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What Does the Future Hold for Clarkson-Kiefer Creek?

Two of the last businesses that remained on the southwest corner of Clarkson and Manchester roads in Ellisville have now relocated, with McDonald's demolition concluding this week.

Ellisville's old McDonald's location officially became a memory this week as a demolition crew destroyed and hauled off the last remnants of the fast-food restaurant, which was across the street on the northwest corner of Clarkson and Manchester roads in July.

John and Michelle Banducci, who acquired the McDonald's in 2009, remain as owners, but along with the to Ballwin, the fresh vacancies on the southwest corner of Kiefer Creek and Manchester roads call attention to the city's developing plans there.

The city solicited proposals from developers in July 2010 for the space, which sets off the beginning of "Redevelopment Project Area 1" under the city's plan to . In the city's request for redevelopment document or RFP, the area is referred to as a "post World-War II retail corridor."

(Editor's Note: The complete RFP, which was prepared by PGAV Urban Consulting, is available by "Pdfs" above.)

The proposal says the dated design has led to a proliferation of curb cuts that have made access more difficult.

"The planning efforts also suggest that a new town center encompassing all four quadrants of the intersection of Manchester and Clarkson Roads has the potential to increase the appeal of Manchester Road, and thereby invigorate our local businesses," the proposal says. "The vision for the town center is to encourage denser development to create a destination location at the intersection."

The proposal also says the city is "highly motivated to encourage and assist the redevelopment" of the space, and cites various legal means the city could attract developers, including the use of a TIF district.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last fall that the Ellisville City Council was in talks with Jim Sansone, a principal developer in the Sansone Group, regarding the construction of a Walmart Supercenter. The Post-Dispatch reports that Sansone already , and is negotiating for the rest.

The targeted redevelopments in the southwest, which are the first phase of the project aimed at rehabbing the area surrounding Manchester and Clarkson roads, includes a total of 32 parcels of various sizes. At least four of the parcels, however, border Clarkchester Apartments, an adjacent 100-unit complex.

Residents there like Mary Ann Pippin, 35, told Ballwin-Ellisville Patch this summer that she'd heard rumors about a Walmart moving in, but hadn't received any official notice.

"We heard about it, but nobody has confirmed anything," said Pippin, who works at a nearby BP service station. "I know a lot of the customers that come into BP say about the same thing. Everybody’s a little worried about this Walmart coming.”

Other residents, like Marie Trew, were not as worried.

“To be perfectly honest, I’m really not too concerned about it," said Trew, 71. "They said it was in the works for 15 years, and my landlord said nothing's come out of it anyway."

Trew said that if a Walmart or a similar development is approved, however, it could pose a threat to tenants.

“I’ll be very upset, because I’m at the age I don’t want to have to move again," Trew said. "But you know, life goes on.”

Freelance writer Dawn Runge contributed to this report.

C. Panter February 01, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I don't need FOUR WalMart Supercenters within 6 miles of my house, and I CERTAINLY don't want the traffic that comes with a Walmart Center. Hopefully town officials will listen to residents better than Ballwin officials did about the Clarkson/Kehrs Mill Schnucks store!

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