As concerned citizens gathered Saturday afternoon to rally for preservation of the Pevely Dairy, we noticed that demolition of some small industrial buildings was occurring directly across Chouteau from the Pevely Dairy. Several of us had heard that SLU had acquired the property and we assumed they were behind the demolition.
After rechecking City real estate records, it appears that an entity associated with CORTEX owns the large site along Chouteau that is currently being cleared. The entity is SLLC Real Estate EI LLC, and a related company SLLC Real Estate LLC, whose address is the CORTEX building at 4320 Forest Park, owns five smaller parcels at the corner of Chouteau and Grand. Directly north, SLU does own two large parcels the abut the south end of the Grand Boulevard bridge.
Exactly what CORTEX has in mind for the site, which is somewhat distant from it's current focus of development, is unknown. Overall plans for the ultimate build-out of the CORTEX technopolis do include linking BJC/Wash U medical center with SLU's medial campus and possibly further down the Chouteau corridor.
Demolition of one of the buildings underway Saturday.
The buildings were utilitarian truck freight transfer stations set far away from Chouteau, so their demolition is inconsequential.
An aerial view shows the site and structures being cleared including the three long buildings and the double barrel vaulted building. The site right across from the Pevely Dairy and specifically the portion fronting Grand Boulevard would be an ideal location for a new SLUCare facility. Siting the building right on Grand would give greater access to patients arriving by Metrolink and walking over the new Pedestrian friendly bridge, as well as the 70 Grand bus while allowing easy vehicular access for drop-off and parking off Chouteau.
City records show that these three structures fronting Grand Boulevard just south of the foot of the bridge were demolished earlier this year. While these structures are not very historically significant, the relationship they have with the street is exactly what is needed for people going back and forth from SLU's main and medical campuses or from Metrolink to make it feel like they are not walking in an urban desert.
Keeping a significant structure like the Pevely Dairy on the street and especially at the corner of Grand & Chouteau is one of the many reasons that 30-40 people including myself showed up Saturday afternoon to show our support for preservation and re-use of Pevely.