The North Central Saint Louis neighborhood, located between the reviving Grand Center arts district and the trendy Central West End along the Central Corridor in Saint Louis, Missouri, is a neighborhood still reeling from outward migration—the “white flight” to the suburbs—the lingering effects of racism and redlining and a poor local economy. This neighborhood, like others throughout Saint Louis, is only now beginning to recover from the effects of over 500,000 people fleeing the city since its population zenith of over 800,000 prior to World War II. Vacancy rates are high and abandoned lots abound, but the north central neighborhood’s location along the Central Corridor (the main transportation corridor between the city and the suburbs) gives it the potential to reclaim an urban identity. Still, this mostly African-American neighborhood currently is home to many families, although they are predominately lower-class. Compared to other neighborhoods to its north and south, the North Central neighborhood is quite well-off.
Proposed is a new five-acre medium-density residential infill development to help reinvigorate life into the city’s core. There should be a mixture of one to four-bedroom units, with two and three-bedroom units predominating. The units themselves are quite small compared to the housing currently in the area and much smaller than housing found in the suburbs—between 600 to 1800 square feet. The density of the housing units is to be around 15 per acre. Redevelopment will occur on land with a “medium level” vacancy—i.e. land that is either completely empty or with abandoned buildings.