South City Remodel & Reuse

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7800 Morgan Ford, South St Louis, MO
It’s been fun to watch a perfectly good building in a prime location prepare for its newest incarnation. The building has been internally split in two, with Dollar Tree in front and Dependable Construction in back.

This building at the intersection of Morgan Ford and River Des Peres started life in 1954 as a National supermarket. Then a Goodwill retail outlet took over the space for many years. Earlier this year they moved into Affton proper, leaving this building vacant. There were some worries as to what would become of it, but it was useless fretting. The lot was bought rather quickly and the renovations are well done and eye-catching without being gaudy.

This summer’s morning commute has been about watching the remodeling progress, with lots of quick, crappy shots taken from a cell phone at a god-awful early hour of the day. It was a tad unsettling when they started painting the blonde brick, and the new owners have done a bit of back and forth finalizing the multi-color bands of paint, but now that it’s done, I like it. Especially the ascending colors on the vertical tower.

The Dollar Tree signage is now up, and it looks good, too. It’s a nice remodel with a little scootch of fun thrown in. But the best part of this story is how a good building in a great location can continually attract many different owners without the aid of TIF or other City Hall incentives. Buildings do not have to be knocked down and neighborhoods disrupted to keep our city’s tax base cooking; a simple remodel will do. It’s just refreshing to see city real estate and commerce move effortlessly and logically through marketplace dictates without a lot of bureaucratic bungling. It helps to keep one optimistic about our progress and future.

5 thoughts on “South City Remodel & Reuse

  1. In 1958, when this National grocery was still pretty new, the Post-Dispatch ran a little column-filler story about a kid who got his head stuck between the bars of a shopping cart here.

    He was okay, but hopefully he learned a valuable lesson.

  2. I believe that after National closed it became a fabric store before becoming a Goodwill. My mother was in heaven!

  3. I really like the paint job on the building, but I was a little disappointed when I saw the Dollar Tree sign go up. I am glad that the building is being reused and not another strip mall being built. There are way to many empty buildings in the metro area!

  4. I agree with your sentiment that it’s good to see a building get redone without public money. I think the 12th ward is starting to get a reputation for that (Boulevard Heights had no TIF, either). Maybe old Fred Heitert aint so bad after all.

  5. Dollar Trees, Deals’R’Us, Family Dollar, Big Lots, etc. etc. are all on the ascendancy, thanks to all the spectacular successes of the current administration.
    This store should do well!

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