Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Developer Sees Need for Supermarket in Olivette

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Developer Sees Need for Supermarket in Olivette

Article excerpt

Can a grocery store thrive in Olivette? One developer is betting on that.

A commercial project anchored by a supermarket is planned for the largely vacant 12 acres at the southwest corner of Olive Boulevard and Interstate 170, in Olivette.

Keat Properties is behind the development the company's managing member, Greg Yawitz, said would cost $35 million to $40 million. He hopes construction will begin next summer with the project opening by spring 2018.

The development site is visible from Yawitz's office at the Shoppes of Price Crossing, an office and retail project Keat opened in 2006 at 9200 Olive. Yawitz said that for his new project he was determined to bring a grocery to Olivette, adding that the municipality lacked such a retailer.

"I know what we don't have," said Yawitz, who has lived in Olivette more than 20 years.

The city has been without a grocery since a Flotken's market closed in the 1980s. There are two Schnucks grocery stores within 2 miles of the proposed development, one in Overland and the other in Ladue.

Yawitz said he was talking with several grocery chains about putting a store in his new development. He added that he spoke with friends and neighbors about what stores and services they wanted, then tried to get them for Olivette. He noted that Price Crossing included a Starbucks and the first Sugarfire Smoke House, which opened in 2012.

"It's sort of development with a mission," he said.

Price Crossing will influence the design of his new project just to the east, Yawitz said.

"I want to continue the high-quality architecture and building materials in the design for the new project to further enhance economic development in Olivette," he said.

Casco Architects and Engineers, based in Sunset Hills, will design the project.

In addition to a grocery, plans include restaurants and specialty retailers in buildings with a total of 90,000 to 105,000 square feet of space, Yawitz said.

"We're looking for something that is not everywhere else," he said.

Keat, named for Yawitz's daughters Kaitlyn Elizabeth and Alyson Taylor, was among three firms that responded to Olivette's request last year to propose redevelopment plans for the site. …

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