Chick-fil-A Expands in St. Louis

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
I don't really feel bad about FYE becoming Chick-fil-A ... the intersection of Chippewa and Hampton has been a fast food/suburban destination since the 1930s. Both White Castle and Steak N Shake opened around there in the late 1930s when the area was still peach orchards and Route 66. Plus the grocery store (old FYE) had a ton of parking, and I doubt it generated as much tax revenue as the Chick-fil-A will. Overall a plus for the city.
stlhistory wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:32 am
I don't really feel bad about FYE becoming Chick-fil-A ... the intersection of Chippewa and Hampton has been a fast food/suburban destination since the 1930s. Both White Castle and Steak N Shake opened around there in the late 1930s when the area was still peach orchards and Route 66. Plus the grocery store (old FYE) had a ton of parking, and I doubt it generated as much tax revenue as the Chick-fil-A will. Overall a plus for the city.
Can't see how more auto-centered development is good for a city that's already inundated with auto-centered development, but okay. This intersection, in particular, has the potential to be much more urban. You have solid residential neighborhoods on all sides, a grocery store, a department store, a great library, more... Yet when given the opportunity to make things better we instead approve more low-density, drive-through BS. we never learn.
Don't get me wrong. I'm sure I'll patronize this place a few times, but development like this is why I moved to Tower Grove after spending my city introductory year in St. Louis Hills. A nice friendly neighborhood, but it didn't mean the urban feeling I was looking for.

Not like everything in Tower Grove is perfect either. Hell, that stretch of Kingshighway is brutal, but it's like southwest city doesn't even try to be urban.
Definitely a different type of neighborhood, but that is what makes the city great IMO. I lived DT for 9 years, my wife in Soulard, and we moved to STL Hills in 2015. Love it. Urban and suburban at the same, and only a few miles from more dense development.

In regards to the Chick Fil A, my only question is the size of the lot. It sure seems huge for a restaurant and parking. How big is it going to be? Disclaimer: I have never eaten at a Chick Fil A...
^Fair point. I'd probably be a lot less bothered by St. Louis Hills urban flaws if we were nailing it in other areas. But in and of itself, it's ok to have a nabe like that.

As for the parking lot, Chic-Fil-A lines get HUGE at peak hours. They really do require a ton of asphalt. to make room for the drive through lines.

To give you an idea of how they get, they're known to send multiple employees OUTSIDE to take your order well in advance of the typical microphone/menu set up.

That format always annoys me as a customer, but I have to say they do know how to maximize efficiency. But yeah... the large lot isn't as crazy as you might think. It's not just a suburban development wanting tons of parking. They actually tend to use it for how they do business.
midcoaststl wrote: Urban and suburban at the same...
I'd say it's solidly suburban and just became more so.

jstriebel wrote: But in and of itself, it's ok to have a nabe like that.
but we don't just have a nabe like that. we have mostly nabes like that, where we've lost density to gas stations and parking lots and drive-throughs. our few pockets of relative density are islands floating in an ocean of this crap.

I don't know if either of you have read Richard Bose's analyses of urban vs. suburban land productivity over at NextSTL, but low-density, low-yield developments like this are bankrupting the city.
^ I guess I've kind of resigned myself to writing off Hampton and am most disappointed with S. Kingshighway... that Garcia Properties mixed-use redevelopment really gave a sense of what could be but we seem to not want as a collective city or incapable of achieving. Since then we've gotten a larger QT and getting a fancy carwash at the old QT, which was apartments pre-QT. And apparently another car wash will be coming to the old BP site at Kingshighway and Southwest... some good opportunities to slowly but surely build on the Garcia momentum were lost.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:43 am
I don't know if either of you have read Richard Bose's analyses of urban vs. suburban land productivity over at NextSTL, but low-density, low-yield developments like this are bankrupting the city.
So we should leave property vacant until we find someone willing to build more dense development? Seems like that strategy would also bankrupt the city as it doesn't seem like we have lots of developers fighting to build here.
I replied once but it erased so if you see two posts that is why.

