Board eyes Watson, Old Sappington development

Staff Report

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen was scheduled earlier this week to consider selecting a developer to redevelop the southeast corner of Watson and Old Sappington roads.

The Board of Aldermen was scheduled to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

Aldermen voted unanimously last month to issue a request for proposals to redevelop the 5.7-acre site that is comprised of six properties containing a muffler repair shop, two multi-tenant retail centers, two residential properties and a vacant lot. Aldermen agreed to issue the RFP despite the possibility that the use of eminent domain might be sought.

The RFP was issued after city officials received a request from the primary owner of the property seeking the city’s assistance in redeveloping the site. Bob Brinkmann of Brinkmann Constructors, representing the Old Sappington Square Corp., asked the city to initiate the RFP process.

In a June 28 memo to Mayor Roy Robinson and the Board of Aldermen, Greer wrote, “Several developers called with interest in the RFP; however, Old Sappington Square Corp. is the only developer who submitted a response. Old Sappington Square Corp. currently controls approximately 93 percent of the proposed redevelopment area.”

Besides the selection of the Old Sappington Square Corp. as developer for the project, aldermen Tuesday night were scheduled to consider:

• Approval of a preliminary funding agreement with the Old Sappington Square Corp. As proposed, the developer would advance the city funds to pay for planning studies, reports and legal documents associated with the redevelopment project. The proposed agreement was being finalized at press time.

• Approval of a technical services agreement with the city’s planning consultant, Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc. “to assess the potential for redevelopment of certain properties located at the southeast corner of Old Sappington and Watson, the potential for creation of a Community Improvement District in the project area and the potential for designation of the project area as ‘blighted’ under (the) Urban Redevelopment Corporations Law ‘Chapter 353,”’ according to a memo from Greer to Robinson and the Board of Aldermen. As proposed, PGAV’s services would cost $16,000 and be funded through the preliminary funding agreement between the city and the developer.

• Approval of a technical services agreement with Crawford, Bunte Brammeier for a traffic impact study in conjunction with the proposed redevelopment project. The study, according to a memo from Greer to Robinson and the Board of Aldermen, would “determine the number of trips generated by the proposed development, identify the impact these trips would have and evaluate the need for roadway improvements to mitigate these impacts.

“In addition, a potential cross access with the Schnucks property located east of the proposed development will be evaluated with regard to its feasibility. In particular, the study will provide a technical basis to support the city’s efforts to ensure the project will not negatively impact traffic in surrounding neighborhoods,” Greer wrote.

As proposed, CBB’s services would cost $8,500 and be funded through the preliminary funding agreement between the city and the developer.

At the May 10 Board of Aldermen meeting, the possibility of the developer requesting eminent domain was discussed with Robinson saying, “… I looked at this development that the owners are proposing and I was pleased with it, and it takes a lot for me to go along with the potential of an eminent domain. But in our talks with the owners of that, I have emphasized the fact that I wanted them to make every effort to purchase any properties they needed and they assured me that they were making every effort to do that to keep us out of that business.

“But this particular project is very important to our city … I think you all ought to know I think this will clearly send a signal to the business community that Crestwood isn’t dead, that Crestwood has something to offer and I think, as I cannot speak about the tenants, I think most of you will be very pleased to know the kind of tenants we will be getting here …,” the mayor continued. “It takes a lot to make me happy about something like this because of the 353 being involved, but it’s a very small thing. It’s not like we’re trying to take over a whole area. They have control of all but just a little small portion and I might be persuaded to agree with them because I think it’s — I’ve always said if this is something that will provide Crestwood, all of Crestwood, something, which it will, that’s revenue. I’d be hard to go against it …”

In a May 10 memorandum to Greer, Ellen Dailey, the city’s economic development specialist, wrote, “The proposed development project is the culmination of over two years of planning and discussion on the part of both the city and the property owners.”