MetLife redevelopment approved by County Planning Commission

The 100-acre redevelopment will focus on “sustainability” Propper said

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A rendering of ‘Tesson Ridge’ is shown above, with subdivisions in green and commercial orange.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The 100-acres Tesson Ridge development project was approved by the St. Louis County Planning Commission last month after months of back and forth. 

The Planning Commission approved the plan July 26. 

The 100-acre mixed-use development will include two new subdivisions with more than 170 single-family houses, a 210-unit apartment building, nearly 8 acres of commercial development fronting Tesson Ferry Road and public spaces like a plaza and amphitheater. The project is proposed on the former MetLife Campus. 

The land size and scope of the Tesson Ridge project make it one of the largest developments in South County history – larger in size even than the roughly 47-acre Crestwood Mall site, which is also undergoing possible redevelopment. 

The plan approved by the commission features four different zoning areas, each with a different purpose. The first zoning area is zoned for commercial development on 7.87 acres fronting Tesson Ferry Road. The commission implemented several setback conditions on the buildings and parking lots in the area. 

Petitioner Propper Construction said that there will be no more than 70,000 square feet of commercial space and all buildings will be three stories or less. 

The second zoning area is zoned single-family residential on 9.87 acres. Propper is proposing 60 villas in the zone, named the “Villas at Tesson Ridge,” with the commission implementing a minimum lot size of 45,000 square feet. 

The other zone is 21.62 acres and will feature 210 multiple family apartments called “The Residences at Tesson Ridge,” using the existing MetLife building. The plan also calls to use an existing lake on the campus for stormwater management. Some of the above ground parking will also be removed and instead, an underground parking garage will be utilized, reducing the impervious surface area. 

County staff reported that this is a “desirable reutilization of the former suburban office park.” 

The last and largest zone is 57.43 acres with an 8.57 acres buffer along the south and west. This zone will feature 110 single-family detached homes, dubbed “The Manors at Tesson Ridge,” with average lot sizes of 10,000 square feet. The commission added a condition that no access be permitted to Keller Road. 

The buffer along the south and west will be 100 feet of woodland, with the addition of preservation of several trees throughout each zone. 

With 645,588 square feet of office space, the massive and now-vacant MetLife Building was once considered for a location of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 

As part of the broader 100-acre project, Propper said that it hopes to “enhance the overall aesthetic and value of the community.” 

Sustainability is a goal of the project, and the developer will reuse the footprint of the MetLife buildings when possible. Other paved areas will return to green space or be made into walking trails, according to the developer. 

 The development is in the Mehlville School District. The nearest Mehlville schools for any new students to attend would be Trautwein Elementary, Washington Middle School and Mehlville High School.