DeSales Community Development plans Benton Park Place at Jefferson and Arsenal

DeSales Community Development announced this week that it has submitted an application to the Missouri Housing Development Corporation for low-income housing tax credits to help defray some of the construction costs for a new apartment building at the South Corner. -west of Jefferson and Arsenal in the Benton Park West neighborhood. The proposed building would include 49 apartments (29 1 bedroom, 20 2 bedrooms) for seniors. The architect is Nathan Rauh of Naismith-Allen, Inc. Announcement.

The site consists of the vacant lots along Jefferson as well as the southeast corner of Arsenal and Texas Ave. The land is currently owned by the LRA. The community garden would be moved to the west end of the property by Texas Ave. A 1,000 square foot retail bay would be on the corner of Jefferson and Arsenal. There are 55 surface parking spaces and a sidewalk on Jefferson. Benton Park through Jefferson will be a great convenience for residents. Improving pedestrian safety at the intersection should be a priority. Curb bumps are a given.

The Gravois-Jefferson neighborhood plan on page 106 refers to this site – “Vacant city-owned parcels, such as the site at the southwest corner of Jefferson Avenue and Arsenal Street, should be priorities due to control of the site. Market the site by issuing a request for proposals to attract a developer for best use. On page 306, he lists the demand for affordable housing for seniors as “deep” which could go on “Large Underutilized Catalyst Sites.” On page 151-

5.1. The entire planning area should be considered a TOD area.
5.2. Concentrate new developments near high-volume public transport

The site is served by the 11 Chippewa buses on Jefferson and the 30 Arsenal buses.

The amount of parking is unfortunate. Especially since the planned Northside-Southside Metrolink line would have a station at this intersection. Space for cars wastes about half of the 1.25 acre site. There is approximately 500 feet of street parking space around the perimeter. Hopefully the Arsenal-Texas game becomes something more productive one day.

The project depends on LIHTCs, which DeSales should hear about in December.

Norma P. Rex