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21st Ward: Unfinished Subdivision for Sale

This past April I did a post on the unfinished subdivision, Ville Phillips Estates, in the City’s 4th Ward. It was an interesting story involving multiple aldermen, a recall election and buyers stuck in the middle. It is my understanding newly elected Alderman Sam Moore intends to set things right at Ville Phillips Estates.

Here is the sequel, similar story but different setting and actors.


The subdivsion started by current and former 21st Alderman Bennice Jones King is called King’s Estates. City records show building permits issued in 1999 for new homes on each of the seven lots, none were started. In 2001 King was not re-elected, Melinda Long was instead voted into office. Apparently Long went on a quest to take properties up and down the 21st ward’s section Natural Bridge — enough of a plan to get her recalled just two years into her term (KSDK story on recall vote).


Bennice Jones King was re-elected and is the current aldermen. Additional city records show new building permits were issued for new homes in 2005. Three of the seven were built, two are sold and owner-occupied. A third, shown above at left, is completely finished but boarded up. MLS (Multiple Listing Service) records show Pyramid Realtors was the listing agent for the houses. However, Pyramid had nothing to do with the development and construction of the homes. The development and construction was by Mosley Construction, Inc of Kirkwood.

From Mosley’s website:

In our twenty five years in commercial construction and construction management, we have never failed to complete
an awarded contract. Our commitment to quality and hard work is what we deliver to our clients.

Boy, time to update that website.


In December 2006 UMB Community Development Corporation foreclosed on the properties. Mosley Construction has not returned my call. My email to Mosley Construction from 6/5/07 was returned, “user is over quota.” Twenty-first ward Alderman Bennice Jones King has not responded to my email, also from 6/5/07.

I also contacted real estate attorney Daniel J. Burke from the firm Armstrong Teasdale which handled the foreclosure on behalf of UMB Community Development Corp. Today I spoke with a representative from UMB, Mary Amburg, who called me back regarding my request to speak with someone about the disposition of the properties. Ms. Amburg indicated they are accepting bids for the sale of the four remaining lots and the one finished but unsold house, the offer deadline is 5pm tomorrow. When I asked for a website or other information to pass along she said none existed.


Homes across the street are more of what you’d expect to see in the city although this area does have newer homes from the 1940s-1960s.  Very few streets in this area have alleys with homes having front garages or rear garages accessed via front driveways.  Apparently this site was part of a dairy at one time. From the city’s development webpage on this project, last updated on 6/27/2005:

This former dairy location is being developed by the Mosley Group into five dwellings that will be for-sale, market rate homes. Construction of the new housing is expected to begin in 2004.

The land, as you might suspect, was city owned property.  This project received 10-year tax abatement and who knows how much additional subsidies.   The homes that sold and the last listing on the finished home were all around $200,000.  The street name is Kingston Court, click here for a map.


Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Do you suspect a lack of demand maybe a factor as well?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I think a number of factors were probably an issue.  The area is well hidden so many probably didn’t know about it.  I wonder how good the marketing was and finally the choice of product.]

  2. Jim Zavist says:

    The choice of product does seem to be suspect, as does probably over-building for the local market. If it doesn’t apparise for what it’s selling for, you can’t get a loan . . .

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I’m not sure they over built, this area does not have an abundance of new construction for which buyers to select.  I also think the demand is in the area for new construction. I really think the product is a poor choice as is the site planning — quite a bit of land is devoted to the street and common area in the middle (useless).  I think some sort of row house/town home development along Newstead would have been better — more units could have been built on this land improving the chances of financial success.]

  3. john says:

    When this type of housing is desired then the logical choice is of course Kirkwood, etc. No doubt cheaper and townhouse-type development would have been more successful. What again is so disturbing is the original mix of ingredients, especially tax preferences issued on city property and therefore the outcome is not surprising.

  4. yoyoma says:

    You can’t find anything like this in Kirkwood, except maybe where Meecham park used to be. People in Kirkwood would never tolerate it.


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