Hadley Residents Express Concern, Worry, and Frustration at the Heights

A summary of events at a meeting with residents of Richmond Heights concerning the Hadley Township redevelopment project.

Yesterday evening at the Heights Community Center in Richmond Heights, residents of the Hadley neighborhood had a chance to voice their concerns and opinions on the Hadley Redevelopment Project in a sometimes contentious meeting with city officials and a representative from Pace Properties, one of two companies that are developing the historically African-American neighborhood.  Menards, a hardware store, is also redeveloping the area.

Residents heard from Rick Randall, a representative from Pace to discuss the details of offers that the company is providing for residents and the overall progress of the project.  Without getting into specific numbers, Randall acknowledged that without a significant number of signed contracts within a certain time period, there would be a good chance that the company would pull out of the deal.  If a significant majority of residents signed their contracts to sell their homes to Pace, residents would receive a minimum of $190,000 or 2.5 times the appraised value of their home plus $50,000.

Mayor James Beck, who moderated the town hall style meeting, told residents in attendance that Menards would send contracts to residents soon, and that rumors of some residents receiving contracts this week were unfounded.  Beck told the audience that a few properties received contracts under special circumstances, but that none were given specifically to residents.

Some residents complained that Pace's offer (and a potential offer from Menards) would be too low, thus residents would not afford to have a house in Richmond Heights or Mid-County in general.  Some residents stated that they did not want to move at all and simply did not understand why Richmond Heights has repeatedly attempted to redevelop the area over the last decade.

Residents also grumbled when Mayor Beck stated that residents of Hadley Township reached out to the city of Richmond Heights to improve the neighborhood, and thus felt redevelopment was the approach to take.  The tone of the crowds' mumbled comments would seem to indicate that many neighbors in the area felt otherwise.

So, how do you feel about the situation at Hadley Township, or in Richmond Heights in general?  Do you feel that Richmond Heights is providing residents with enough cash to move out the area into a decent home, or should residents be left alone and allowed to maintain their current residence?  State your opinions in the comments section and voice your viewpoints. 

One side of the argument that one could make in favor of redevelopment in Richmond Heights is simple: location, location, location.  Face it; imagine a potential IKEA or hardware store just minutes from I-64 and I-170, near a Metrolink station, and a major arterial street, Hanley Road.  What better place to put another brick and mortar store?

However, an argument that could be made against redevelopment is: money, money, money.  How much will residents receive, and is it enough to remain in Mid-County?  Why waste money to build another brick and mortar store?  The economy is still sluggish, and many folks are purchasing items online.  Why waste money to buy things at a store, when one can save money by purchasing the same items online for less?  I look forward to reading your opinions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed July 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM
There are 31 homes listed on realtor.com for under $180,000 in Richmond heights. I can't speak to any other factors, but the statement that they can't afford other housing options is incorrect.
pat July 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM
i live in richmond heights. for the money being offered i would GLADLY sell and kiss them on all four cheeks!
Bryan Simmons July 21, 2012 at 05:19 PM
$240,000 for one of those houses is a huge windfall for the owners. My son said, "Man, I wish we lived over there." His best friend's father owns one of those $240,000 gold mines.
Jerry Falenkova July 22, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Jerry Falenkova July 22, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Am I the only one who remembers that Pace Properties has had the Boulevard Phase II, not just somewhere in St. Louis, but right in Richmond Heights that they have never finished developing for nearly 6 years. That is possibly the ugliest area of Richmond Heights, public incentives were given, and I guess the City of Richmond Heights is just like, oh well, its the economy let's go ahead and let them do something larger in our City, that affects more residents, and do nothing there too if they say, hey "economy". After reading this article, I hear Pace Properties saying they will not use eminent domain on anyone or go do another project somewhere else (Hint: perhaps finishing the Boulevard is a start), and one resident saying she won't move unless forced. So why isn't Pace just starting with her, do they just hope to get every other property under contract and use peer pressure on this woman? You have to respect her for going to this public forum to let the City and Pace Properties know. Since Pace made their statement about Eminent Domain publicly, shouldn't someone from the City recognize this natural breakpoint and rather than let Pace Properties play this out, force them to speak to her first? Seems like a disastrous waste of time if Pace intends to stand by their principle.


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