Richmond Heights P&Z to vote on multi-family, multi-use proposal

Richmond Heights planning and zoning has considered a multi-family, multi-use development on Boland Place, north of Dale Avenue in previous meetings. At its meeting Thursday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m., the vote should come.

Some residents near the site are opposed.

Richmond Heights resident, Derek Bolden, is one of those, and contacted his neighbors on the community website Nextdoor to rally them to the planning and zoning meeting on Thursday. Other neighbors have called the Richmond Heights building department in opposition too, according to an employee there.

Bolden allowed his statement on Nextdoor to be reprinted here:

Well this Thursday is the final meeting on the revised plan for the proposed Dale and Boland apartments. The developer Joseph Cyr has personally reached out to me and my wife to try to gain our support for the project and needless to say we are still in opposition. If you drive down Boland you should be very concerned about this development. I have already said quite a bit about why this project should not be allowed to be built and to sum it up… This project is just too big for the neighborhood.”

The ideal use for that stretch of land would be more single family homes. In fact it is perfect for that. Boland could be a prime street for Richmond Heights. If the land is used for new home construction the redevelopment would most likely spread.

According to the planning and zoning announcement,  the development is a “mixed-use 207 unit multi-family community; with the addition of a small ground floor retail space along Dale Avenue to accommodate neighborhood businesses such as a coffee shop, ice cream parlor or deli.”

Bolden said by email to 40 South News that the developer, Joseph Cyr, tried to develop a similar sized building in Dardenne Prairie (near Lake St. Louis) and residents nearby “shut it down”. See the article in the St. Louis Business Journal.

A Richmond Heights Building Department employee said Wednesday that calls in opposition to the project have been coming from farther away than the 300 feet distance from the project that received a notice in the mail.

She said planning and zoning could have voted at the last meeting, but decided to postpone the vote to allow the plan to be revised  — a story was removed from part of the building — before the vote. She also said some want single family residences on the site, which she said it would be too expensive.

The drawings below are at Richmond Heights City Hall, building department.

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View looking northeast on Boland Place

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Elevation facing Dale Avenue

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Site plan — City of Richmond Heights owns the playing field to the west.

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Cutaway view on Boland Place

 

21 thoughts on “Richmond Heights P&Z to vote on multi-family, multi-use proposal

  1. Also, Doug, why don’t you post an actual picture of the historic brick school that would be torn down to make way for this new development? On your Facebook link, it looks like a vacant lot is what’s up for grabs, when in actuality it is a massive institutional building. This would inform your readers more about what is at stake here. I know it stinks that this building has been vacant for so long, but the city should wait for a proper institution or rehab, instead of tearing down yet another historic building.

  2. It would be an absolute shame to tear down the solid brick building that is on this spot. I still wish an institution – educational or otherwise – would reclaim the original A.B. Green. Why do we always think new is better? It clearly isn’t. I guarantee what they build in its place won’t be nearly as well-built or last as long as the current structure. I hope the local residents are able to stop this.

  3. This proposed project is just too big for this neighborhood! Dale and Boland are congested enough!! Can it not be scaled down? I understand the school is vacant but what happens to the neighborhood when this building that they want to build falls apart in the next 10 years? We will be stuck with an eyesore in the middle of our neighborhood…..

  4. In my defense unlike the rest of the comments here I will live directly across from this proposed development. I think it is an easy thing to feel good about something when you live blocks away. Honestly I think many of you raise some good points I just ask that you put yourself in my shoes before you judge your neighbor.

  5. I happen to live on Boland and am strongly against this project. I have to drive down Dale every morning for work and traffic is congested as it is and to add more cars to the mix will make it nearly impossible to get where I’m going on time. Another issue I have with it is not enough parking inside the proposed building for all residents and their guests which means the streets will be lined with cars making it hard for the people who already live here to park and have guests. Also, what happens when they can’t get enough people to rent the apartments? When the rent is at the 1750.00 a month mark, I find it hard to believe that this is a going to fill up as fast as they think. Will there be affordable housing in the future if they can’t generate the revenue to keep the building going? They cannot guarantee that it won’t and that scares me. While I do think something should go in this spot, I don’t think a huge apartment building is the answer.

    • How many parking spots are within the project for the 207 units? I don’t see it listed in the article.
      It looks like there was a traffic study completed. Have you reviewed that? What were the findings?
      This is just my experience, but when I drive down Dale to go to the heights before work at 530AM and and leaving at 7am or after work at 5pm and again at 630pm Dale is NEVER very busy. Maybe 5 or 6 cars in front of me at a stop sign at the very busiest.

      • Amazing how entitled people are… So you feel that because you drive by here on your “way to the gym” you are justified to put your two cents in on how it may or may not impact a resident that lives in the near vicinity? Really?

  6. If you support this project, it’s important that you go to the P&Z meeting to speak up in support. The “shut it down” types will often rally their supporters to make it seem like nobody wants the development, you know – the ‘squeaky wheel’ effect. So show up and speak up!

  7. This looks great! The massing looks appropriate, much of the parking is hidden, and first floor retail! As A Clayton Resident who drives past here every day to the Heights gym I fully support it!

  8. This is highest and best use. The guy in opposition does not understand the economics. This land is way too expensive for single family homes.

    Lastly, his other comment to support his argument, about the developer getting turned down in Dardenne Prairie is ridiculous. What does that have to do with this?

  9. I encourage everyone interested in this development to attend the zoning commission meeting tomorrow, 12/16/15 at 7:00P on the second floor of the Richmond Heights city hall building.

  10. THIS!!! Business space on first floor with apartments up top. Parking in the center to allow for the building to be close to the street. Quality construction materials. It is the total package. I wish Maplewood had something like this on Manchester from Hanley to Big Bend.

  11. Great design. Guess they got the church to sell its corner lot. I know that was an issue preventing this type of development. It will need more than a 3-way stop sign at the corner now though.
    Just wish The Waldorf School would have had the money to put a school back in the building.

  12. The city (and federal government) invested heavily in Dale Avenue recently to incentivize exactly this sort of development. Why wouldn’t we want to welcome more people and more business to our area? How much revenue do we raise on the derelict, underutilized real estate currently? Richmond Heights has been losing population for years. This is a great opportunity to reverse that trend.

    I would love a café or coffee shop within walking distance of our home. Maplewood isn’t the only inner suburb that should be courting small businesses.

    • Richmond Heights has been losing population for years because they have continually sacrificed housing to retail. ..then they have squandered the money on shamelessly expensive and tacky things like the brick crossings at Dale/Big Bend, the faux “lantern lights”, new street name signs that look like cheap cardboard, don’t even get me started on the brick corner “monuments”…

      • I agree completely. Every time I drive by, I wonder at the bizarre decision to dress up the middle of a neighborhood as if it’s a destination. It looks like the city has money to waste.

  13. I live in this neighborhood and would love to see more retail on Dale. The current site is an eyesore.