The Clayton Board of Aldermen recently postponed a vote on selling a city-owned parking lot at the corner of Hanley Road and Wydown Boulevard.
Some residents oppose the sale along with a developer’s plan to build a mixed-use condo building at the corner.
Aldermen on Oct. 22 spent about 90 minutes discussing the sale of the parking lot at 602 Hanley to Savoy Properties for $225,000. Aldermen ultimately tabled the item without a vote. A return date for the item was not announced.
Savoy is proposing a four-story building with 15 condo units and ground floor retail space with 100 parking spaces. Forty-one of those spaces would be public. The existing lot has 27 spaces. Fifteen of them are leased by businesses in the area and 12 are metered public spaces.
Citizens are concerned about the size of the building and the impact on parking in the area. Several citizens complained that they routinely call the city about cars parked illegally on nearby streets. Some said initial designs do not fit in with the area, noting the distinctive appearance of many of the homes along Wydown and the surrounding neighborhoods. The final design of the building has yet to be determined.
Zoe Robinson, who owns three restaurants employing 52 people in the area around the Hanley/Wydown intersection, spoke against the project.
“I’m concerned I won’t make it through this. I feel horrible about it. If I lose people because of parking, they are going to go to competitors with parking. I have put my heart and soul into these locations,” Robinson said.
Robinson said she pays about $1,250 a month for employee parking spots in nearby lots.
John Pennington, a partner at Savoy, said of the project is approved arrangements have been made for the public to use a parking garage at Central Christian School, just to the south at 700 S. Hanley Road.
Pennington anticipates that construction will take about 18 months, but early drafts of the paperwork between Savoy and the city allow up to 36 months for construction.
Pennington said he would like to see a market, or something similar, in the retail space. He said he plans on partnering with the city to support the surrounding area, and create a “cool” project.
The city sent out a request for proposals for the lot in July 2015, receiving two responses that it did not act on. The RFP remained open and the city was recently approached by Savoy.