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St. Louis County seeks residents' ideas for Jamestown Mall site

The Jamestown Mall Dillards in December 2016.
Mike Kalasnik | Flickr
The Jamestown Mall Dillards in December 2016.

Officials from St. Louis County held an open house Monday night to give north county residents a chance to offer suggestions on what should replace the shuttered Jamestown Mall.

The mall located in Florissant, closed  in 2014. in Florissant, Missouri. Opened in 1973, the mall formerly included Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears as its anchor stores.

County officials said they will soon have complete control of the site. The St. Louis County Port Authority is expected to close on the last two parcels on the property by the end of the year.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney said getting input from residents is critical for getting the best development at the site.

“All of these people who are here that are in this community, working and living and worshipping and going to school, they know what’s necessary here and what they want,” she said.

Dozens of people attended the open house held at Christian Hospital on Dunn Road. A video was played that included remarks by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and pictures of the mall’s decaying interior and exterior.

Many residents, including Charlotte Petty, said they used to shop at the mall. In its place Petty said she’d like to see something that provides jobs and some recreational opportunities for young people.

“Those two things would really be good, but I’m also open to green spaces if they just need to tear it down and let the land sit vacant until other opportunities come in the future, that’s good too,” she said.

Bob Knop said he lives within sight of the former mall and doesn’t expect retail will make it in that location. Instead, he said a retirement home with surrounding townhouses might be a nice solution.

“And there’s enough area there that they could have green space for the elderly — of which I’m one — to enjoy a nice afternoon with their family and walk in the woods,” he said.

That or maybe a landfill will come and buy out surrounding properties, he said.

Randy Patton said the site must be an anchor that brings more people to north St. Louis county and generates tax revenue. He pointed to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s plan for a new facility in the city.

“I really hope that the decision involves a major Fortune 500 company that can have a major impact on this area,” Patton said.

He said he’s watched north St. Louis County decline while living there for 24 years and he's hoping this development will help stabilize things.

The final sales on the property will close in December. Currently, hazardous materials and waste are being cleared from the mall in preparation for demolition.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.

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