Urban: Yes the commercial corridor is "solidly suburban". My comment was the actual neighborhood in which we live. We have single family homes, multi-unit town homes and apartments across the street, sidewalks filled with people pushing strollers and walking dogs, a great central park, alleys where neighbors gather, etc. So I do think that the STL Hills area has an urban quality. I lived DT for 9 years and my wife in Soulard, we like it here because we can walk to Le Grands, Ted Drewes, the Park, Target etc, as well as have a nice yard and a local school that works for us. To each their own. I think it is good to have different neighborhoods to allow people to stay in the city if they can find something that suits them. After living DT, I appreciate a yard, trees etc especially with 2 children.

I did not move to STL hills for Chick Fil A or Hampton village, but it is convenient to have in the hood and that is all I was saying.

Yes I have read the article.
midcoaststl wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:23 am
My comment was the actual neighborhood in which we live. We have single family homes, multi-unit town homes and apartments across the street, sidewalks filled with people pushing strollers and walking dogs, a great central park, alleys where neighbors gather, etc. So I do think that the STL Hills area has an urban quality.
Yep. I lived in St. Louis Hills for several years, and the core area is actually quite compact and, yes, urban. The houses are close together with small yards served by alleys, and there's a ton of multi-family mixed in. Neighbors are always out walking and socializing, taking advantage of the local amenities.
framer wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:38 am
midcoaststl wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:23 am
My comment was the actual neighborhood in which we live. We have single family homes, multi-unit town homes and apartments across the street, sidewalks filled with people pushing strollers and walking dogs, a great central park, alleys where neighbors gather, etc. So I do think that the STL Hills area has an urban quality.
Yep. I lived in St. Louis Hills for several years, and the core area is actually quite compact and, yes, urban. The houses are close together with small yards served by alleys, and there's a ton of multi-family mixed in. Neighbors are always out walking and socializing, taking advantage of the local amenities.
Agreed, I am quite surprised how much socializing I do with my neighbors. Always saying hello on front porches or having a beer in the alley or across the fence.
hiddeninput wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:01 am
So we should leave property vacant until we find someone willing to build more dense development? Seems like that strategy would also bankrupt the city as it doesn't seem like we have lots of developers fighting to build here.
well, yeah. it's called planning. most cities do it. you tell Dump Filet that they are more than welcome to buy the property and build a restaurant so long as their restaurant occupies the first floor of a two-story sidewalk-fronting structure with office space, residential, etc. above. if a company wants access to a market--which CFA clearly does in this case--they'll do more than the bare minimum to get it. but got forbid we ever ask for anything more than the bare minimum. i'm not saying it would work everywhere, but at this intersection we can demand better because there's a market nearby, as is evidenced by all the retail.

midcoaststl wrote: We have single family homes, multi-unit town homes and apartments across the street, sidewalks filled with people pushing strollers and walking dogs, a great central park, alleys where neighbors gather, etc.
which is exactly why we should be building denser here. there's already potential. there's demand. i'm not talking about skyscrapers. i'm talking about low-rise buildings instead of parking lots. healthy cities aren't covered in drive-throughs and surface parking. and by healthy i mean cities that aren't nearly insolvent.
Small disagreement, but I would argue that St. Louis typically gives in on requiring even the bare minimum. We see waaaaay too many variances and handouts given for developments that doesn't even meet form based code. (or at least there's a ton of history of this happening).
urban_dilettante wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:00 pm
hiddeninput wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:01 am
So we should leave property vacant until we find someone willing to build more dense development? Seems like that strategy would also bankrupt the city as it doesn't seem like we have lots of developers fighting to build here.
well, yeah. it's called planning. most cities do it. you tell Dump Filet that they are more than welcome to buy the property and build a restaurant so long as their restaurant occupies the first floor of a two-story sidewalk-fronting structure with office space, residential, etc. above. if a company wants access to a market--which CFA clearly does in this case--they'll do more than the bare minimum to get it. but got forbid we ever ask for anything more than the bare minimum. i'm not saying it would work everywhere, but at this intersection we can demand better because there's a market nearby, as is evidenced by all the retail.

midcoaststl wrote: We have single family homes, multi-unit town homes and apartments across the street, sidewalks filled with people pushing strollers and walking dogs, a great central park, alleys where neighbors gather, etc.
which is exactly why we should be building denser here. there's already potential. there's demand. i'm not talking about skyscrapers. i'm talking about low-rise buildings instead of parking lots. healthy cities aren't covered in drive-throughs and surface parking. and by healthy i mean cities that aren't nearly insolvent.
Agreed. Again I wasn't arguing that I love chains, parking lots, or drive thru's. Perhaps my initial post should have said that I preferred this area due to the walk-able residential neighborhood, small yards, nice community feel and the fact that there ARE some services and shopping options nearby even though they are not designed properly. I have to admit, I really like Target etc.

