Debate over proposed Dogtown development

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The skyline in Dogtown could be growing taller.

The Clayton-Tamm Community Association approved a zoning change to allow for a proposed $20-million mixed-use apartment building.

A neighborhood meeting was held to discuss the topic at St. James Thursday night. Of those in attendance, 54 people were in favor, 23 were opposed to the idea.

“Change is hard and we’re used to dealing with historic neighborhoods that have a lot of history, a lot of legacy, and a lot of emotion attached to it,” said Jeff Tegethoff, president of Pearl Capital Management.

Pearl Capital Management bought the property at 3600 Clayton Ave, which used to be a lumberyard, but has sat empty for almost a decade. It is proposing a five-story building that would house 100 apartment units, 14,000 square-feet of retail space on the first floor, and underground parking.

Most people at the meeting who opposed the project worry about lack of parking, sewage issues, and fear the modern building won’t blend with the character of Dogtown.

"At what point do we compromise the charm of this neighborhood, the architectural set up of this neighborhood. Where’s enough? When you set a precedent for one building, others pop up and before you know it, we’re not going to be that cute neighborhood anymore. And that’s the biggest fear long-term residents have,” said Jack Weaver, an opponent to the proposal.

The opponents plan to start collecting signatures for a petition and fight it in court just like they did a few years ago when they successfully stopped a similar development from going up.