KSDK terminating Tower Tee’s lease; plans for new subdivision up in the air

Aerial+of+Tower+Tee

Aerial of Tower Tee

By Gloria Lloyd
Staff Reporter
news3@callnewspapers.com

A proposal for a new 158-home subdivision at Tower Tee in Affton is up in the air after a public hearing was canceled last week, but property owner KSDK Channel 5 is terminating the golf course’s lease in early January.
The 27-acre property is under contract pending county rezoning to McBride Berra, a collaboration of developers McBride & Son and Oakville-based J.H. Berra that proposed a combination of 99 single-family houses and 59 attached single-family “row houses” or villas called the “Arbors at Tower Tee.”
A public hearing on the plan and the company’s requested rezoning from commercial to residential slated for Monday was canceled last week so the developer could “reset” the plan, McBride Berra attorney Ed Griesedieck said in an email.
Tower Tee, a beloved south county institution, has leased the property since the 1960s as a driving range, golf course and batting cages.
In its statement announcing the termination of the lease for the golf course, television station KSDK and parent company Tegna stated that the company’s General Manager Alicia Elsner met with Tower Tee owners to let them know that the station would not be renewing the lease.
The contract had gone month to month in October and could be terminated with two months’ notice, KSDK said.
Tower Tee owner Steve Lotz said he’s still in talks with KSDK about the site.
“Things are fluid and we’re in discussions,” Lotz said. “It’s too early to say how things are going to shake out, but we feel like we have a fluid situation and some potential on the horizon to continue to serve our customers.”
He did not know why the zoning hearing was delayed. Griesedieck did not respond to requests for more details on McBride Berra’s plans for the site. The contract on the property is contingent on county zoning approval.
A planned meeting with nearby residents set for Nov. 6 at the Holiday Inn-South County Center was scheduled, then canceled the day of the meeting with a sign posted on the door that the meeting would be postponed.
Residents prepared to show up to the meetings to speak against the project kept busy last week talking about the plan online, where opponents have mobilized around the “Save Tower Tee” Facebook page.
Now that the McBride Berra plan has been delayed at least a month, if the plan is placed on the December zoning docket for the county Planning Commission, the earliest the site could gain full County Council approval to be rezoned would likely be February.