Home » South City » Recent Articles:

Pyramid sold former Sears site last year

For much of 2006 Pyramid was trying to swap the former S, Grand Sears site with McDonalds, but strong opposition from those that would be directly impacted by having a drive-thru closer to their homes raised a fuss — I helped too.    In the end the McDonalds closed.

The senior housing center Pyramid wanted to build on the site of the old McDonalds at Grand and Chippewa was then planned for the old Sears site across the street that they already owned. Owned as in past tense.

Property records indicate Pyramid sold that property (3708 S. Grand) and others on Oct 12th last year for $361,869. The properties are now titled with Pyramid’s name as well as “c/o Grand Future Realty LLC.” Grand Future Realty LLC is the owner of the adjacent building at 3722 S, Grand, which it purchased on 6/28/06 for $275,000. The registered agent and both organizers are from St Charles.
With Pyramid’s shut down last Friday it raises questions about the future of this project and others.  The property transfer raises questions about who all is involved in the project and who we might look to for its completion.


Parking Nightmare on Halliday Continues!

It has been nearly a year now that residents of one block in the Tower Grove East neighborhood have been dealing with a paved front yard that just won’t go away. Sadly the saga continues. Yet another hearing is scheduled before the board of Adjustment on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall (1:30pm, room 200).

Initially the developer just paved the front yard of the property without proper permits. Since then numerous meetings have been held between residents that objected to having a neighbor’s front yard be nothing but parking. The compromise was to be angled on-street parking. The developer and alderman Conway were pushing for the city to vacate part of the street so that real estate could be deeded to each of the four condo units — a bad idea.  I think someone from the city this would br bad policy so that pu the developer back at trying to pave the front yard for parking — this time applying for a permit in advance.

Currently the space remains unplanted and filled with gravel — condo residents are parking on the gravel area.

This is what we gey when we allow aldermen to play development consultant.


Title Loan Outfit Proposed for Former McDonald’s Location

One of the hot topics from 2006 was the proposal to relocate a McDonald’s location (w/double drive-thru) to back up to the Gravois Park neighborhood along South Grand. After a long battle, that plan was scraped. The owner shuttered the old McDonald’s at Grand & Chippewa.

The property sold last year and now a title loan company (or similar?) is proposed for the existing building and drive-thru. I’m told the same company is also interested in opening in the former Wendy’s at South Kingshighway and Tholozan. Neighbors of both properties are mobilizing to oppose what they see as loan sharks that prey on the poorest in our society.

Tomorrow morning at 8:30am, in room 208 of City Hall, a hearing will be held on conditional occupancy of the former McDonald’s location (along with other agenda items). Ald Florida (D-15th) is said to neither support nor oppose the application.


New Officers Elected in Marine Villa Neighborhood

It didn’t go as smoothly as I predicted. Last night Craig Schmid, Alderman for the 20th ward and long time President of the neighborhood group, brought in many new members in the hopes of retaining office. Letting the newcomers, one a 30-year resident, think they would be unopposed Schmid took nominations from the floor (allowed per the bylaws). Schmid had one of the older women nominate several people for various positions, including Schmid for President.

The large crowd of people assembled to elect officers of the organization but Schmid had placed a police sergeant on the agenda to talk about trash and issues of illegal dumping. So after it took a while to get everyone signed in, dues paid and to listen to the to the officer talking trash it was already 7:30pm — an hour past the starting time of 6:30pm.

In the video you will see the new candidate for Sergeant at Arms, John Oberkramer, get upset at Schmid’s unwillingness to let the candidates even speak to the assembled group of neighbors. When asked if people would get to speak, Schmid responded with, “No, we’d be here all night.” Despite stacking the room with ‘supporters’, Craig Schmid and the others who has been doing their best to retain control, failed to do so.


The new officers have a lot of work to do during their two year terms. First up is revisions to the bylaws to clean up unanswered questions and close some big gaps. For example, setting out that the first order of business on the election meeting (once every two years) that the first agenda item is the election and that those nominated will actually get a chance to address their neighbors and explain why they are running to be an officer. Look for some great things out of Marine Villa over the next couple of years.


Marine Villa Neighborhood to hold Officer Elections Tonight (1/28/2008)

A small neighborhood group holding elections for officers might not seem like news to most of you. However, to residents of this part of South City, it has been a long time coming. Last year residents were finally able to obtain a copy of the 1969 bylaws (view pdf) which do in fact call for annual elections after a nominating committee collects the names of those interested in running.

Alderman Craig Schmid, whose 20th ward covers only about a 1/3 of the neighborhood, lives within the boundaries and has been President of the organization for at least the last six years.  In that time nobody has ever ran against him for the job of President, although the election process outlined in the bylaws had not been followed either.  Supports of Schmid will gladly tell you he has been instrumental in reducing problems in the neighborhood.   Opponents will argue that Schmid can be too authoritarian.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Peterson Auditorium of St. Alexius Hospital (enter on Osage Street), 3833 S. Broadway.  The Marine Villa website lists the following nominations:

(President) Mike Siculan
(Vice-President) Eddie Brauer
(Corresponding Secretary) Susan Sheppard
(Recording Secretary) Pam Lanning
(Treasurer) Mike Ferguson
(Sergeant at Arms) John Oberkramer and Rod Cook

It would appear that Schmid and others who have long controlled the organization are bowing out rather than face a strong opposition — doing a Blunt if you will.   I’m predicting a smooth transition of power.