City of Creve Coeur to redesign the thoroughfare to be a more robust commercial district
By Charlotte Beard
In November 2018, the city of Creve Coeur announced its continuing partnership with The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership in the redesign plan for Old Olive Street Road. Construction on the project is estimated to begin in 2021.
“The city of Creve Coeur is doing the planning and zoning portion, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is holding the contract for the design and we will probably be the entity that applies for funding to do the construction,” stated Janet Wilding, VP of Major Projects and 39 North. “There is a consultant on board that is drawing up the plan and designing it. It’s a team effort.”
Jason Jaggi Director of Community Development for city of Creve Coeur shared, “The planning work that we’re doing now is to take it to 30 percent design for construction of the improvements within the existing Old Olive Street right-of-way and then that allows the city to request funding for the improvements down the line. It’s a step towards funding of the improvements.”
Wilding shared that this project began due to a larger master plan for an innovation district in St. Louis – 39 North. The district is centered on the agriculture and technology sector. 39 North is a collaborative project between the city of Creve Coeur, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, city of Olivette, Danforth Plant and Science Center, The Helix Center, Bayer, BRDG Park and Great Rivers Greenway.
“One of the priorities that came out of the master plan was that we needed a really dense, robust – kind of an amenity center with restaurants and different kinds of shops; a commercial area that could serve the people that are living and working in this innovation area,” stated Wilding. “Old Olive is that main street in the area that will be rezoned and (somewhat) reconfigured to service that street and that commercial area.”
Public feedback for the master plan feedback started in 2016 and was published in 2017.
“We did lots of public engagement on the master plan,” stated Wilding, “but then we did specific public engagement on Old Olive in particular, just to get citizen feedback on what they would like along Old Olive. I think we had a lot of positive feedback on wanting to have a street that was fully configured over Lindbergh.”
Jaggi, shared, “We had a consultant team who conducted an open house in October to solicit feedback on the preliminary design for the Old Olive Street corridor. It consisted of new decorative street lighting, a new multi-use path throughout the whole corridor, a reconfiguration of the Old Olive/Lindbergh intersection among other improvements (such as) a landscaping/gateway features to create identity for the district. I think we had about 70 people attend that and overwhelmingly the responses were positive to the changes in the corridor.”
Jaggi explained that the city wants to start with the Old Olive Street right-of-way to enhance the experience with new decorative street lighting throughout the whole corridor. The multi-modal pathway will link Old Olive west of Lindbergh to the Danforth Center and other businesses east of Lindbergh. This will accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and other types of users. The path will also incorporate distinctive landscaping design. There will be signage at each of the entry ways to Old Olive that will identify the area as the 39 North District as part of a larger district initiative.
“One of the recommendations was to convert Old Olive Street Road into more of a main street type corridor,” stated Jaggi, “that would support mixed use development as well as improve accessibility throughout the district. And one of those key objectives was to have multi-modal crossing at Old Olive and Lindbergh; currently you cannot cross Lindbergh when you are on Old Olive.”
Wilding detailed some of the physical appearance the community can expect after the redesign. In addition to the sidewalks being widened to enable more room for pedestrians, there will be a bicyclist lane separate of the street for safety measures. The landscaping will consist of a natural prairie palette along the streetscape. The vehicular lanes will be reduced to one lane going east and one lane going west with turn lanes at designated spots. The speed limit is expected to be between 30 – 40 miles an hour. Plans are underway to assess total cost estimates of the project. That information will allow application for other funding needs to complete the construction.
“County transportation is paying $450,000 and The city of Creve Coeur is paying $50,000,” Wilding stated of initial funds for the master plan.
Jaggi states that the public right-of-way in the area being looked at for improvement is under MODOT’S jurisdiction.
“The plan would be that upon completion of the Old Olive Street plan as well as investigation into the cost, it would be transferred to the city,” shared Jaggi. “The improvements that are being planned right now and designed for the Olive and Lindbergh Blvd interchange, that needs to take place before MODOT would be willing to transfer Old Olive Street Rd. to the city. That is where we think we are going with all these things.”