Green Park aldermen unanimously approve final development plan for new QuikTrip

New signalized ‘T’ intersection to be built at Flori, Lindbergh

By BURKE WASSON

Green Park aldermen recently gave unanimous approval to the final development plan to construct a QuikTrip convenience store and gas station on a site owned by the Bommarito Automotive Group along South Lindbergh Boulevard.

While QT is leasing the property from Bommarito, the automobile group also is considering leasing adjacent property to either a fast-food restaurant or tire company.

Near that development, city officials also expect that a new Lion’s Choice restaurant will open in April behind the former location of Fantasy Coachworks at 6032 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

That project also calls for realigning Yuma and Flori drives at their intersections with Lindbergh Boulevard.

Once the new Lion’s Choice restaurant opens and the existing Lion’s Choice at 6106 S. Lindbergh Blvd. is demolished, construction will begin on a Golden Corral restaurant at that location.

Golden Corral will lease property for a new restaurant from Lion’s Choice, and a second adjacent lot still is available for lease.

While previous reports indicated that 54th Street Grill & Bar had planned to build a new restaurant on the property adjacent to Golden Corral, the business decided against coming to Green Park after learning that Lion’s Choice representatives would rather lease than sell the property.

Those businesses will have a sales tax imposed through a community improvement district, or CID, to fund public infrastructure improvements for the Lion’s Choice redevelopment area. Revenue will be generated by an additional sales tax of up to 1 percent on sales within the redevelopment area.

The first phase of the Lion’s Choice development calls for the construction of the new Lion’s Choice to the north of a new, signalized “T” intersection at Flori Drive and Lindbergh Boulevard.

Dianne Graham of Realty Exchange previously told aldermen that two developers are interested in also constructing a residential component — likely attached villas for seniors — in a potential later phase.

As for the CID, infrastructure improvements to be funded include traffic needs, relocation of utilities and stormwater improvements.

And while a new traffic signal at Flori and Lindbergh will be placed at the new Lion’s Choice location, the QuikTrip project also calls for a modification of the traffic light at Lindbergh and Concord Drive from a three-way light to a four-way light and a realignment of Concord at Lindbergh with the new development.

The new businesses in Green Park could help offset an expected dip in revenue in 2009, as aldermen unanimously approved a budget forecasting a drop in general-fund revenue from $1,225,374 in 2008 down to a projected $1,080,050 in 2009.

At the same time, the capital-improvements fund is expected to see a slight increase in revenue as the city has budgeted for $420,000 in 2009 revenue, which is up from the 2008 estimate of $397,413.

While nearby cities like Crestwood, Fenton and Sunset Hills will dip into cash reserves in 2009 to balance budgets with more expenditures than revenues, Green Park’s total cash reserves are expected to grow in 2009 from an expected $3,592,594 on Jan. 1 to $3,609,630 by Dec. 31, 2009.

These new businesses also may face the prospect of paying an administrative fee or business license as Ward 1 Alderman Anthony Pousosa has asked the administration to place the long-tabled issue on the Board of Aldermen’s January agenda.

While officials conducted several meetings early in 2008 to discuss business licenses, aldermen have yet to take any action.

Ward 2 Alderman Tim Thuston, who chaired the committee to study business licenses, recommended in May that because of the ambiguous nature and variety of business-license structures throughout St. Louis County, he would prefer an administrative fee rather than licenses.

During a June work session, aldermen discussed ways to establish an administrative fee. City Attorney Paul Rost estimated at the work session that the annual fee for businesses would be roughly $30 to $50 based on the manpower it would take to collect those fees and compile a directory.