Since the Webster Groves School District floated the idea that it may lease the parking lot at Bristol School on Gray Avenue for four days a week to a new entertainment and dining business, the comments district administrators have been receiving have been largely negative.
At the Webster Groves School Board’s June 10 meeting, Superintendent John Simpson said he has received seven emails plus other comments about the proposed lease arrangement. While some have said they appreciate the district’s willingness to help grow the business community, most reactions have at best advised caution.
About 50 parking spaces are being considered for lease to OWD II, LLC,, which plans to build a microbrewery pub at the former Auto Beauty location on West Lockwood Avenue.
“One person said we as a district don’t have the expertise to lease land or make improvements. Some are concerned about noise mitigation. Others are worried about parking valets driving around the neighborhood streets,” Simpson said.
Five residents, most of them district parents who live near or adjacent to Bristol, stood to speak against the still-uncompleted, proposed parking agreement.
“I’m concerned the added traffic on Gore could turn into a nightmare,” said Sue Thompson, a Gore Avenue resident.
Jennifer Ehlen, who also resides on Gore, said she wonders what the proposal would do to her property value.
Joe Langlitz, a West Cedar Street resident, said the city has been experiencing its share of auto break-ins recently, “and this will only give them a big target.”
“We continue to gather information,” said acting board president David Addison. “We’re not ready to decide anything.”
So far, the district has not disclosed how much revenue it expects to generate from any lease agreement. The board next meets on June 24.