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Luxury high-rise proposed near Forest Park

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I have never heard of this project before coming across this article, I hope this project gets built St Louis NIMBYS can be a beotch

Looking South down Skinker BLVD.


Hi-Pointe residents oppose condos


Special to the Post-Dispatch


Plan includes 15-story development on Skinker

Some members of the Hi-Pointe Improvement Association say they are opposed to a plan for a 15-story condominium development in their neighborhood.

The building, if approved, would be built at 809 Skinker Boulevard directly across from Forest Park and just south of a high-rise building at 801 Skinker.

Members of the Hi-Pointe group live in the neighborhood bounded by Skinker on the east, DeMun Avenue on the west, Clayton Road on the south, and San Bonita Drive on the north. The neighborhood encompasses a section of the Clayton-St. Louis border.

Some residents met last week with the developer, Cornerstone Properties-St. Louis. Most of the approximately 30 residents in attendance live in St. Louis, where the building would be located.

Sam Chimento, spokesman for Cornerstone, said Clayton residents were not invited to attend the meeting so that the developer could focus on the concerns of city residents who live closest to the site. "I am not prepared tonight to answer how it will affect people two to three blocks away," he said.

Tyler Stephens, project architect for Trivers Associates, the firm chosen by Cornerstone to design the new building, answered questions from residents living near the development. Stephens said the building would have 15 floors, 25 units averaging 2,400 square feet, a penthouse with 4,000 square feet, 50 parking spaces underground, a roof terrace and individual balconies for all units. The units would be sold for between $700,000 and $2.5 million.

Stephens said the building's facade would be made of glass and concrete and would have a rounded appearance that would provide a panoramic view of Forest Park. There would be an entrance ramp to the building on Skinker and a side entrance from San Bonita.

Currently, access to San Bonita from Skinker is closed off, and that would be retained with the new development. Stephens said that the San Bonita turnaround would be moved back to allow side-street access to the building without allowing access to the neighborhood from Skinker. Alderman Lyda Krewson, 28th Ward, said San Bonita would not be opened to Skinker.

When asked about the amount of shadow the new building would cast, Stephens said his firm had not yet conducted a full shadow study for the neighborhood directly behind the building. He said a partial mid-morning shadow study had been conducted, and only one house behind the building appeared to be affected.

Most in attendance said they were concerned about the building's height and design. Several residents said the proposed design was too modern and did not fit in well with the neighborhood. "It's not sympathetic," said Margaret Coates. "It's not a similar aesthetic. We chose our houses because of the aesthetic."

Another resident said that several high-rise buildings built in Clayton, including a new high-rise built next to the Ritz-Carlton, matched the architecture of the Hi-Pointe neighborhood.

Architect Andy Trivers, owner of Trivers Associates, said his firm was interested in lessening the effect of the building on the residents. Several in the audience responded to his comments by shouting in unison, "Make it shorter."

While there are five other high-rise buildings along this part of Skinker, the Hi-Pointe residents said they were concerned that the proposed building would adversely affect their neighborhood. "This will be the first high-rise to back up to single-family residences," said resident Jennifer Bai. "We want to control the height of the development to keep our neighborhood stable."

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Stupid NIMBYs. Developers should plan all their towers 10 stories taller than they actually want them to be, so that NIMBYs can get a sense of satisfaction out of knocking down the heights of the towers.

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By Phil Sutin

Of the Post-Dispatch


Plan for high-rise gets support, opposition

15-story building would have glass facade facing park

A 15-story condominium building that a developer would construct at 809 Skinker Boulevard is a reward for the $94 million investment that St. Louis and private donations made in improving Forest Park, supporters of the project say.

But some residents in nearby one-family houses see it as an intrusion that threatens the quiet charm of their neighborhood.

The structure would contain 11 floors of condominiums of about 2,400 square feet, two-story condominiums on the 13th and 14th floors and a penthouse of about 4,000 square feet on the 15th floor, says Sam Chimento, a principal of the developer, Cornerstone Properties. The units, with custom interiors, would be sold for between $700,000 and $2.5 million each.

The structure's facade would be of glass and concrete with a rounded appearance to provide a better view of Forest Park, which is across Skinker. Cornerstone would construct the building on a vacant lot and not need any other property for its project. The earliest construction could begin would be fall of next year, Chimento said.

The proposal "is a response to the renovation of Forest Park," says Tom DeWoskin, a developer who lives in the 900 block of Skinker.

DeWoskin says few parks in the nation are as good as Forest Park and people want to live next door and have a view of the park. The building "has a wonderful, great design," to enhance that view, he says.

The structure complements a high-rise building next door at 801 Skinker that also has a glass front, said Grace Caporal, who has lived for 23 1/2 years in the 900 block of Skinker.

The new building would give the city added income, Caporal said. "Think of the taxes - the real estate taxes that would go to the city," she said.

DeWoskin and Caporal are trying to sell their houses in the 900 block of Skinker. They denied they favor the high-rise buildings to increase the value of their property.

"I am just selling a house; I am offering it in the market place," DeWoskin said. "Building a high-rise would take two or three years. I'll be long gone." Caporal said the new high-rise would raise property values in the surrounding area, not just hers.

Frank Brundick, who lives in the 6200 block of Alamo Avenue close to Skinker and Clayton Road, believes the high-rise building would harm his neighborhood of one-family houses, bounded by San Bonita Avenue, Skinker, Clayton Road and DeMun Avenue.

"If this high-rise is built, it will be like a zipper, zipping high-rises up to the corner," he said.

Brundick said that generally, the high-rise buildings on Skinker were in front of multifamily buildings. A one-family house would be behind the Cornerstone high-rise.

"The owner has a swimming pool in the back," he said. "Do you think he will enjoy it as much with a high-rise next door?"

He said a modern high-rise building would be out of character with the neighborhood, whose houses are 80 years old, and where residents now can see fireworks from events in Forest Park. He said the new building would block that view.

Brundick said he expected a traffic study would show that the new building would need access from San Bonita, not just from Skinker. He also said the building would add to traffic and to accidents at Skinker and Clayton Road.

DeWoskin and Caporal said the high-rises now on Skinker were separate from the neighborhood behind them and that the new one should not affect those houses. "We're on a boulevard, a busy street," Caporal said.

Brundick said the new building would cause shadows that would limit sunlight to nearby houses. DeWoskin said the shadows would be fleeting and that the design could minimize them.

Caporal said that Skinker already had heavy traffic; she noted that contractors for a MetroLink extension along the Forest Park Parkway were hauling dirt in big trucks past her house. She said the added vehicles from the new building would not affect congestion.

Cornerstone has not yet applied for a rezoning to allow the building. Chimento said he was not asking for any financial assistance from the city. "It could be a start to wean other developers away" from government incentives, he said.

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