Since we have that clear. How is a Form Based Code implemented? Is this an alderman issue? If so, I live 4 doors from mine, so I can talk to him!

Anyway, I want what you want. A vibrant city with activity, commerce, entertainment, less crime, good schools and a rising population. I am doing my part. I moved to STL from the metro east after college, bought a loft condo, then a home, and started a business in the city. Still here, with 2 kids and we don't plan on leaving. So I'm game to help. Just don't call all of STL Hills suburban!!! ;)
I think we're all more or less on the same page here. St. Louis Hills new development is suburban, though the residential neighborhood is not. I suspect that despite being city dwellers, it's ultimately what most of the STL Hills population wants and prefers. So be it.

Like I said before, I don't think in and of itself it's awful to have a semi-suburban neighborhood in the city, even if I don't prefer it. The real issue is that we let this sort of development go all over the city in neighborhoods where it has no business. We have to find a way to fix that.

Worse yet, we seem completely unable to re-urbanize many parts of the city. That stretch of Kingshighway in Tower Grove South is such a prime and disappointing example. Urban development was replaced with less urban development which was replaced with suburban development, and now even though opportunities have presented themselves to re-urbanize property with business turnover, we're just stuck with the same suburban garbage.

I'm going to go find the Ackerman thread before I derail this one too much...
Sorry, but one more tangent on St. Louis Hills. Michael Allen calls the neighborhood one of the twelve "must sees" of St. Louis buildings and historic districts:

" St. Louis Hills Neighborhood
“The most architecturally unified city neighborhood, made possible with the availability of mass-produced building materials.” "
framer wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:17 pm
Sorry, but one more tangent on St. Louis Hills. Michael Allen calls the neighborhood one of the twelve "must sees" of St. Louis buildings and historic districts:

" St. Louis Hills Neighborhood
“The most architecturally unified city neighborhood, made possible with the availability of mass-produced building materials.” "
sure. the homes are amazing. but that clearly doesn't apply to the Hampton/Chippewa intersection. architecturally, Hampton is pretty barren except for a few standouts, e.g. the Record Exchange building. Chippewa is much better until you get a little bit west of Hampton.
framer wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:17 pm
Sorry, but one more tangent on St. Louis Hills. Michael Allen calls the neighborhood one of the twelve "must sees" of St. Louis buildings and historic districts:

" St. Louis Hills Neighborhood
“The most architecturally unified city neighborhood, made possible with the availability of mass-produced building materials.” "
Is he talking about the northern half of the neighborhood (mostly 1930's two story homes) or the southern half (mostly 1950's suburban style ranches)? It's basically two separate architecturally unified sub-neighborhoods within a larger neighborhood.
Unfortunately it seems to be what the residents want in general. I remember complaining on Nextdoor and the neighborhood facebook group about the QT when it was announced there on Hampton. I said we didn't need 7+ gas stations in about a mile section of Hampton and got torn apart because it's QT and everyone wants a QT
if there were better traffic calming/pedestrian crosswalks of Chippewa, St. Louis Hills residents could walk more easily and comfortably to the new Blueprint coffee location that will open on Watson just north of Chippewa in an old auto repair place.
^Related to that, the Southampton traffic study was limited to internal traffic needs vs cross-neighborhood connections (or those that cross arterial roads like Hampton, Chippewa, Kingshighway, etc.). St. Louis Hills doesn't go beyond Chippewa, so I imagine it faces the same issue. Pedestrian connectivity is a problem for sure.

As far as St. Louis Hills and the Chick-fil-A, it should be pointed out that the Chick-fil-A is not in the Hills, it's in Lindenwood Park. It's also not in the 16th ward, it's the 23rd, which matters in terms of development issues and approvals.