Vandeventer Estates - St. Louis City Talk Favorite Development of 2017

This one is huge. Houses on vacant lots is something everyone can agree on. New housing in North City even better, in this case the Vandeventer Neighborhood which saw a whopping loss of 40% of its 97% black population pack it up and exit from 1990-2000 and an additional 24% left from 2000-2010.

Reversing the glaring/racist wrongs of the Delmar Divide is something we need to consider over and over again. And even in modern times, we need to consider the fact that people are continuing to leave in droves for a combination of reasons including declining housing stock and almost no business.

I learned of this development on NextSTL back in September, 2017:

Fifty-one single family market rate houses and townhomes are planned for the Vandeventer neighborhood. Located just a few blocks North of Delmar and two blocks west of Grand, phase I of the development will include 43 lots on the 3900-4000 blocks of C.D. Banks and Finney.

These homes will be the first market rate, new construction, single family residences built in the Vandeventer Neighborhood since Vandeventer Place was demolished in 1947.
— Jason Deem - NextSTL

Fantastic news for this important St. Louis neighborhood just north of the emerging Cortex District, St. Louis University Campus and many Central West End and Midtown developments.

These are (of course) being built with public assistance, in this case a ten or 15-year tax abatement (depending on the source), as are most of these development projects in St. Louis. You have to do some internalizing on who gets tax breaks and who doesn't. Right now, everyone gets them. The idealistic view is every development should stand on its own merits with private dollars and grants providing the funding streams. I get that sentiment, but this one I'm completely okay with as there is a glaring need for new housing in this important part of St. Louis and a nudge north of Delmar is always welcomed. I'm good with a 10 year abatement.

From a September, 2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article:

This is just one piece,” said developer Ken Hutchinson, who lives in the neighborhood and is spearheading the project through VIP Construction. “This is just the next piece of the vision that was established by and created by the community.”

Hutchinson said the team is taking its cue from the community’s North Central Plan, which outlines how Vandeventer residents want to see their neighborhood redevelop. After this phase, he wants to build starter homes that sell closer to the mid-$100,000 range. But already, he and Horstmann said one of the higher-end models has presold.
— Jacob Barker - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

But hey, these are market rate, and could fetch $100K - $250K, depending on finishes, etc. This project is near the North Sarah homes, phases I and II which in my opinion, looks fantastic. One of my kids has a friend who lives here I can say first hand, it is really, really nice.

The new homes blend with the brick beauties that have been well maintained and occupied.

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Drive around the spots where this development will be and you'll see a lot of empty lots where this infill will make a big difference; the lot below is just west of where these homes will be built on former city-owned lots on C.D. Banks and Finney Avenues.

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You will also see a lot of beautiful homes that have long been abandoned, but ripe for rehab. But we have to be honest, there are zero efforts to sure these up or even keep those with ill-intent out of them with board-ups.

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You'll also see the results of Sarah I and II. And a recently invested in Turner Park. When I blogged on Turner Park back in 2014, I made the following comments:

"The park itself needs some attention and investment; but, the size and overall park layout is ripe to become a positive space helping to activate this part of town.

The bones are there with a charming stone bathroom house, playground and mid-Century pavilion."

A quick drive by today revealed the park has seen much investment and a fresh look. I will go back in warmer weather to do a righteous before and after look. Here's a quick look at the upgrades on a freezing day

These market rate homes should add a next wave of new people and stability that will be another shot in the arm for the Vandeventer Neighborhood.

The jury is still out on what these will look like and how they'll blend with the old neighborhood classics, but I'm hopeful.

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All the best to those working hard to see this one through to completion. The ground has already broken on the first display home. Keep your eye on this part of town as it brings more and more new housing options and most importantly...people.