New Town at St. Charles

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects within St. Charles County, including St. Charles, O'Fallon, St. Peters, Wentzville and more.
First unread post265 posts
stlwriterman wrote:
RobbyD wrote:

Re New Town...Of families for whom parochial schools are on the table, how many would want that development moved right off Shaw Gardens or near Forest Park...


Again, that development pretty much already does exist by Shaw Gardens and Forest Park. Except instead of "New Town" it's called Shaw, Tower Grove South, Skinker-DeBalivere and the Central West End. New Town = Old Town West.


Agreed, but the one glaring difference is that New Town is brand spanking new construction...
RobbyD wrote:
stlwriterman wrote:
RobbyD wrote:

Re New Town...Of families for whom parochial schools are on the table, how many would want that development moved right off Shaw Gardens or near Forest Park...


Again, that development pretty much already does exist by Shaw Gardens and Forest Park. Except instead of "New Town" it's called Shaw, Tower Grove South, Skinker-DeBalivere and the Central West End. New Town = Old Town West.


Agreed, but the one glaring difference is that New Town is brand spanking new construction...


Agreed, and that's what I meant by the no/low-maintenance. Before anyone starts in on shoddy construction of new homes, what I mean here is that buying a brand-new home (usually with a builders warranty, for what that's worth) *usually* gives some freedom from expensive worries like broken furnace/AC, leaky roof, etc., and *usually* means greater energy-efficiency, etc. Yes, I do realize that many older homes in the TGS, SdB & CWE have been retrofitted, but are those "like new" houses as affordable, in terms of "what's-my-monthly-payment-going-to-be"?

An earlier comment was "...aside perhaps from the schools...." -
That's a pretty big aside.
Yes, this is totally beating the long-dead horse, but this is a huge issue holding the city back.
For families really wanting to "put down roots" and invest in the community - and I don't mean just monetary investment - schools are a huge issue. People toss out the the parochial schools, charters, etc., as viable options, and absolutely they are, but those are almost all elementary grades, and those elementary days go by in the blink of an eye.

If you're a parent with a time horizon of 10-15 years or more you're going to have to consider what High School options are available, and if you're looking for a non-religious, affordable "neighborhood" (or nearby) school your options are quite limited.

Please don't get me wrong - I love the city neighborhoods and all that they offer. But there's no one "correct" answer for many decisions like this and if you're a middle-income parent with 2.3 grade-school-aged kids, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
Not sure where we get the idea that New Town is so "affordable." Just checked out the row houses, and they're significantly more expensive than comparable rehabbed homes in Tower Grove South. The one that matches most closely to mine costs nearly 30 percent more than I paid two years ago.

http://www.newtownatstcharles.com/RowHomes.aspx

Also, from an energy efficiency perspective, I'd argue every day of the week that my century-old home and four-mile drive (or bus ride) to work is far greener than new construction and a 25-mile commute on I-70.

As for the schools, yes, you're right. They are the biggest barrier for middle-class families in the city. No doubt. But what I save on housing costs I'll gladly put towards Catholic grade school for my son. And as he's only 1, I'm not yet buying a house for the high schools. But a decent day care costs about the same as SLU High, and that's true no matter what school district you live in.

Certainly, everyone has to weigh pros and cons. If I worked in Maryland Heights and had a problem with Catholic education, I may see it differently. But the numbers cut a lot of different ways, and it's not quite as simple as city = private school = too expensive for families.
^Just looked at the New Town website in a serious way for the first time...

I guess is jobs and schools that are drawing people out there?...I do see the draw, I guess...But I would take a nicely rehabbed bunglow off Carondolet Park (with the new community center thing there) before anything out in New Town...And I'm not from the City or overly anti-County...Tho I do like the city in general, if looked at with an open mind, the City is actually very competitive right now IMO...Tho desperately needs updating and new construction...

Are we doing everything we can to let folks know of just what the City of St. Louis offers...? More need to be doing the math of Stlwriter above...The City needs to keep a constant drone in the public square on the livablity of St. Louis, I think...To somehow get the watercooler conversations to include the City as a real option...
I think RobbyD brings up a valuable point when he says,
Are we doing everything we can to let folks know of just what the City of St. Louis offers...? - RobbyD

When you think about it, New Town at St. Charles has done what a lot of builders and people would have never done, plan a 5,700 household new urbanism community in an area around the region that is largely thought of to have only subdivisions to offer to residents.

Furthermore, the marketing for New Town has been excellent and attracted a sizable population. Their welcoming of visitors is great too because it allows people to experience the amenities of New Town and gain a sampling of what a "New Town" lifestyle has to offer. Thus, I would make the argument that New Town can teach us a lot about how we as a region can approach other new urbanism developments and attract people to those developments and back to the city, people who would otherwise choose subdivision developments.
When you think about it, New Town at St. Charles has done what a lot of builders and people would have never done, plan a 5,700 household new urbanism community in an area around the region that is largely thought of to have only subdivisions to offer to residents.

