Sunset Hills board picks developer for proposed redevelopment project

By Robert Chalupny

The South Lindbergh Redevelopment Co. recently was selected by the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen to redevelop a 2.9-acre site near South Lindbergh Boulevard and East Watson Road.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last week to name the South Lindbergh Redevelopment Co. developer of the project. The company is affiliated with South Lindbergh Investments LLC.

Aldermen also voted to give initial approval to an ordinance that would designate the area as blighted under the state’s Urban Redevelopment Corporation Law, also known as Chapter 353 of the Missouri State Statutes.

If approved, the city could condemn the property, setting the stage for the possible use of eminent domain, according to City Attorney Robert C. Jones. The blighting designation also could result in some form of tax relief, including tax-increment financing.

As proposed, the redevelopment would include the demolition of a mobile home park and two residential homes, which cover the 2.9 acres. The trailer park and residences combined are home to about 40 residents.

The redevelopment project calls for construction of a commercial center comprised of office and retail space.

The current land owners, Carl and Lucia Bossert, want to sell their property, however; they are concerned about getting a fair price for their property.

The Bosserts said that they have a contract from another developer who wants to buy their property.

They would not disclose how much that contract is for, but the proposal the South Lindbergh Redevelopment Co. submitted to the city estimated the cost of the land at $800,000.

Jones told the Call that he first learned that the Bosserts had a contract on their property at the Sept. 9 aldermen meeting.

The South Lindbergh Redevelopment Co. is the only developer that responded to the city’s request for proposals to redevelop the area, according to Jones and Mayor James A. Hobbs.

The request for proposals was issued in May and Jones said the city sent a copy of the agenda for that meeting to the Bosserts to inform them of their intent to seek redevelopment proposals.

Lucia Bossert told the board last week that they never received anything in the mail about the May meeting .

In fact, she told the Call that the only reason that she and her husband were aware of the items regarding their property at the Sept. 9 meeting was because they received a call from Al and Nancy Borzillo, who own South Lindbergh Invest-ments LLC.

The Bosserts would not disclose who the other developer was or any type of dollar amount related to their buyout.

Because the Bosserts want to sell their property, Hobbs said, there is a good possibility that the city can work out a deal with them in which case there would be no need for blighting the property.

“Hopefully we won’t need to do that,” Hobbs said .

However, Jones told the Call that the property needs to be redeveloped, noting the city has received complaints about the property and he believes the property is “substandard.”

“In my personal opinion, it qualifies for blighting.” Jones said.

The board will consider final approval of the blighting ordinance when it meets at 7:30 p.m. October 14 at City Hall.