The Hill Former Magic Chef Factory Redevelopment

Discuss construction activity, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc. in South City -- defined by the area south of Interstate 44/55.
https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25931.aspx

Last spring, as part of a studio led by senior lecturer Don Koster, O’Brien developed a detailed proposal to transform the Magic Chef complex into a giant hydroponic farm. Over the summer, she presented her ideas to the current property owners, who arranged a meeting with community stakeholders and potential investors.
^ I like it.
According to the Biz Journal, Sansone is eyeing this property. . . Again, I don't have a subscription, so it the article stops.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news ... j=73347472
Says Sansone wants as many residential units as possible and it will need it to cover the $3mill price tag and estimated 1.5mill demo and cleanup. Bomarito says they won't approve anything over 3 stories.


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who is "they" this isn't up to him to approve...
dbInSouthCity wrote:
who is "they" this isn't up to him to approve...


Alderman Joe Vollmer and Msgr. Vince Bommarito (leader of St. Ambrose).

from the article:
""They" would not allow buildings of more than three stories, in an effort to maintain the Italian neighborhood's character."
^That's not unreasonable.
^ Probably the reason why it will stay empty for the foreseeable future
that is a problem, the alderman and the padre have no say if the zoning code allows more than 3 stories.
this is the issue with our city, the alderman will be all over zoning when this permit is submitted...he isnt supposed to be. City does a sh*tty job separating its civil servants from the politicians.
Here is an earlier thread on the same property. It discusses Bommarito and his influence in the neighborhood.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=10659&hilit=owens
Yeah, nothing happens on The Hill without the Monsignor's say so. STL provincialism at its smallest level.
Probably the reason why it will stay empty for the foreseeable future


Would something taller than 3 stories make sense? There's a huge amount of land there. I don't think a tall building makes sense for the Hill.
pat wrote:
Probably the reason why it will stay empty for the foreseeable future


Would something taller than 3 stories make sense? There's a huge amount of land there. I don't think a tall building makes sense for the Hill.


Probably not but he should avoid blanket statements on building height. After all a Walmart is less than three stories but would significantly alter the neighborhoods character. and a campanile is generally well over 3 stories and is a defining architectural feature throughout Italy.

He should have made a more careful statement along the lines of "We will scrutinize the proposal and push-back against any feature that negatively impact the historic and cultural charachter of the Hill neighborhood."

See how easy that was :wink:
^ Site plan looks underwhelming. Essentially trade a big industrial complex surrounded by residential housing with housing but surrounded by the moat of surface parking that protects everyone from the perceived hazards.

The site plan also doesn't consider the possibility of a future transit corridor using the existing UP RoW/current freight tracks.
They've revised it already. Down to 350 units. 20 single family homes and 50 or so town-homes. Neighborhood seems to be pretty split. Some just want development there. Building had a fire last year. People opposing it don't want rentals at all even though the developer is shooting for luxury style (used Cortana at Forest Park for example). People are convinced when this fails it'll turn in section 8 housing. Seems like those who live close to the warehouse are completely okay with it staying. Amazing to me


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Am I safe to assume most of the residents who oppose this are older? I'm shocked that someone would prefer to keep blighted warehouses in place over higher end housing. Almost sounds like we are talking about Town & Country or Chesterfield. It disappoints me that fellow city residents would take such an anti apartment stance due to illogical and, let's be honest, possibly racist fears. This has to end if we are ever to advance as a city and region.
Really not that surprised when I think about it. The Hill is probably the most over-rated, out-dated neighborhood in the city. (did I post this already somewhere?) Other than old restaurants with flocked velvet wallpaper, there's really nothing there. You'd think the area by Milo's would have eclectic shops, art galleries, places for live music, etc, a park/water fountain to gather and hang out. But nothing. The whole neighborhood has a feeling of "come eat dinner and leave."
Little
shadrach wrote:
Really not that surprised when I think about it. The Hill is probably the most over-rated, out-dated neighborhood in the city. (did I post this already somewhere?) Other than old restaurants with flocked velvet wallpaper, there's really nothing there. You'd think the area by Milo's would have eclectic shops, art galleries, places for live music, etc, a park/water fountain to gather and hang out. But nothing. The whole neighborhood has a feeling of "come eat dinner and leave."


I would say your perception is outdated or you haven't really gone around the Hill besides the restaurants. Berra park has your fountain you described that many families hang out at often (some guy brings his 150 inch screen and his projector and shows movies on Saturday nights as well). Gaslight Lounge connected to Cha Cha Chow has your live music (with a recording studio). Modern Brewery on Manchester at the edge of the neighborhood and soon 2nd shift brewery on Sublette. Plenty of markets to shop at (Viviano's and DiGregorio's) and even a boutique soap store. There is pretty much everything you described. We even have an insanely expensive clothing designer smack in the middle of the Hill http://www.skifo.com/. There is definitely the older folks who don't want this change but plenty of new families moving in so hopefully this development goes through. Would certainly push the neighborhood over 3,000 and probably closer to 3,500
I think the neighborhood is great and slowly but surely getting better, but this project has the potential to take things to the next level if done right.

Interesting article about this and the involvement of Vollmer and Bommarito:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/colu ... e8361.html

Glad to see the press shining light on the issue of Vollmer's control over these things. Now its time for the residents to hold him accountable.
SouthCityJR wrote:
I think the neighborhood is great and slowly but surely getting better, but this project has the potential to take things to the next level if done right.

Interesting article about this and the involvement of Vollmer and Bommarito:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/colu ... e8361.html

Glad to see the press shining light on the issue of Vollmer's control over these things. Now its time for the residents to hold him accountable.


Indeed. article has already been posted to the Hill facebook page and seems to be gaining traction. I think the younger families don't buy in as much as the older generation. Especially considering how few are catholic compared to the past. QT managed to get a liquor license very easily (after a donation to his election fund of course)
This really shows how the reduction in size of the Board of Aldermen can't come soon enough. Right now we have 28 people with near absolute veto authority over their tiny fiefdoms. Less people who can say "No" will help move the city forward.
“Are they going to be particular about who moves in there?” asks an elderly woman near the front of the cafeteria. “We don’t want any riff-raff.”


A caricature of a stereotype. smh
joelo wrote:
They've revised it already. Down to 350 units. 20 single family homes and 50 or so town-homes. Neighborhood seems to be pretty split. Some just want development there. Building had a fire last year. People opposing it don't want rentals at all even though the developer is shooting for luxury style (used Cortana at Forest Park for example). People are convinced when this fails it'll turn in section 8 housing. Seems like those who live close to the warehouse are completely okay with it staying. Amazing to me


That is a worry every time an apt building is proposed.
urban_dilettante wrote:
“Are they going to be particular about who moves in there?” asks an elderly woman near the front of the cafeteria. “We don’t want any riff-raff.”


A caricature of a stereotype. smh

This is The Hill we are talking about.

The people there have been there forever and are justifiably concerned about preserving their neighborhood. I'm not one to give much heed to NIMBYism, but many of the families that call The Hill home have lived there for generations and plan to live there into old age and death. The community is strong and insular, but that is because they have a lot to lose should thing go the way of many other parts of the City. Development needs to be done in consultation with the local community, and though there is never going to be 100% satisfaction with any plan, it is important to take the neighbors' feelings into account.