Development would replace Waldbart Florist, Jon Paul Designs

Richmond Heights plan and zoning is set to meet on August 24 for a public hearing for an urgent care facility on the southwest corner of Big Bend and Clayton. The building would replace the one there now, displacing two longtime Richmond Heights businesses.

Waldbart Florist and Jon Paul Designs and Collectibles would be forced to move (which  both plan to do if needed) if the city agrees to let the building owner demolish it and replace it with a new Total Access Urgent Care.

Waldbart Florist has been at the location 50 years; Jon Paul Designs and Collectibles about 25.

The fourth generation Waldbart is the owner of the florist. She had no comment on Wednesday.

Jon Paul had several comments. He said he heard about the plan on Thursday last week.

“They’re taking away the nostalgic look of the town with all this building **** that they’re doing that looks like crap,” he said. “It’s a historical building and it could have been redone to where it would look phenomenal. The people who are doing it want to buy the building and tear it down and Richmond Heights is letting them do it. There’s nothing we can do.”

He said both businesses might have found a new location.

Jon Paul in his store on Clayton Road.

The location of the new urgent care facility, via city of Richmond Heights

Total Access already has a ‘coming soon’ for the Richmond Heights location on its website.

46 thoughts on “Development would replace Waldbart Florist, Jon Paul Designs

  1. This is so incredibly stupid. There is an urgent care literally 30-45 seconds up the street from this at Wise and Big Bend. It’s brand new. I love the buildings at Clayton and Big Bend, but can understand things change, structural problems, whatever. But at the very least, the changes should be relevant, fill a real need in the community, with at least an attempt to maintain the original character. The rendering of what’s set to replace this just looks like any corner in west county or something, and it does not serve the community. Again there’s an urgent care less than a minute away. Such a shame.

  2. IDEALLY A DEVELOPMENT WILL ADD VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST TAX INCOME. Too many urgent cares, apartments, drive-thrus of all kinds, gas/convenience stores, cleaners, mattress stores, etc., take far more than they give. Replacing unique buildings and businesses that exude charm chips away at our sense of place. THE ARGUMENT THAT A DEVELOPMENT WILL ADD TAX INCOME IS LAME WHEN QUALITY OF LIFE WILL BE FURTHER DIMINISHED. ENOUGH WITH EVEN MORE TRAFFIC/TRUCKS, NOISE AND AIR POLLUTION, TRASH, CRIME AND STRESS. City officials, PLEASE SERIOUSLY CONSIDER US LITTLE GUYS (residents). It’s not all about the money for us.

  3. Small business are the foundation of a community. Keep tearing down and/or displacing these small businesses and soon we can just forget about the heritage of Richmond Heights and just be another Ellisville, Chesterfield or you name it!!

  4. Urgent care is a good idea with a limited lifespan. Neither the new facility nor the disposable architecture will last as long as this beloved landmark building and businesses have lasted–all the while contributing to the character and desirability–read PROPERTY VALUES–of the area. This project is so short sighted– a fast buck and the hell with the community that harbored you for a lifetime. It’s astonishing how greedy the children of the rich can be. Alex Waldbart gave me a rose once, as a young student at Fontbonne, and I think he would be ashamed to see this happen to his building and his community. Good luck tonight, everyone.

  5. How many Urgent Cares do we need? There is one right down the street by the Post Office. I love the Total Access in Rock Hill but just don’t see a need for another one.

  6. What a shame! We have been Waldbart’s customers for decades. Part of Waldbart’s appeal is its friendly and historic building. It’s the only building that isn’t faceless and ugly on this important intersection. I hope Richmond Heights doesn’t destroy what’s left of its charm.

    Shannon and Dan Schlafly

  7. What bad idea! We have been Waldbart customers for decades and really appreciate the building’s friendly look and convenient location. It’s the only building on this important intersection that has any charm and neighborhood feel.

    Shannon and Dan Schlafly

  8. These both would be great Maplewood Businesses! Hope Rachelle L’Ecuyer Director of Community Development is on it #EnjoyMaplewood

  9. The sky is not falling in people. In order to make this older building meet code, ADA included, to provide some growth opportunities for a very popular and growing area of St. Louis County, well, sometimes these old buildings must come down. They just cannot always be modernized to be functional on a prime location like this. Who knows what other good development might take place along Big Bend, attracting companies, expanding others, attracting more new residents in RH. Does anyone have a problem with that ugly massive Hi-Fi-Fo-Fum building being torn down, making way for Big Shark? Not me, I was sick of looking at that empty building. I love the older buildings as well, Waldbart and Jon Pauls cute little shop do have character, but everything happens for a reason. There are many wonderful older homes, apartment buildings and commercial buildings that will continue to be renovated as Richmond Heights continues to grow and redevelop, but on occasion progress means tearing down a building or two. I know many of the people leading our wonderful city and respect what they are doing with good intentions for the long term growth and stability of Richmond Heights.

    • The portion of the Hi-Fi-Fo-Fum that was demolished had severe structural problems & they kept the portion that was structurally sound. Tearing down a piece of the built environment at this intersection for an amenity that is not beneficial to the community is a waste. There is already a new Urgent Care 1400 feet south on Big Bend and an entire 525 bed hospital with an ER 2000 feet east on Clayton. Driving out long time small businesses and demoing historic buildings in favor of low quality new construction is a travesty. I guess the next step for RH is to bulldoze a couple more neighborhoods to eliminate residents who oppose their scotched earth tactics to suck more money from their neighbors in Clayton, Maplewood, & Brentwood.

