Condo project soon could begin at former Manhassett Village site
Of the Suburban Journals
Carmen Pace-McFerren was a Richmond Heights resident for nearly 40 years before moving to St. Louis city.
Naturally, she can recall the Manhassett Village apartments, a large cluster of three-story apartment buildings just south of Highway 40 (Interstate 64) in the southwestern corner of Richmond Heights near Eager Road.
"I remember they were nice apartments, good places for new couples to live," Pace-McFerren said fondly. "They were at the time very affordable and it was a good location."
It was because of the apartments' centrally convenient location and the safety of the area that Pace-McFerren became a tenant of one of Manhassett's nearly 180 apartments, just as many Richmond Heights residents had before her. For three years, she and her teenage daughter resided there.
Her month-to-month leases would eventually come to an end when the area was targeted for redevelopment, making Pace-McFerren one of the last residents of the apartments. (She went on to purchase a home in south St. Louis.)
The main reason the developer gave for redeveloping the site was the apartments were simply too old to manage anymore. They were razed last year after standing for about 70 years.
In their place, Chicago-based developer Draper and Kramer Inc., which also owned the apartments, plans to construct up to 500 condominium units. This would be done in three phases, with the first phase featuring units in 23 two-story town homes on the western portion of the 21.7-acre site.
Additional phases could include mid-rise buildings in the middle of the site and a possible 16-story high-rise building to the east. The high rise could hold about 150 condos.
As one city official said, in referring to an old newspaper article from the time of the Manhassett apartments' inception, they were considered fairly exclusive.
"It was a wild thing to have those apartments at that time," said David Reary, Richmond Heights building and zoning commissioner.
And if Draper and Kramer Inc. has its way, the new luxury condos will receive a similar reputation. Given the range of the asking price -- $500,000 to $700,000 per condo in phase one of the project -- that might just be the case.
The Richmond Heights City Council has approved preliminary plans for all three phases, although the developer has only been given the go-ahead to start the first 23 town homes.
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