ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – A future use for the old Jamestown Mall site in north St. Louis County is slowly beginning to take shape, with input being sought from the public.
Dozens packed an Open House session held Monday night at Christian Northeast hospital to review the latest developments and offer up their own ideas.
One thing is certain according to St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney — any new development will be better than what currently occupies the 143 acre site.
“(The old mall) is a poster child of hopelessness,” she suggested. “It’s a very sad development that needs to come down, and we need to put something there that this community can have pride in once again.”
Residents such as Beverly Goldman got to weigh in on what form that new development should take.
“I would like to see retail stores, different businesses, because right now we are going w-a-a-a-y far away from north county (to shop),” Goldman explained. “This is where our tax base is, this is where we live so we should not have to go far away to the Galleria and everywhere else to be shopping for what we want.”
In an 82-page document the county is looking for some kind of mixed-use development to take the place of the crumbling mall, but St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger said he definitely wanted public input to help shape the property.
“Since I came into office in 2015 returning this property to productive use has been a top priority,” Stenger said.
Sweeney said the county is now just a couple of weeks away from closing on the final two parcels of land that will give them control of the entire mall site.
For the moment hazardous waste and other materials are still being cleared from the Jamestown Mall site in preparation for demolition, which she suggested is still several months away.
“Until next summer at least, I would think,” Sweeney said. “Just because these things take time. I would love to be able to go and knock it down right away. Wouldn’t the community love that?”
Some members of the community, like Michelle Martin, talked about what they don’t want to see developed in place of the old Jamestown Mall.
“What I don’t want to see there is some plant of some kind,” Martin told KMOX News. “I don’t want to see some organization or some company come in and just put something there that’s only for their own personal gain and not for the community.”
Those who didn’t get a chance to attend the public Open House but will want to weigh in on the future of the Jamestown Mall site can still do so at http://www.stlouisco.com/jamestown.