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Ecology of Absence now resides at www.preservationresearch.com. Please change your links and feeds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another North Side Building Lost Under Blairmont Project

This two-story 19th-century commercial building at 2413 Cass Avenue, owned by N & G Ventures LC, fell to wreckers last week after being pillaged by brick rustlers. The building stood just north from the Pruitt-Igoe housing project site, and shared a wall with a small Modern Movement building (still standing) to the east that was once home to the social services office for Pruitt-Igoe. The city's Building Division applied for an emergency demolition permit on April 19 (see here), issued on June 1. The lot is now strewn with the signs of fresh demolition: straw and seed. The city sends the estimated $8,500 bill on to the owners of N & G Ventures LC, which include Paul J. McKee, Jr.

For more on McKee's project, see today's article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by reporter Jake Wagman: Plans ride on ties to city


Anonymous said...

Prior to McKee's acquisition, what was the narrative on this building?

Anonymous said...

Emergency demolition permits and six-figure purchase prices. Is it just me or does this seem to be moving quickly?

constant change said...

A nice storefront with possibilities above... Built of Brick... soon to be imitated, but hardly replaced.

Anonymous said...

Careful not to be too critical! You might chase them away, and then who's going to prevent the proliferation of abandoned buildings?

P.S. I think that the mayor - who is the one who writes the mayor's blog - forgot to mention the $100 ****ing million completely self-serving tax credit issue.

Anonymous said...

Read the Mayor's blog closely. It describes a forest of regulations and meetings. It calls for preservation of historic buildings and engagement of the community.

Activists should be pleased and ready to participate in a community based planning effort.

Anonymous said...

We read the mayor's blog closely. It reveals that the "vision" calls for new schools, parks, etc. They'll probably preserve Crown Candy. Obviously someone in the Mayor's office has seen or heard something more than a "vision." Engagement is sounding like it will be a presentation on what will go where in the new near northside. Not uncommon in eminent domain whole new slate endeavors. I think Greisheimer's bulldozer comment is alot more revealing than the Mayor's blog.

Anonymous said...

Slay's blog:
"If you do read the newspaper’s story, ask yourself these questions: If Paul McKee is chased away, [...] who will do something today with the thousands of vacant lots and buildings there?"

I don't know, but McKee hasn't been doing anything there today for the last thousand-some todays.

"And, finally, ask yourself why developers would ever do anything in the most challenging neighborhoods of the City, when they could more easily invest their money in other neighborhoods or the suburbs and exurbs — if this "coverage" is what they get?"

Because they didn't anticipate the rise of local political blogs that expose political/private corruption to the point where it would become an embarrassment for mainstream news sources not to cover it?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Slay's blog doesn't use the word preservation. The statement is the sort of wishy, washy public relationship speak, promising everything to everyone without making any real committments either way.

Anonymous said...

Here's an excerpt. Note the bolded items:

"Paul has spoken in general terms of building new homes and schools, adding green space, attracting new businesses, and restoring historic properties. Whatever he does with his properties will end up being subject to a battery of commission and legislative approvals, and a forest of hearings and meetings. If he is able to use a new state tax credit program designed to stimulate investment in the state’s poorest areas, he will have to agree not to use eminent domain to acquire properties; not to displace most current residents; and to build on a scale that will change the area’s character quickly, rather than over decades.

No project in north St. Louis, no matter how significant, will be able to treat current residents or employers unfairly. No property owner, no matter how substantial his holdings, will be immune to the City’s regulations. And should there ever be a redevelopment plan for the area, current stakeholders must be included in the process.".

I would say the blogger world has had quite a bit of influence in how this new vision is being presented.

Anonymous said...

The assurance that he will not displace most current residents is a joke given that his five years of purchasing has made the number of current residents a lot smaller.

Does "current residents" mean the number as of June 27, 2007?

Since McKee is still buying occupied houses, including some in June, what exactly does the mayor's assurance mean?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the mayor and city development staff have either let or allowed this "new vision" to get too far without speaking clearly. Instead of more pr, the mayor could use his political skills to communicate to city residents, including organizations, developers and residents of this affected area, a clear statement about the relationship between McKee's plans and the work that has been going on here, as limited as it has been.

Some of us have long memories of being asked to participate in the various public and civic planning processes that have occurred over the past 15 years and, in doing so, being asked to committ ourselves to making a difference in our neighborhoods. That participation and committment provides both responsibilities but also a right to be treatly honestly and respectfully, not with casual condenscension.

Folk deserve at least some straight talk, not more blog bullshit.

Anonymous said...

do you know exactly what year this building was built? i need it for a project