Grove Properties, a firm headquartered in the Forest Park Southeast (Grove) neighborhood, has proposed a 4-story, 71-unit apartment building on Manchester near Kingshighway. The address of the development is 4534-56 Manchester.
The site is currently home to a series of vacant homes and two-family buildings. All are in varying stages of decay with some having bricks missing and ivy growing on the walls, but the Cultural Resources Office has deemed them structurally sound. Despite their decay, the existing homes have character with unique brickwork that was once common across this city.
The proposed building is a simple yet modern design clad in brick, glass and fiber cement paneling. If approved by the Preservation Board, the proposed development will be, to some, a welcome change to the western end of Manchester in the Grove. Developments such as Restoration St. Louis's 4400 and 4440 Manchester, and Green Street's Terra in the Grove, have all gone up nearby in recent years, but development on Manchester west of Taylor has been non-existent for some time.
The building will help pull the activity of Manchester westward a bit. On the ground floor, plans call for 2-4 retail spaces along with 32 parking spaces. The upper 3 floors will include the 71 apartment units. An additional 18 parking spaces will be included on a surface parking lot along Swan Avenue. That parking lot does not call for demolition of any existing buildings. The parking ratio is set at .7 per unit.
The project was originally on the Preservation Board agenda for August, but it was removed due to no neighborhood meeting being held. The project is now on this month's Preservation Board agenda. The Cultural Resources Office has recommended approval for the proposed building's design. The Preservation Board meets Monday, October 24th at 4pm.
The Forest Park Southeast neighborhood association has not reviewed the development plans and neither has 17th Ward Alderwoman Tina Pihl's development committee.
The St. Louis Design Alliance, which is based on Delmar in the East Loop, is the architect on the project. A construction timeline, cost, and whether the project will seek incentives (unlikely in my view) has not been revealed.
Below is a Google Street View image showing the present-day buildings. They're some of the last remnants of what parts of the Grove neighborhood were like prior to mass-revitalization.