Fears if mall development not successful, site will remain vacant

To the editor:

I’ve lived in Crestwood for 40 years and when my three children left, I only wish there had been nice apartments on the mall property.

Those residents who long for the mall’s glory days, well, those days of enclosed malls are gone. It is too expensive to heat and cool unoccupied areas. Tax-increment financing has mutated from its initial intent, but this is the 21st century and developers all want and expect public support. It’s here to stay like double coupons at Schnucks and auto rebates.

Lindbergh Schools is fearful of lost taxes, but I was told that it is estimated property values might rise 25 percent to 30 percent when the project is completed. The Lindbergh superintendent believes apartments will add roughly 75 more students to the system. But how many will attend private schools? St. Elizabeth’s has an empty school and would probably be happy to lease those classrooms to Lindbergh.

What is the superintendent going to suggest next — empty-nesters not selling their homes to families with school-age children or women of child-bearing age? I fear if this development does not succeed, the mall will sit vacant for a long, long time.

Lawrence Polys