City Hopes to Hitch Wagon to Rising Star `Downtown' Panel Hopes to Revitalize Florissant-Road Area

By McNichols, Janet | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 22, 1997 | Go to article overview

City Hopes to Hitch Wagon to Rising Star `Downtown' Panel Hopes to Revitalize Florissant-Road Area


McNichols, Janet, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Ferguson hopes to ride the tide of UMSL development, says Mayor Steve Wegert.

With the proposed performance center at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Wegert envisions a strong effect on Florissant Road.

"It will be an important strip for restaurants and other resources associated with UMSL's expansion," he said. "It could be like what happened in Webster Groves," he said. "Webster University did a lot for the Old Orchard area on Big Bend." Ferguson has formed the Downtown Committee to revitalize the area. Kimberly McKinney, economic development coordinator, is coordinating the effort. Wegert also wants to concentrate on housing for UMSL students either in apartments or single-family houses. "The chancellor is dedicated to North County," Wegert said. Ferguson also is considering whether to build a new city hall or renovate the old building. "When the library moved, we gained a lot of space, and we should deal with a renovation if possible, " Wegert said. "The city owns enough property to build a new city hall behind the current one, " Wegert said, but he favors renovation because he believes the current building has historical importance. "It will keep the character of the community," he said. Wegert wants to leave City Hall where it is and use it and a new civic center and fire station in the downtown area as a catalyst for change. In other matters discussed at the council's meeting last week: *The council opposed a confectionery in the industrial area. Wegert said the project ran counter to the downtown redevelopment plan. The proposed location is an old gas station only three minutes from downtown Ferguson. …

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