Goodbye DeBaliviere Strip Mall, hello T.O.D.!!!

Construction activity, major renovations, office projects, etc. in the Central Corridor -- defined by the area south of Delmar Avenue and North of Interstate 44/55.
When is there ever going to be any development around the Forest Park Metro station? This has got to be one of St. Louis' areas with the most untapped potential. Right in the middle of Clayton/the Loop/Washington University and the CWE with a Metrolink transfer station and soon a trolley. Not to mention located right on Forest Park. This area should be a hub of activity!



Who owns that awful strip mall? It should be torn down and replaced with mixed use. Are there height restrictions in the area? There are great views of Forest Park and the Museums to had here! Are Opus and Conrad aware of this? We can't have highrises directly on Lindell, but what is stopping them along this area?



What about that Metro parking lot? What a waste of prime real estate. Metro should put out a request for proposals for mixed use with a parking garage. Perhaps much of the garage can be built over the tracks? Maybe retail can be built over both sides, effectively making it an underground station and connecting the area to the park. Then some mixed-use midrises on the "park land" in front of the Missouri History museum. Then maybe Crossroads Academy can move out of its horrendous structure (and into one of the numerous beautiful vacant school buildings in the city) in order to make way for more condos and retail.





Also, while we're at it, can we extend DeBaliviere north and get rid of all of those useless "parks" where it once ran?



Oh wait, I forgot this was in St. Louis! Tear down the remaining historic structures and replace with parking...

^ Somewhere on here I think busdad wrote the Metro had begun talking to developers about doing exactly some of the things you mention. I can't find it at the moment . . .

See, Bastiat, we can agree. :D

I COMPLETELY agree with you, Bastiat. Let's bring back the DeBaliviere Strip! It could be such a bustling little district just like it used to be. Its proximity to the park, MetroLink, the CWE and the Loop makes it a no-brainer for great urban development.



I suspect that the awful strip mall would be the hardest part to get rid of, considering it is full of businesses that are sure to put up a fight.

Maybe STL-Style could open a storefront in a new development at the station. Then you and your weird little brother could walk to work. :D
This month's Times of Skinker-DeBaliviere mentions that McCormack Baron has applied for federal credits to build a mixed-income, mixed-use transit-oriented development at the corner of DeBaliviere & Pershing where that god-awful stripmall now stands. Though the project is still in its very preliminary stages, the article says the 5-story building will have four floors of apartments above streetfront retail.



Of course I wish we could go back to the days of the DeBaliviere Strip, a seamy district of burlesque theaters, smoking dens and Garavelli's Cafeteria. They tore that down in the 1980s to make way for that piece of $#!+ we have now.
Here is hoping this project comes through

The present strip is awful!
JivecitySTL wrote:
This month's Times of Skinker-DeBaliviere mentions that McCormack Baron has applied for federal credits to build a mixed-income, mixed-use transit-oriented development at the corner of DeBaliviere & Pershing where that god-awful stripmall now stands. Though the project is still in its very preliminary stages, the article says the 5-story building will have four floors of apartments above streetfront retail.



Of course I wish we could go back to the days of the DeBaliviere Strip, a seamy district of burlesque theaters, smoking dens and Garavelli's Cafeteria. They tore that down in the 1980s to make way for that piece of $#!+ we have now.




hell f***ing yeah. i remember when that was built, but i have absolutely no idea what was there before. does McCormack Baron own the land, or is the application the first of many steps. i also bet that the times of skinker debaliviere have not gone online yet. so there is no link to the article.

This really is great news.



Dotage has before/after pics of the DeBaliviere strip:



http://stldotage.blogspot.com/2009/06/m ... -long.html

This would be a huge! It makes sense that the DeBaliviere Metro stop would be chosen for TOD since it's the junction between the red and blue line.

I worked on the design for the DeBaliviere TOD proposal for MBS. That is quite a exciting site and look forward to the next few months when some key decisions become more concrete. It's not going to be the same DeBaliviere we love to hate. There's a perfect storm of transportation options with the streetcar, Metro, biking lanes, we just need some pedestrian activity. That park and ride lot along with the Transit Access Center site are ripe for a first phase development on Debaliviere. How about a urban grocery store out there Schnucks? Another key component should be in my opinion, high density housing. Maybe even Universal Design style to give some otherwise less mobile people some ligitimate choices to get around our city.



That's my 2 cents.

Hopefully the first of many steps toward a thriving Deb between Lindell and Delmar....great news.



Speaking of housing, I stopped in yesterday at the new townhomes on the Hill at Macklind/Magnolia.....those would look great on Deb. Only issue with them is the siding, but their relationship to the street is fantastic.

Whatever is built, PLEEEEEASE don't make it look "bricky" and historic. We need more contemporary design in this city.
bikin'_man wrote:
i also bet that the times of skinker debaliviere have not gone online yet. so there is no link to the article.




Here it is. They have issues all the way back to its beginning in 1970. It's interesting to see in the ads what businesses were where back then. The Feb 1985 issue has an article about what to do with this site.

Link
Here is my flickr set of the photos I took of the strip before and during the teardown

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42933860@N ... 680537069/

This is fantastic news! (And I'm going to have to check out the links above when I have more time.) 8)



In a city where we've settled for soulless strip malls in far too many places, ranging from this prominent corner to oversized clusterf***s like Loughborough Commons or the failed St. Louis Marketplace, it's nice to see one getting replaced by something with a much better and higher use. Hopefully as the city continues to rebound, we can see more of this pattern in other neighborhoods as well.



I hate to be cautious, but hopefully the economic slowdown doesn't slow this proposal down. This would be great for the area.
quincunx wrote:
bikin'_man wrote:
i also bet that the times of skinker debaliviere have not gone online yet. so there is no link to the article.




Here it is. They have issues all the way back to its beginning in 1970. It's interesting to see in the ads what businesses were where back then. The Feb 1985 issue has an article about what to do with this site.

Link




thanks for that. now i did absolutely nothing at work toady looking through old issues. man has the old hood changed. i think for the better though.

Would it be possible for a pair of 'towers'; a 2nd across the street on Talanya's lot, set back to align also with Pershing? A matched pair would look very inviting, viewed from the FPP, and the Jefferson Memorial.

^ that would be brilliant - anything six stories + would be really nice
yes six stories would be nice but I imagine the neighbors around such a structure may not support the plans

^ I was just thinking about that - I think the NIMBY factor here would be almost zero - or at least a heck of a lot less than in the CWE, Clayton or elsewhere. Anyone else have thoughts on this? At least on the east side of DeBaliviere you have apts/condos of ~4stories. The west side does border single-family residential. I can imagine a tower stepped back on the west side with terraces would be sweet!
numike wrote:
yes six stories would be nice but I imagine the neighbors around such a structure may not support the plans


As one of those neighbors, I have to say I'd support it wholeheartedly. I cringe every time I pass that strip mall. Six stories isn't that much anyway -- a lot of the buildings along this stretch of Pershing are already five or six stories. Put up some six story buildings fronting the sidewalk with ground level retail. I'd be thrilled. Can't speak for anyone else, but I know I'd love it.

^I like this guy!

I second that! ^



Maybe the remains of the strip mall can be sent to either Bob Cassilly for Cementland on the North Side or the Gateway Foundation for some Citygarden sculptural expansion.

The varying sizes of the buildings in the DeB Place neighborhood is one of the things that makes it such a cool place. One of my favorite buildings in the neighborhood is a tall, slender high rise on Clara that backed up to my old apartment - if it's possible for a high rise to be secluded, this one somehow is.



I think a mix of different sized buildings along DeBaliviere would work well.