Ruth Ezell visits the Crown Square development project in North St. Louis City. The area located on 14th Street in the Old St. Louis Historical District was a once popular commercial area that lost its prominence, but is now being restored. Life-long resident John Bratkowski shares the street’s history, and Ezell speaks to community members and developers alike who are working together to help re-make the area, including Stephen Acree of the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance, the organization that put together the funding for the project and is overseeing the construction. From now on it will be known as Crown Square, named after the old and popular Crown Candy store that is located there. Though the process had been long, neighborhood residents and developers are equally enthusiastic.
October 28, 2008
As we continue this running narrative we, here at KETC, want to continue to show some of the positive things that are going on in the community. One way we will do this is through highlighting some of the good work of our community partners. In the past we’ve talked about the work of organizations like Beyond Housing, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Catholic Charities. Today we are focusing on the work of another partner.
One of our 25 community partners is the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA). RHCDA is a nonprofit organization that creates and supports the alliances that make smart, sustainable neighborhood revilitization possible in the St. Louis region.
One of the projects they are working on is revilitizing the Old North St. Louis Crown Village. The cornerstone of this development is Crown Square, which according to the website:
is at the center of the Crown Village revitalization, recreating the “town center” of the community with the historic rehab of 27 buildings into 80 historic loft, apartment and “live/work” units, and 34,000 square feet of commercial space on the former pedestrian mall and adjacent streets. The $32 million comprehensive revitalization includes the re-opening of 14th Street from Warren to St. Louis Avenue, reconnecting this local commercial district with the surrounding neighborhood. The development will also include the installation of new street and pedestrian lighting, public green spaces and landscaping, and a “transit plaza” that will facilitate ease of use and transfer of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and public bus transportation. The development will enhance the “walkability” of the neighborhood and solidify the goal of maintaining economic diversity in the community.
Below is a google map representation of the area Crown Square development area.