A Regions Bank and a one-story retail commercial building could soon be operating on the former Gerber Chapel site in Old Webster.
The Webster Groves City Council on Oct. 2 introduced legislation to rezone the .79-acre site at 23 W. Lockwood Ave. and 16 W. Moody Ave. A final vote is expected on Oct. 16.
As part of the project by DCM Management Co., the building would be demolished.
The proposed retail building would include a minimum of 3,000 square feet and the Regions Bank would likely be 2,200 to 2,500 square feet, Director of Planning and Development Mara Perry said during a public hearing. She noted that the total square footage has not been finalized. Under the development plan, total square footage was proposed not to exceed 6,250 square feet.
DCM has requested uses for the property including a financial institution, a drive-in for video teller machines for the bank and retail stores.
City staff asked that additional uses be allowed, such as professional offices, person/family/household services, and retail bakery with products sold only on the premises.
A 25-space off-street parking lot is planned for the north side of the property, and entry/exit driveways are planned on both West Lockwood and West Moody, Perry said.
Rob Goltermann, with DCM, said he had received interest in the project already, from firms such as doughnut shops, retail bakeries, offices, a butcher and two coffee shops, "so the demand is substantial."
He said his firm would work with Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, to the west of the site at 45 W. Lockwood Ave., to repair a tie wall.
All of the dozen speakers during public comment were in favor of the project.
Jeff Binder, owner of the building at 337 W. Lockwood Ave., called the proposal "a great fit" for the neighborhood.
"It redevelops an old site, doesn't stress parking, and brings in new retail," said Mike Hanrahan, owner of the property.
Scott Kemper, an owner of the property, said the project "makes great sense, will attract retail space, and provides parking – it fits right in."
Ron Clipp, owner of the Hub Bicycle Company at 40 W. Lockwood Ave., said the project will help his own customers, whom he said now have problems finding parking places.