements for more than their properties are worth so they shouldn’t complain.

The businesses located along Ivanhoe can also relocate or perhaps lease space in one of the new outlot parcels. They are just small potatoes anyway — not as important as national big box chains. Hey — I’m really getting the hang of this game! Did you notice how the name of Ivanhoe Commons is a play on the street being destroyed — that earns me bonus points.

But I’m willing to bet the Mayor won’t be too thrilled about this development. Why not you ask? Simple, I doubt he’d want to tell his parents that a Circuit City is more important than their family home.

– Steve


Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. dustin says:

    You lose points for respecting the street grid on your development’s property line. I mean really, why stop at established boundaries? Curvilinear forms are much more pleasing. Also, it’s not quite clear, did you close enough adjacent streets? There must only be one way in and one way out. We are competing with the suburbs, ya know.

    [REPLY – Damn, you are right! My concept is way too accessible and doesn’t really result in any dead end streets. Give me a break, it is my first attempt at destroying a neighborhood – ur – I mean revitalizing the city. – SLP]

  2. Brian says:

    Careful, Harshbishop Burke may have an ephiphany and rethink his parish closures.

  3. ftcr says:

    You had me at high traffic count. I’m all for the new development as long as the anchor stores are at least 75,000 sf and there is plenty o’ parking!!

    Please let their be an O’Charly’s.

  4. Jeff says:

    You can play, “developer”. The game is called, “Sim City”. It is very addicting. I with my fellow college students used to play it for many hours.

    Keep Cycling,

    [REPLY – Sim City is one of the few video games I’ve played and yes it is addictive. But that is just pretend. But developers and politicos seem to have more fun messing with real lives and spending real money. – SLP]

  5. Jeff says:

    I can tell you where a new “Big Box” store area is being proposed. It is HWY 55 and Weber Road. I know this because one of the residents is a family who we used to attend church with. They also attended our wedding. This may be one you don’t have on your “radar”. I believe it will be another “Sams” or “Wal-Mart”.

    Keep Cycling,

    [REPLY – I’ve posted on this project only once back on January 18th. I haven’t heard much since then. Here is the link: http://www.urbanreviewstl.com/archives/000077.php

    – SLP]

  6. Michael says:

    I want one of those giant BassPro shops where you can fish in a pond (this must be real!) while eating a huge chipotle honey steak sandwhich from Carlos O’Kelly’s before ambling over to the new Sam’s Club to buy 500 cans of diet soda and a plasma screen TV made by slave labor.

    Paging THF…

  7. Brian says:

    To Have Fun … with Eminent Domain!

  8. citywmn says:

    Ohmygosh, be careful !…..many developers are unable to distinguish between hysterically funny ideas and serious ideas.

    [REPLY – Good point. Perhaps I should have saved this one for April first? – SLP]

  9. Richard Kenney says:

    Its only a matter of time before someone in the Mayor’s office puts a “hit” on Steve. I feel like I’m watching it all in slow motion right now……..

  10. Jim Zavist says:

    For better or worse, St. Louis doesn’t need to take out existing neighborhoods to (try and) do retail – it already has way too many vacant sites, including more than a few dead shopping centers waiting to be reborn, like the K-Mart center a mile away!

  11. Joe Frank says:

    St. Louis Marketplace is probably going to be converted into some kind of warehouse/wholesale distribution center, with limited retail. Hopefully then the City won’t be forced to default on its TIF obligations.

    As for this location – Steve should not be so bold! I would not be surprised if the NW corner of I-44 at Arsenal does get redeveloped for retail.

    Granted, the railyard hems in the area rather tightly, but those tracks can always be moved (some were moved to build the Marketplace). Just look at how much highway frontage there on I-44 between Arsenal and Southwest there!

    But there’s only about 40 houses, plus a few industrial/commercial buildings including Metro Lighting, who could probably be happy in a new building with I-44 visibility. So, don’t laugh; I could really see a new retail development at this interchange, but probably on the opposite side.

  12. Matt says:

    BNSF will never give up that railyard. #1, railroads hold land very, very tight. #2, it is a very busy intermodal yard, and a crew change point. #3, where are they going to move it to? Moving to mainline tracks is much easier than moving an entire yard with multiple operations. Now something in the land between Jameson and the highway is quite possible.

  13. justme says:

    This is in reference to the Hwy 55 and Weber road redevelopement. I live on one of the two streets in the proposed buyout area. St.Louis county just issued a request for proposals with the deadline of Feb 3rd. Pace Properties is “supposed” to have a homeowner meeting around Feb 8th to update us on what’s happening. I say “supposed” because we’ve heard this before. I can tell you for a fact that these “talks” have been going on since June, 2004 and we still don’t know anything. We don’t even know what type of store they’ll put here if they buy us out. As far as we know, the Walmart rumor is exactly that, just a rumor.


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