By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio
Florissant, MO – A panel of urban design experts is recommending that St. Louis County acquire and bulldoze the aging Jamestown Mall in unincorporated north county.
A nine-member panel assembled by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) was commissioned by St. Louis County to come up with ideas for the 140 acre site.
The panel is currently calling their concept for the new development "Lindbergh Place" a mixed use town center complete with everything from shops and restaurants to YMCA's and parks.
At this point the Planning Director Donna Lewis says the mall property is so outdated that it doesn't make sense to even reuse the current structures. She said the best option would be to simply level the mall and start over.
"Acquire the land, using eminent domain if necessary," said Lewis. The County should clear the property as its acquired don't wait to own the whole thing, because its owned by lots of different people this is the first step toward changing the image and creating a new future."
But Janice Harris, who's lived in North County for 15 years, says she doubts that County Executive Charlie Dooley has a track record of success in urban development.
"Sorry Mr. Dooley, its not you personally, but I haven't seen the country really take charge of some of the problems we currently have," said Harris. "So I'm concerned if the County has total control will they do any better with this Lindbergh Place'."
Two of the mall's main anchors, Dillards and Sears, left several years ago.
The design team's complete plan will be available in 3 months.