Furthermore, the marketing for New Town has been excellent and attracted a sizable population. Their welcoming of visitors is great too because it allows people to experience the amenities of New Town and gain a sampling of what a "New Town" lifestyle has to offer. Thus, I would make the argument that New Town can teach us a lot about how we as a region can approach other new urbanism developments and attract people to those developments and back to the city, people who would otherwise choose subdivision developments.


^?

New Town IS a subdivision and there is no way around it. It remains functionally disconnected from it's closest city center and therefore does nothing significant to "bring people back to the city". Simply put- It is sprawl.

Hopefully, if New Town teaches the region anything, it's that we shouldn't bastardize New Urbanism ever again. New Urbanism as a concept has much validity and should happen far more often. But based on the stated principles of New Urbanism, New Town is a poorly executed example. There's nothing sustainable about greenfield development.
word up.
http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... mode=story

Bumsville. How many New Town units will be auctioned off? Will these parcels eventually be developed in the context of the "New Urbanism" theme in the rest of New Town? I don't agree with New Town but I hate to see these kinds of situations unfold.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stcharles/new-resident-of-new-town-upset-over-insurance-requirement/article_f1237c23-678c-55d2-9470-2a67139f10bc.html

New resident of New Town upset over insurance requirement

ST. CHARLES • A month after moving into his new two-bedroom, two-story home in New Town, Larry Smith got a welcome packet that contained an unexpected letter.

It said that Smith was required to name the community’s homeowners association as an “additional insured” party on his homeowner’s policy....

(continues)

...Mike Nieroda, who owns an insurance agency in New Town, said the practice has been going on for years, but his office isn’t doing it.

“If you put the board on the policy, and the company did not authorize you to do that, they’ll deny the claim.” Nieroda said. “There won’t be any coverage, and if there’s no coverage, they’re going to go after the agency, and we didn’t want to put our agency at risk.”

Nieroda said because he owns the building where his business is situated, he ran into the same problem as Smith. He said he sat down with town architect Tim Busse and Goss to talk over the situation.

“The attorney said ‘That’s the way it is, you have to comply, it you don’t we’ll sue you,’” he said.

Nieroda said he eventually found one insurance company that agreed to a limited version of the “additional insured” requirement, and he submitted it. The board never told him it was unacceptable.

“We were thinking when we moved here in 2006, we would get a lot of new business coming, but we got very little to zilch, and it’s because of this clause,” he said.

Meanwhile, Smith, who moved to New Town from a loft apartment near Forest Park,
has filed a complaint with the Missouri Division of Insurance asking them to look into the situation. He’s also had his agent list New Town as an “additional interest” on his policy.

He said the conflict has left him feeling bullied and wishing he would have built in another community.

“I love my home, but I have never lived in a place like this... it is like the novel ‘1984,’” he said.
I was just going to post that I experienced New Town for the first time on Saturday night

Previously I had driven through there, but on Sat. I met a friend at the wine bar for a bit.

I got there a bit early to walk around a minute and check out the business district. Most everything was closed other than the pizza joint and the wine bar. There was a wedding reception in a tent at the "town hall" (I use quotation marks because it's not a real town hall--they are not their own municipality) and it looked like a decent venue.

The Wine Bar itself seemed as plain and generic as the name implies. Some of the houses are beautiful, and I did notice quite a few people walking. Though quite a few others seemed to drive there as I did. Something that's not too easy considering it's as tough to get out of New Town as a casino!

My main beef with the development is that it isn't integrated with..well anything! I understand that might appeal to some to have an "urban district" intentionally built as an island, but imagine if this had been built south of the Ameristar Casino where the "Streets of St. Charles" development is? It would have access to the Katy Trail, walkable to Main Street and the real historic district, and wouldn't be in a flood plain.

Oh well, I guess this place wasn't built with someone like me in mind and no matter where it was built I wouldn't be moving back to my native St. Charles in any case so carry on with your crazy rules and Generic Wine Bar New Town, carry on!
New Town should have been built to replace either Powell Terrace, the very sad area bounded by W. Clay, Droste, and Duchesne, or Riverbluff/Three Flags Center. All would have been higher-impact, better solutions that build on the town core.
New Town residents fight plan for conventional subdivision
Bob and Cindy Messmer moved to the New Town area three years ago, drawn by modern homes of various sizes and price tags on an old-style street grid with easy walking to shops, restaurants and recreation.

Now the Messmers and many of their neighbors are fighting a suburban-style subdivision proposed for New Town’s southeast edge along Boschertown Road.

The City Council would have to remove the 93-acre tract from the “new urbanist” district it authorized in 2003.
If there is demand for new housing there, it needs to be done exactly like Old Town. I wish most suburban development had been built like New Town.
^Wait, an the developer of "urbanist" development built in the middle of a cornfield in a sprawl induced white flight suburb wants to change course? I am shocked.
Big expansion coming to New Town:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... aec24.html