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Readers Not Keen On Aventura Apartments

October 22, 2014 Planning & Design, Real Estate 14 Comments

Overall readers in the poll last week indicated are general disliking of the new Aventura Apartments in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, just south of I-64.

Here are the results:

Q: The Aventura apartments south of BJC/Cortex are… (pick up to two answers)

  1. architecturally out of place 63 [36.84%]
  2. not ideal, but could’ve been worse 27 [15.79%]
  3. better than the old gasometer 20 [11.7%]
  4. not my taste, but right for others 19 [11.11%]
  5. attractive to their target audience 17 [9.94%]
  6. TIE
    1. quality housing with needed density 11 [6.43%]
    2. Other: 11 [6.43%]
      1. yuk! total let down in otherwise awesome neighborhood
      2. ugly suburban crap. will be trashed in
      3. doesn’t interact with the street
      4. Cheap and suburban. Horrible design and little effort from the developers.
      5. Could not have been much worse
      6. good density, poor quality. what will they look like in 30 years?
      7. Crappy Suburan type desig
      8. Predictable design, but it works OK.
      9. Sad ongoing trend of what our beautiful city is morphing into
      10. The density is appropriate, the design is not
      11. whatever
  7. unsure/no opinion 3 [1.75%]

All 11 of the other comments are correct! My main issue isn’t so much the aesthetics, but the building’s lack of relationship to the public sidewalks and each other. It’s isolationist, a gated enclave.

This is the photo of the Aventura apartments used on the poll post
This is the photo of the Aventura apartments used on the poll post was the most positive image possible from the public sidewalk
The east side faces Chouteau Park (right) but isn't oriented to it
The east side faces Chouteau Park (right), but isn’t oriented to it

This project won’t age well, the plastic shutters that can’t cover the windows will fall off, the surrounding sidewalks will remain lifeless and therefore unsafe. This project sucks the life out of the area. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see it razed and replaced with an appropriate development(s).

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Yes, it IS “isolationist, a gated enclave”, but I’m guessing the people moving in like it that way (or they, duh, wouldn’t choose to live there)! Not all public streets are created equal, and not all public sidewalks are going to have tons of activity. Our first goal should be getting people to stay / move into the city by giving everyone what they want, and not by being eltist and limiting choices. If / when there is a market for projects with more “appropriate” siting, they will be provided.

    • Marcus says:

      Choices in housing are needed. The buildings don’t need to be a steaming pile of crap. The idea that people must like the site plan, architecture, etc of where they live is silly. People living at Aventura like the location and that its new. It didn’t have to look like Ballwin.

    • guest says:

      “Our first goal should be getting people to stay / move into the city by
      giving everyone what they want, and not by being eltist and limiting

      So good, thoughtful design is elitist and limits choices? Totally disagree. It’s comments like these that ensure STL will only have junk like Aventura. “Let’s not try and do better”. Even the crappiest craphouse can follow basic urban principles. You argue just to argue.

      • JZ71 says:

        No, I try to stay focused on reaity – is something better than nothing (in a city struggling to maintain and grow its population), or do we need to “demand better”, even if it creates significant barriers to new developments?

        • Andy says:

          In the case of the Aventura property, no something is not better than nothing. This is a neighborhood that has been up and coming and another, better design would have worked.

          • JZ71 says:

            The previous use was industrial, it’s now residential, so most would agree that it’s new use is certainly an improvement. The only question is one of degree – could it be “better”? Absolutely! The real question is how does any community “encourage” or force “better designs” to be built?! Many other better designs could and would have “worked”, here, but this is what got built – WHY? Until urban planners and community activists figure that out, bitching about it after the fact accomplishes little.

            My take is that developers aren’t stupid, and that many developers are doing great projects around the country that could and would have “worked better” here. One real challenge in St. Louis is our affordable (cheap) housing costs, compared to many parts of the rest of the country, while material costs aren’t, so budgets for new construction are tighter. Elevators, fire sprinklers and “better” finishes all cost more, and if the rents aren’t there to pay for them, something has to give.

    • Andy says:

      The people are going to be moving here are moving here because it is in a neighborhood on the rise that is in the middle of activity. Many are also moving to this location because of its proximity to the hospital, Cortex, and the new businesses coming to the area immediately North of Hwy 40. This is not a case of a developer choosing a site and then building what people want on that site. This is a case of a developer finding a location that people want and then building the cheapest possible choice on the location.

      For evidence, this is why the same design as the ones in St. Peters were used.

      Also, the same ones plopped down at Mid Rivers.

      • Exactly, it’s like the big box retailer that builds the same generic design everywhere no matter what. They’ve got one design and they don’t see any reason to do anything different.

        • JZ71 says:

          So give them a reason to do something different! Just saying that you want something, when you have no intetntion of ever renting there, carries very little weight! The city reviewed and approved the project, I’m assumng the alderman was on board, and the bank funded it – their voices carry way more weight than yours ever will. The only way this will change is for people with views like yours to be elected, grass-roots neighborhood organizations are given standing in the review and approval process and/or you win the lottery and can afford to build the “right things”.

  2. Marcus says:

    I wonder what the results would be if you highlighted that Aventura received millions of dollars in tax abatement?

    • guest says:

      “Millions in tax abatement”?? I highly doubt that! How high do you think property taxes are???

  3. Scott Jones says:

    I think that most St. Louis architectural / construction firms only know how to build these types of isolationist, suburban apartment complexes. That or they can’t fathom anyone wanting anything *but* car-oriented suburbanist development.

    • JZ71 says:

      I disagree. Most architectural firms (and their architects) DO know how to do the “right thing” – we’re limited by what our clients, the developers, the ones with the money, are willing to do / risk!

  4. JZ71 says:

    And this is how change happens: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26811634/wheat-ridge-determined-tap-potential-its-only-fastracks?source=infinite . . . You know the area is changing and you have leaders wanting to plan for a better future! The challenge, here, is that many people actually think that the Aventura Apartments ARE better.


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