After issuing an RFP for 43 parcels of land in the Gate District West neighborhood in mid- August, SLU has worked with the Gate District neighborhood association to find developers to build on the parcels. 4 developers and a non-profit have been selected to build approximately 35 single-family homes and 12 condos in 3 buildings.
The developers chosen for this project are all local. The development committee, made up of the neighborhood association and SLU, also drove the look of the new homes, with the RFP calling for designs that fit the urban character of the surrounding neighborhood. The developer names are...
Black Lab Development
Prime Property Investments
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis
UIC Homes has been instrumental in filling gaps in the Botanical Heights (formerly McRee Town) neighborhood. They're designs in that neighborhood have been quite modern. They've also done other projects across the City with their own unique, modern style. Habitat for Humanity has done affordable homes all across the City and County and have a mixture of traditional and contemporary styles.
“The partnership with these residents to create something that honors this community is a blessing. I want to thank our St. Louis community neighbors for sharing our vision for and commitment to growing stronger together.” - University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.
The 35 new homes will be two-story, with three-four bedrooms and priced in the $300,000’s. The 12 condos will be two-bedroom/two-bath units priced in the $200,000’s. Construction could start as early as this spring on some of the new development.
“Initially, I and many of my neighbors were shocked to learn Saint Louis University wanted to partner with our neighborhood to redevelop the lots they owned, but as a committee member, I was able to see their sincerity in community involvement and revitalization firsthand. SLU has proven to be a good neighbor.”- Shawn M. Wade, development committee member.
The development of these homes will fill noticable gaps in the urban fabric in the Gate District West. Signs of the past when the neighborhood was in decline and urban renewal was sweeping through the City are visible. When viewed on Google Maps, this section of the neighborhood, which is located behind the School of Medicine and other SLU buildings, will become a denser neighborhood. Even with this project, there is still a lot of work to do in this neighborhood.
SLU owns a lot of property in the Gate District, many are vacant lots, so I expect SLU will continue leveraging development opportunities in their redevelopment area. Whether it be by issuing an RFP or working with developers on building something in the redevelopment area, SLU is wanting to create a stronger community surrounding their campus.
“The Gate District West Neighborhood Association and Saint Louis University continue to be great partners in building a thriving neighborhood that will now welcome many more residents to the City of St. Louis. It is great to see our oldest institution working to better so many of the communities that surround its campuses.” - Alderwoman Marlene Davis (19th Ward)
Gate District West is bordered by Grand Boulevard to the west, Compton Avenue to the east, Chouteau Avenue to the north and Interstate 44 to the south. More than 80 percent of its residents are African-American, and the neighborhood currently has an equal mix of for-sale and rental housing.
Gate District West falls within a 400-acre area where the St. Louis Midtown Redevelopment Corporation – a joint effort of the University and SSM Health – oversees all development projects. Attracting infill housing to the neighborhood was a priority of SLU’s redevelopment plan.