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Welcome to Vandegrove vandegrove.

Press Release: August 23, 2011
Vandegrove is a voluntary effort by UIC that offers a potential framework for the redevelopment of an approximate two square mile area of St. Louis, located between the Central West End and Tower Grove Park. Vandegrove offers a structure for the continued development of this portion of the City that respects the integrity of our existing neighborhoods, while aggressively repositioning the many underutilized resources and fostering greater connectivity and mobility. We strongly believe that the next major trend for City development will be at the neighborhood level. The real estate market of the previous decade created a platform for large projects that saw a significant boost to areas like downtown, while also fostering a wave of neighborhood redevelopment in many areas. While cumulatively this did not lead to a population gain within the City, it did create a high level of building stabilization in many neighborhoods that sets the table for continued redevelopment and with it population growth. The neighborhoods that are located within the Vandegrove district went through varying levels of redevelopment over the past decade, from Forest Park Southeasts dramatic changes around Manchester Avenue, to the wholesale clearance and redevelopment of the eastern portion of Botanical Heights, to the continued improvements in Shaw, one of the Citys most intact historic residential districts. UIC has been playing a role in this transformation, acting as planner and developer of the western portion of Botanical Heights, actively transforming an area with the highest rates of vacant buildings and land into a vibrant mixed use neighborhood. The challenge now is how to support the existing population and to foster population growth, by creating opportunities for the development of civic, retail, employment, and educational amenities this population does and will desire. Vandegrove is a framework for looking at what comes next; how do we continue to grow, while maintaining the integrity and quality of the walkable neighborhoods that we are all passionate about. For the team at UIC, to a great extent this question lead to an investigation of how to transform the rail and underutilized industrial corridors that cut through the grid of the City like undulating spaghetti strands. It lead to questions like; why do we see retail proposals for the demolition of intact neighborhoods, while the City uses prime real estate located between two major interstates, next to a major regional attraction and within a mile of two medical campuses, for truck and material storage? Could we better utilize this land to foster retail amenities, while boosting City revenue? Could some of our underutilized industrial land be reconfigured to create modern manufacturing facilities that take advantage of our proximity to highways and rail? How do we foster more connections across these areas to increase mobility and activate what is now isolated? We believe that the framework for Vandegrove offers a viable vision for the next round of development in our portion of the City. We believe that the suggestions made in this framework are very achievable and with the appropriate level of leadership and support, could happen in the very near future. Please take some time to review our site and let us know what you think. We hope that our work fosters a dialogue about what our City can become and how we can move there together.

Note: Vandegrove is an independent work of UIC (Urban Improvement Company). UIC received was not contracted for the work and received no compensation for this effort. This is an independent study and is not endorsed by any outside organizations, private or governmental. For enquiries, contact UIC Principal Chris Hulse, 4301 McRee Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110,