ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The chair of the St. Louis County Council is skeptical of a new study on what to do with the abandoned Jamestown Mall in north St. Louis County.
Jamestown is in Councilwoman Shalonda Webb’s district. She was able to get the council to agree to spend $6 million to demolish the one-million-acre site.
The St. Louis County Port Authority hired a St. Louis consulting group to study the best uses of the 142-acre site. The chief recommendation was for an agricultural and energy technology site.
It could be used by agricultural companies, businesses, and schools. The proposal also included a grocery store, a public community space, and limited retail.
Webb was asked if she was on board with the AgTech idea.
“I would say no, that is not a fair statement. I am on board with a mixed us and a portion of AgTech, but no, I don’t want nobody trying to corner me. If AgTech is a big industry in Missouri, we’ll take a piece of that, but that cannot be the full development at the Jamestown site; it’s too large for that.”
Webb said she fears the AgTech component may delay the time it takes to complete the project.
“My greatest concern is the AgTech recommendations depend heavily upon partnership with the state and universities,” she said. “That to me is going to prolong the sale, possibly prolong getting the developers interested in 100 percent AgTech for such a large area.”
Jamestown Mall opened in 1973 but, after years of hardship, was forced to shut down in 2014. It has been abandoned ever since. St. Louis County spent a million dollars to buy all the parcels of property to make it easier for a developer.
The Port Authority will go out for a bid on the demolition work in the coming months.
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