The West Pine Laclede Neighborhood Association will meet on Tuesday, November 9th at 7 pm at Northwest Coffee, 4251 Laclede (at Boyle). All are welcome!
Our guest speakers will be the developer of the proposed 41 Lindell apartment building and his attorneys for a further discussion of the proposed development.
On Tuesday, November 2nd, our neighbors who have property on the north side of the 4100 block of West Pine, right across the alley from the proposed development, and the officers of your Association along with Alderwoman Tina met with the developer’s St. Louis-based attorneys.
A summary of that meeting is included below. Please pay particular attention to the final paragraph, which provides a good summary of both the tone and the substance of the meeting.
WEST PINE LACLEDE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Special meeting 11/2/21
President Harold Karabell called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Jim Fredericks and Kathryn Redmond from Armstrong-Teasdale representing the proposed apartment development at 4120-4130-4144 Lindell Blvd to a group of homeowners with property directly behind the site.
Present: Harold Karabell, Karen Karabell, Terry Werner, Leah Koesterer, Diana Gualdoni, Ron Coleman, Tina ‘Sweet T’ Pihl, Sharon Olwig, Noah Cohan, Charles Lehman, Jared Boyd, Dan Helmuth, Lorraine Simpson, Sharon Robinson, David Robinson, Dorothy White-Coleman.
Jim Fredericks announced that he is attending in the hopes of working with the neighborhood to resolve any issues around the design and construction of the proposed building.
Question: ABNA building – is it for sale and, if so, is price the issue?
Answer: There were early discussions but the owners are not ready to sell at this time and this project cannot wait until/if they decide to sell.
Question: If the ABNA site were to be available, the design could be different … would the 6” setback from the alley be a possibility?
Answer: Not clear, would have to adjust all current plans. It is not uncommon to build up to property line. The developer has revised the exterior several times at the request of local residents and are still considering new designs.
Question: Power lines will have to be relocated. How will that affect residents on West Pine?
Answer: Power lines will be temporarily relocated to the South side of the alley and eventually be put underground at no cost to residents.
Comment: Dan Helmuth said this was done behind his property when 4101 Laclede building was constructed with only minor inconvenience. Developers covered 100% of the cost.
Question: Car access to the building?
Answer: One driveway access from Lindell and one from the alley. A second curb cut is drawn on Lindell to accommodate 4 parking places for a retail business space at the east end of the building.
Question: Can garage access from the alley be removed from the plan?
Comment: Dan Helmuth said the driveway access to 4101 Laclede building is right behind his garage and it has never been an issue.
Answer: Garage access from alley was modified from original plan after neighborhood meeting.
Question: Can the 4 parking places in front be removed and building moved up to allow more setback on the alley side?
Comment: Building frontage on Lindell must remain consistent with other buildings on Lindell. Moving it forward would probably not be permitted.
Comment: Can we eliminate curb cut in front (for 4 parking spaces for the retail location)?
Question: What are plans for the parking lot property across the alley?
Answer: We want to work with residents on this. The initial dog park idea was soundly rejected by residents and is off the table. Initially the site will be used by contractors for delivery, equipment, etc., but after that they are open to suggestions from the neighbors.
Comments: One or more of the adjacent homeowners may be interested in purchasing at least a parcel of that lot.
Answer: Developer would be open to that.
Question: Drawing A205 shows open space behind the building where current residences are in reality. Why?
Answer: Not showing existing structures in the drawing is standard practice in order to show the proposed building which would otherwise be blocked from view.
Question: For homeowners directly behind the building, the lack of setback is a deal-breaker. Drawing A103 (levels 2 – 6 typical floor plan) shows three offices on the south side of the building. Could these be eliminated to allow more setback?
Answer: this would have to be done on all floors, amounting to a significant reduction in space and income.
Questions to be addressed:
- What materials will be used for the windows?
- What is the proposed construction cost per square foot?
- Will there be affordable units set aside?
- Will developer be requesting property tax abatement?
- Will developer agree to a non-adversarial compensation fund for neighbors in the event there is damage to residential property during demolition and/or construction?
- Why was Ranieri Construction selected? Several of those present have significant concerns based on Ranieri performance on other projects in the neighborhood.
The presenters thanked the group and expressed desire to attend our upcoming November association meeting. They departed and discussion followed.
The general consensus was negative to the proposal because the building does not add beauty to a neighborhood where neighbors have spent their lives improving the area.
Alderwoman Pihl asked the group to say what is it we want.
Response: There should be no incentives for mediocre projects. One measure of quality is construction cost per square foot – must be a minimum of $250-$300 per square foot.
Comment: Neighbors are willing to undergo inconvenience and approve incentives for a project that improves and beautifies the neighborhood. This project, as presented, does neither. The lack of setback on the alley is a major issue.
Summary: There are significant concerns about the aesthetics of the building, the quality of construction, the presence of the ABNA “holdout,” and the alley setback variance requested.
Diana Gualdoni, Secretary