December Meeting Cancelled and New Development News

The December 10, 2013 meeting for the West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association has been cancelled.

The executive board decided that given a prediction for below freezing weather and potentially icy sidewalks, the lack of any pressing agenda items and the busy holiday season, that we’ll take a month off and reconvene in January.

New Development in the Central West End

IKEA:

Thanks to our beloved president, Harold Karabell, we have pictures to share today too.

IKEA annoucement

After long anticipation, IKEA is finally coming to St. Louis and it is just outside our neighborhood!

The new store will be located on the Southwest corner of Forest Park Blvd at Vandeventer. It will be a 2 story building constructed on stilts with a ground floor parking garage. The store will have amenities including a supervised children’s play area and a 450 seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties.

It took 10 years for IKEA to choose a location for their St. Louis store. The Central West End location comes as a surprise to many since most IKEA stores are located in the suburbs.

IKEA was drawn to the vibrant neighborhood and the plans for improvements in the CORTEX area. They wanted a store that was visible from Highway 40 and like the convenient location for students and their parents between St. Louis University and Washington University.

They also wanted a location near mass transit, and the proposed new MetroLink stop at Boyle was another reason the site was chosen.

Even with TIF financing, the store is expected to provide $2 million in sales tax to the city. The project was a complicated one to put together since the 21 acre site has 9 land owners with 20-25 parcels of land.

Harold shared a bit about the IKEA announcement:

Brooks talked about the work of Park Central Development and paid tribute to his staff for their dedication and commitment to bringing appropriate development to the neighborhood.
The Alderman spoke of the tremendous impact of both Whole Foods and IKEA on the neighborhood and on the city.  He thanked IKEA for its decision to locate within the City and outlined the complexity of this particular real estate deal sand development. He noted that while the IKEA site plan is hardly the best from an urban design perspective, it does represent a compromise with which everyone should be able to live given the tremendous value that IKEA will create.
IKEA’s Joe Roth thanked everyone for such an enthusiastic and sincere welcome. He noted that of IKEA’s 38 American stores, only a mere handful are located in central city neighborhoods. He noted IKEA’s already existing large customer base in the St. Louis region, spoke of the number of jobs that the store will create, and detailed IKEA’s commitment to being a “green enterprise.”

Read more about the new development and financing

Whole Foods:

Whole Foods groundbreaking - gold shovels

The Whole Foods ground breaking is a major step forward in adding the long awaited Whole Foods Grocery and City Walk development to our neighborhood.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to be able to walk just a few blocks to Whole Foods to pick up dinner to go or to enjoy a meal in the WiFi connected dining area.

Whole Foods groundbreaking -construction

Whole Foods groundbreaking - Mayor Slay

Whole Foods groundbreaking - shovels

Photo credits go to Harold Karabell.

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If you ever attend any events that affect our neighborhood, please contact us so we can share your story and pictures with the entire neighborhood.

One Reply to “December Meeting Cancelled and New Development News”

  1. Karen Goodman

    This is the first I’ve heard about that so I’m guessing it is speculation. We can certainly ask Brooks with Park Central about it at the next neighborhood meeting. They can’t usually say anything if there are confidential discussions in the works, but we usually get a heads up as soon as it looks like a project will proceed.

    Reply

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