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Crestwood Court Talks Will Likely Continue in 2013

Do you think this is the year for a project to move ahead?

It's been a rough two months for Crestwood Court. In December the Board of Aldermen rejected a planner for a proposed redevelopment project, ceasing ongoing discussions for the District at Crestwood. . 

It's made some residents more anxious than ever to see action.

At Tuesday night's Board of Aldermen meeting, former alderman Greg Roby asked for an update on communications with the mall's developers, Centrum Partners.

"My indication from talking to citizens that they're very concerned with the fact that there's not a lot of movement, and they're not wanting to continue seeing that property just sit there," he said.

Mayor Jeff Schlink said he spoke with Sol Barket the day after the board's vote in December, who expressed interest in having a work session with board sometime in January or February.

One alderman suggested the board have their own work session focused on edevelopment before they meet with Centrum reps again

"We reminded each other that the property sat vacant for many, many years. We didn't see a few months being a deal breaker, causing problems for us to continue our discussions," he said.

Roby suggested a town hall-style meeting that would discuss demolition and related costs.

Review related stories on Crestwood mall redevelopment.

John Dough January 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM
The Board of Aldermen should at least pass a motion to change the Mall tumbleweed at least twice a year..Perhaps they could form an impact group with this action in mind.
Reasonable Person January 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Doubtful anything will happen with the present BOA. Hopefully all the April candidates will take a firm position on this issue one way or another so the voters can make an informed choice and have some say in what happens to the mall.
Karlie Baker (Editor) January 23, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Assuming one or both of these meetings take place before the election, do you think it's as important for candidates to attend as it is for current aldermen?
John Dough January 23, 2013 at 04:37 PM
A public meeting open to the public? interesting concept. The BOA does it's best (or worst) work behind closed doors.
Grant Mabie January 23, 2013 at 06:47 PM
It's small wonder that Crestwood finds itself in difficult financial times when the only sales taxes being generated from the approximately 50 acres in the heart of the city are coming from LensCrafters alone. While there are some specific items that need to be tweaked in Centrum's redevelopment plan, I am generally in favor of the redevelopment, and would support it if elected to the Board of Alderman this April (I am a candidate in Ward 3). My support of the redevelopment plan would include support for a reasonable amount of tax-increment financing. While I think any municipal board should approach a request for TIF cautiously, the situation in Crestwood is a far more appropriate use of TIF than the luring of a Walmart like Bridgeton did (and Shrewsbury is working on). With online shopping likely to become more and more prevalent going forward, relying on big box retail is a risky proposition. However, the Centrum proposal seems to be more centered on entertainment and dining, which has two advantages: 1) People will travel to a restaurant or unique entertainment venue that they like (whereas people will go to the closest Target or Walmart to where they live) and 2) even with more and more online shopping, people will still go out on dates, out to dinner with their families, and out for drinks with friends. -Grant Mabie
Patricia A Christy January 23, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I ditto the above. We could use an entertainment zone...restaurant business has done fairly well in this economy (still long lines at Red Lobster, etc.). Sports bars are also popular. A good atmosphere for entertainment would be attractive, especially with small unique shops in proximity.
Emily Malabey January 24, 2013 at 02:57 AM
ArtSpace was a great community concept. We tenants just didn't bring in the revenue they wanted or needed. There were some awesome NPO's, theatre, dance, art, antique, and of course the movie theatre there. It was awesome to have ICAA there as long as we did. It would be neat to see the place kept up. Maybe put in an IKEA, and some other "anchors" and allow the creative art-spaces and non-profits to flourish in the smaller areas again.
Eric T January 24, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Continuously reading about Crestwood's budget problems while seeing little action being done to get the redevelopment going is frustrating. I am all for paying more taxes in order to help fund the development which will, in turn, generate the tax revenue needed for the community....which will make Crestwood a desirable place to live / raise a family / open a business....which will make our property values increase, etc, etc.... That property has been on the decline for over 15 years, so I'd say it is about time to not be picky (ie...people saying that the redevelopment will hurt existing businesses). I am not on board with tax increases to make up for budget shortages while no progress is being made for the redevelopment. I am in favor of temp tax increases to make up for the shortages if ground is being broken. I think the proposed entertainment district would be a great way to generate tax dollars and bring in outside revenue to the city.
Tom Mahan January 31, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I would have to agree completely with Mr. Mabie on how the use of TIF's in this instance is precisely what TIF's were intended to be used for. Using TIF's as a jump start to lure in and establish unique business and entertainment venues will ultimately pay off in the long run if the redevelopment is done properly. I think that the South County/West County area is in need of a unique entertainment area that can draw people in from all around the area. A unique development comparable to the Delmar Loop (with great venues like The Pageant, Blueberry Hill, The Tivoli, etc.) would find quite the nice niche in this area and could benefit all residents of the city.

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