Richmond Heights neighborhood demolished for Menards store

RICHMOND HEIGHTS (KTVI) – Chris Cooper looked over the pile of rubble and dirt on Jones Avenue and Stockard Avenue.

“It was a nice neighborhood everyone knew each other,” the 21-year-old remembered moving to the area when he was only seven.

The neighborhood stood near Hanley Road just south of Interstate 64 in Richmond Heights and had homes that stood for over half a century. But, Cooper said it took only about a week to demolish every home in the area. Workers started making room for a new Menards Home Improvement Store.

“It will bring an estimated $1.7-million in sales-tax revue and 200 jobs, half of them full-time,” said Hayley Kappes, spokesperson for the City of Richmond Heights.

She added Menards bought each home privately for undisclosed amounts.

“What we do know is that each owner was paid at least twice the fair market value for their homes.”

Over the years, owners sold to speculators promising redevelopment. One by one, those plans fell through.

“Everybody moved out of the neighborhood,” Cooper remembered. “It got real quiet. They started boarding up all the homes.”

Some wondered if the area needed redevelopment so badly, why not rehab the houses?

“It is what the market was calling for at the time. After years of failed redevelopment projects,” Kappes explained. “A retail project was the one that really took momentum and took a stronghold here.”

Cooper’s lives in his mother’s apartment. The landlord chose not to sell the family’s apartment, which sits right on the edge of the construction site where workers are also carving out space for a new public works building.

“It’s convenient for my mom,” he said. “She works right here and everything is just close. You can get to the city and everything.”

“For a neighborhood to be leveled like this to make way for a new development, it’s just not something that would happen overnight,” Kappes also looked over the pile of rubble and dirt. “This is not something that the city takes lightly.”

 

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2 comments

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    When we really progress in something, it’s called “progress”.

    Things like this, tearing down private homes to build another cardboard big box store of corporate America, in an area saturated with other cardboard big box stores of corporate America, is actually going backwards, or regressing.

    So, do we call this “regress”??

    Oh, and yeah, I’m sure the homes were all bought for “at least twice fair market value” – sure, how did corporate America and all those leech investor speculators put a “fair market value” on those homes, wha’ did they use about 15% or real value? That’s how it works: Developers target a poor area, then just THAT ACT makes values drop to a THIRD or less what they were, then they offer “fair market value” based on this drop.

    Of course, it doesn’t work in reverse – when big corporate America leech speculators buy a property like Crestwood Plaza, but they DON’T get their way and we citizens refused to hand over $35 MILLION in tax welfare to them, it stands empty and we can’t take it with eminent domain at “fair market value” because, even though the property is now worth about 50 cents, big corporate America simply MUST get their full value they paid for it! If the same rule applied to the owners of Crestwood Mall as applied to these poor people, we should be able to take it thru eminent domain for about $150,000. But gee for some reason, it don’t work that way – hmmm, think the system is rigged for corporate America? Gee, ya think so?

    Well, that’s a whopping 200 jobs, many part-time! Whew! And $1.5 MILLION in sales taxes paid for by working-class people who pay HIGHER sales tax there to pay off the MILLIONS in tax welfare we handed corporate America? WOW, that’s really something! No WONDER local governments are selling out their people and handing out huge welfare handouts to corporate America and developers! Worth every penny!

    A better use of our tax money would be to spend it on people – it would create MORE jobs and generate MORE tax revenue. But, then the rich would have to actually work for a living – something they don’t do in America.

  • Chief

    Bye bye – haven’t you realized by now??? NOBODY listens to nor cares what you think? You even have byebyetheclown “pretending” to be you. Take your “corporate America” and “corporate welfare” and shove it!

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