WEBSTER GROVES — The Webster Groves council is set tonight to again review the proposed $320 million development of apartments and condos north of its business district.
The council will review the project’s zoning. It is not expected to vote until next month, said Mayor Gerry Welch.
The project, called Douglass Hill, would demolish existing businesses and warehouses to make way for up to 700 apartments, 100 condominiums and more than 100,000 square feet of retail and commercial space at the southwest corner of North Gore and West Kirkham avenues, an area the city is calling Old Webster North. A historic Black church on West Kirkham would remain.
Douglass Hill represents new opportunity to attract more residents — and more tax dollars — for an older suburb like Webster Groves, which has long identified the area for redevelopment.
It is the most ambitious commercial development to go before the city in recent memory, but its scale and potential to exacerbate traffic near the railroad tracks has divided the city. The developers are seeking $35 million in incentives to help cover the costs of land acquisition and work to get the site ready for new construction. They have asked the city for the option to use eminent domain to force property owners to sell, but said they’re not sure they’ll have to.
The developers — a partnership called SG Collaborative that includes Green Street Real Estate Ventures and Seneca Commercial Real Estate — say the project will add revenue to the school district and other taxing jurisdictions, as well as improve walkability.