    • “Not me, I was sick of looking at that empty building.”.. Um… well this building is FULLY OCCUPIED and WELL-MAINTAINED with an assessed value of $664K per acre, so what the h*ll are you talking about? If it’s not already ADA compliant it can be made so by adding wheelchair ramps–hardly a feat of engineering. And what makes you think it’s not up to code otherwise? There are more than a few “growth opportunities” on any of the multitude of parking lots riddling this intersection. Moreover, there’s a hospital a couple of blocks east and ANOTHER Urgent Care a couple of blocks south of this location, so tell me again how this is “progress” and why this building “must come down” for a redundant service. You might want to give this a little more thought. Good intentions don’t equate to good leadership. (And I question whether “good intentions” are anywhere to be found in this abortion of a plan.)

  10. Add another family of 5 who will no longer use Total Access. Urgent Care is a booming business, but that also means there are other options nearby.

    I’m disappointed in Richmond Heights for going along with such a short-sighted plan for a major intersection.

  11. This really angers me. The fact that Richmond Heights leadership did this under the radar is telling. They knew how unpopular this decision would be. If you go to Total Access’s webpage, they already have this location listed! Sounds like a done deal to me. In the past 10 years, I’ve spent thousands of my health care money at Total Access. No more. They just lost my business permanently. And I have three children, so I go to urgent cares rather often! As people rightfully point out, I have many other urgent cares to choose from. I’ll choose one that doesn’t tear down historic architecture and change the character of the community in which I live. How depressing, Richmond Heights City Hall. Shame on you.

  12. Omg..no! Can you imagine if RH did not allow Walgreens to tear down the Parkmoor? We lost so much character on that corner and now a Total Urgent Care? No! I’m going to City Hall to voice my opinion.

  13. Like others have said this is an outrage and atrocity! Attend the meeting tomorrow but also contact TAUC.

    I’ve used them many times and love the place but will absolutely stop going to them if they tear that building down!

    They are a locally run business and so they should actually give a damn about their customers.

    Here is a link to their leadership team with emails:
    https://www.totalaccessurgentcare.com/about-us/leadership-team/

    Also here is a link to their Founder/CEO/President:
    https://www.facebook.com/matt.bruckel
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-bruckel-7a73687/

    St. Louis deserves better than the status quo, that building deserves to live!

    • It sounds to me like both businesses would be forced out, so why would you quit patronizing them? I don’t think the florist owns the building but I could be wrong.

    • Thanks for posting this! Who do you think is the best person to contact? I don’t see any email for the CEO.

      Definitely write and express how you will never go to their urgent cares again if they tear down this building. When your community does things in secret like Richmond Heights just did, you have to get aggressive to save historic buildings.

  14. That building is beautiful and Alex Waldbart Florist is a St. Louis tradition, not just a Richmond Heights tradition! How could the zoning committee be so shortsighted? We’ve already lost so much character at that intersection (when the Parkmoor was demolished) — please don’t take away Waldbart and Jon Paul! Both shops are DESTINATIONS for this area. Urgent Care facilities are a dime a dozen, and they are generic eyesores that say “This is the Architecture of Nowhere.”

  15. When I am sitting in traffic at the stoplight at Big Bend and Clayton, I find myself looking at the building and admiring that architecture. It adds to the charm of the City of Richmond Heights. Has anyone bothered to do some sort of traffic study, because it seems that it would force people to park across the street on that medical building parking lot and scurry across the street to the Urgent Care…it’s always a trick to get in and out of that small parking lot behind Waldbart, just as it is for the other small businesses on south bound Big Bend’s west side of the street. And to top it off, it’s a fairly useless enterprise to add to Richmond Heights. I’m not aware of any other florist or fine antique dealer in our zip code…but we seem to have emergency and “urgent” care covered. Why don’t they add their Urgent Care to a new construction area? There’s probably space in that new development in the old A B Green “luxury condo/first floor business/shops” fiasco, right?

    • Because RH could care less about architecture and history. Its all about generating tax $$ for their coffers. This is the same city that leveled two entire neighborhoods to build the Galleria and the Boulevard plus they want to jam a hotel and huge apartment complex in the Dale/Hanley intersection. Urban planning at its worst…

      • Watching the development at Dale and Hanley every morning on my way to work leaves me with this feeling of dread about the inevitable traffic fiasco that will soon be an everyday deal there. Like it’s not bad enough in the early evening there anyway.

  16. Let’s see, we have a St Marys’s two blocks to the East. We have a new Urgent Care facility two blocks to the South. (Blg Bend & Wise) that just opened. There is a Urgent Care at Clayton Rd. & Brentwood (CVS). We need one at Big Bend and Dale. With the Fire Dept leaving soon to join the other four departments, the Police joining the county next, why do we need a City Hall? Rock Hill has a small house and a tent for their Fire Truck and it’s working out fine. I see the building on the South-East corner of Clayton and Big Bend has a ‘For Sale ‘sign. Why not use it? Could it be too hard to get TIF money and tax abatement for that? What about traffic? Have you ever been at that corner between 2:30 and 6:30 ? Drive by sometime but make sure you have your lunch / dinner with you. Stay tuned for the next building coming down.

  17. Something need to be done with the management of Richmond Heights. Starts from the top. City manager, mayor, and Heinze’s law firm that does the dirty work for them. They all scratch each other backs and make decisions that citizens of RH have no choice. Love to see salaries of these people who vote for one another foe years. CHANGE IS NEEDED

  18. I agree with Jon Paul. That’s the right type of building for that corner. The park is fine, but the other two corners are new-built junk just like the Urgent Care facility would be. I can see why TAUC would need to customize a building, but they could do it where there’s already something new and ugly.

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