Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Old Kmart, Parking Garage Being Razed Supermarket, 2 Other Stores to Occupy Long-Vacant Site

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Old Kmart, Parking Garage Being Razed Supermarket, 2 Other Stores to Occupy Long-Vacant Site

Article excerpt

Demolition began a couple of weeks ago on Maplewood's biggest and most visible eyesore, a vacant Kmart store and parking garage in the 7300 block of Manchester Avenue.

In its place will be a new Shop 'n Save, plus two other stores.

For the most part, owners of neighboring businesses and shoppers are ecstatic.

Ron Hirsh, who has operated a jewelry store across the street from the demolition site for 31 years, said he hoped the new Shop 'n Save would regenerate interest in the area. He sees the project as a positive move for the city. The old Kmart was an eyesore and difficult to find when it was in business, he said.

Because it was situated at the back of the lot, with a parking garage in front, it was easily missed, he said.

"People were forever coming in here and asking where it was. If you were standing right in front of the garage, you couldn't tell there was a big store at the back."

Jennie McCulloch, who has a clothing store for women, and Charlie Danner, of the Maplewood Cafe, said the new development would be good for the neighborhood.

"Great," was the reaction of Idell Patterson, who goes to Danner's restaurant every Thursday for chicken and dumplings.

Patterson, who has lived in Maplewood all her life, reminisced about the city during her childhood.

"It was so busy. There was every kind of store you'd want. Friday and Saturday nights were bedlam."

Andy Katz, manager of the Rent-A-Center across the street from the project, said he had seen several businesses come and go in the area.

"It's nice to see one expanding, and it's good for the area," he said.

Carol Bach, executive director of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce, agrees.

"We are really excited and encouraged that a business that is already existing in Maplewood can expand," she said.

The new location will occupy almost 58,000 square feet, roughly twice its current size. It will take up most of the block bounded by Manchester Road on the south, Lohmeyer Avenue on the north, Sutton Avenue on the west and Oakview Terrace on the east. …

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