By. Chris Stritzel
As MOFO Urban Residences begins on it's 3rd Floor, a block South, a new proposal has been unveiled to convert a building and vacant lot at 3201 Morgan Ford into 20 apartment units. The name of the project?-WYMO. The plan consists of renovating and restoring the 1902 corner structure at Wyoming and Morgan Ford as well as the construction of a new, 4 Floor "L" shaped addition to the South and West. As stated earlier, this will add 20 apartments to Tower Grove South as well as new retail space and parking spaces for the residents. Another amenity includes "front lawns" for the residents who live on the 4th floor of the new building.
The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) has reviewed the project at their meeting on July 24th. A 95% tax abatement has been recommended by the LCRA and is supported by Ward 10 Alderman, Joseph Vollmer. Also supported by Alderman Vollmer is the resolution to declare the property blighted for the tax abatements and redevelopment plan. The plan passed the LCRA board and now a Planning Commission and Board of Aldermen meeting is in order to fully approve of the project's tax abatement and blighting resolution. I don't see any problems happening there as this development is a smart one, where old and new blend together seamlessly.
No timeline has been given for the project. The project's architect will be JEMA, who also designed MOFO down the road (3172 Morgan Ford). Both of the projects combines symbolize nearly $11 Million in investment into Tower Grove South by the AHM Group in recent years. Who knows what else is planned by them. The AHM Group acquired the current building and neighboring lot for $325,000 earlier this year. This means that the total investment into the project will be $3,725,000. A dense development like this is needed to strengthen a neighborhood like Tower Grove South, which is doing well in terms of occupancy and density.
While all is good on the design end of the project, neighbors have voiced concerns over "size", "design" and "incentives". Some neighbors hope a meeting is called to discuss the project in order to fully decide whether they wan the project.
New St. Louis Story
It is these kind of developments that make neighborhoods thrive and add to their own Central Business Districts. In this case, MOFO and 3201 will add much needed apartments to Tower Grove South and strengthen the neighborhood around it. Without these developments, our City would be lost and the preservation and enhancement of a existing structure is even better. If it were up to me, I would remove the white paint from the bricks to reveal the original bricks underneath. That, I think, would be a huge win.
Additional Rendering and Current Site