Thursday, March 30, 2006

This Land is Your Land

Recently a resident posted a comment about the dismal corner of Mackenzie and Heege. I borrowed the Future First Lady's camera and set out to document the tragedy for you, the residents. Dismal it is! Now photographer, I am not. I took these from my car but it does not take a genius to see that we need some help here.

This first pic is the NW corner. The lot is 6313 Heege and it is about three times the size of the ajacent lots. In addition to the dark red shed, the white box in the rear of the yard is actually the box from a semi truck trailer that is sitting in the yard. Currently it is zoned residential. Great use of a prominent corner!


This pic is the very unattractive NE corner. The building on the right is the brand new building that houses Fortels Pizza Den. Their original location is the building on the left. (Big fans we are of Fortells at the Future Mayor's house.) We also love Shelley Fortel, current owner. She is a shrewd and hard-working business woman (I have personally witnessed her working there with an infant strapped to her chest in a Baby Bjorn.) Sadly, when they built the new place, they made it completely subservient to parking, which could have been placed in the back. Since the Elks Lodge was being vacated around the time they built this, why didn't someone with some VISION step in to help this corner? Wouldn't it have been great to have a street front series of small shops with dwelling units or offices on top? I think the folks at St. Dominic Savio could have helped make it work as would the local residents. The density in the area warrants more shops within walking distance!


The boarded up building on the SW corner is the former home of the Affton Elks fraternal organization. This place is currently for sale and would be great as a number of uses. The lot is almost two acres. Currently, it's a wasteland had has been for at least a year since the Elks built a new place next door.







Across from the Elks in the SE corner is the 7-Eleven. Sadly, it is the most used property in the corner.

5 Comments:

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Looks like that area needs some help.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger www.tobyweiss.com said...

About that former Elks Lodge building:
It's a way more handosme building than their new one. That aside, a designer friend of mine long ago had the idea of converting that building into loft-style apartments, which is a brilliant idea. The building would clean up nice on the outside, has plenty of room for resident parking.
Inside, knock down partition walls to make loft spaces, make them ultra-modern and clean-lined. It would add some residential spice to Affton, and spur others to do more of the same.
And as you pointed out, that intersection really needs some sprucing up...Fortel's makes enough money to afford some giant planters with greenery right up against the sidealk to help block out that parking lot. Lots of ideas I'm sure the mayor will enact once in office!

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger ellidew said...

A few weeks ago we received notice that a request had been submitted to rezone the Elks lodge corner of Heege into residential. It did not specify whether the existing building would stay or go.

I went fishing around on the St. Louis County website yesterday and found a revitilization plan for Affton that was drafted in Oct 1998 (progress is slow!) Part of what i found touched on the need for 'attached housing'. My biggest fear is the former Elks lodge will go and attached villas will appear!

Personally, i wish they would make the bottom level commercial and make lofts out of the top half, ala Kirkwood. A nice cafe within walking distance would be awesome!

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Tony U said...

As a Overland resident, but a frequent traveler of said intersection, I can say that something should be done. The condition of the Heege/MacKenzie intersection is horrible.

I wish you well in your run for Mayor.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous czar of affton said...

Now we know what happened, it is demolished and a strip mall is coming (Nov 2007). What you may not know is: the opposite corner IS residential and has always been, those folks used to have 3 horses as I remember, and have always had the large lot, probably at one time (PRE-WWII) it was the front acerage of a larger farm. AND as for Fortels, AFFTON used to have lots of little shops there, Shelley and her gang ran them all out with a triple rate rent increase and EVERYONE left except for the Cleaners. They have been bad stewards for that corner. At one time free landscaping was offered for the front part of the lot and you can see what direction they went!!

 

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