Despite the St. Louis region’s challenges, there are great things happening everywhere. The excitement and success of St. Louis City SC’s inaugural season and the new stadium, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.7 billion headquarters to be built in North St. Louis, and several developments from City Foundry to the Armory and many others in the works are just a few examples of the flurry of investment and progress in St. Louis.
The recent progress also extends to the historically under-resourced communities in North St. Louis County known as the 24:1 Community—an area within the Normandy schools footprint that has had the highest concentration of poverty in the Missouri side of the metro region for several decades.
In recent months, Beyond Housing’s Once and for All effort has led to a string of recent wins that help further the effort’s goal of addressing the source of St. Louis’ longstanding challenges to strengthen our entire region.
Below are just a few of the many exciting new developments.
Ameren recently pledged $1 million to support Beyond Housing’s Once and for All. Ameren cited Beyond Housing’s track record of results and comprehensive model as key reasons for their commitment. “Their model provides a real solution because it addresses every piece of the puzzle needed to transform lives and communities,” said Gwen Mizell, vice president and chief sustainability, diversity & philanthropy officer for Ameren.
“Addressing the high concentrations of poverty in our under-resourced communities is the most direct path to improving the entire region,” said Mizell. “We are focusing our philanthropic resources on organizations creating real movement at scale where our customers need it most.”
Ameren also donated $150,000 to the restoration of the Normandie Golf Club, a historic public course located in the heart of the 24:1 Community, to be redesigned by Jack Nicklaus’ Nicklaus Design Group.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines recently donated $3 million to support Beyond Housing’s Home Repair Program. The donation will fund home repairs for low-income, owner-occupied households throughout the 24:1 Community in North St. Louis County. These repairs and upgrades are essential for preserving the existing housing stock and the well-being and stability of families who might otherwise be forced out of their homes due to costly repairs. The repairs also increase the valuation of all homes throughout the community.
Since 2019, the bank has donated $12 million to support the Home Repair Program.
Beyond Housing is excited to announce the official closing on Stratford Commons, a partnership with the Housing Authority of St Louis County. This existing housing complex located in Pine Lawns offers 114 affordable housing units. As with all of Beyond Housing’s rental housing, renting families will benefit from holistic supportive services ranging from basic needs to employment, education, and health to increase self-sufficiency.
The Pagedale Town Center Homes development will consist of 36 new single-family homes in Pagedale near the significant economic development in an area of Page and Ferguson Avenues, now known as “The Page.”
The $12.4 million project is made possible through a permanent loan from BJC HealthCare, a significant investment from Midwest BankCentre, and federal and state low-income tax credits from Missouri Housing Development Commission.
The project builds on the significant investment in Pagedale that includes hundreds of new homes, a food hall and retail, cinema, Midwest BankCentre, Affinia Healthcare, BJC HealthCare, Rosie Shields senior living center, and a new Fields Foods that recently opened in March of 2023.
Pagedale is a success story that provides a template for all of St. Louis to follow. The economic development of The Page has resulted in a 338% increase in home sale prices per square foot in the area since 2014, as well as a 42% decrease in total crime.
The recent partnership with the Housing Authority of St. Louis County (HASLC) on Stratford Commons has created a new opportunity for Beyond Housing to expand its holistic supportive services in Wellston. Beyond Housing will manage and provide holistic services for renters through a new $44 million rehab of the Wellington Family Homes complex when completed.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its plan to demolish the 186-unit complex, which would displace hundreds of low-income residents comprising 20% of Wellston’s population. In partnership with residents and community officials, HASLC advocated for rehabbing the complex.
Renovations have begun, with completion dates phased between August 2023 and March 2025.
With the Wellington Family Homes development, 36 new homes in Pagedale, and Stratford Commons, Beyond Housing will own and/or manage more than 800 rental homes to strengthen area families.
This is a big win for an under-resourced community that has struggled with decades of disinvestment and decline.
Fields Foods is now open in Pagedale. The grocery store is a significant upgrade from the former Save A Lot which closed in late 2021 despite strong sales.
The new Fields Foods is a full-service neighborhood grocery store with deli, meat, and seafood counters as well as wine and beer and prepared foods. The locally owned grocery chain is committed to strengthening the St. Louis area’s historically under-resourced communities making the company a perfect partner in Beyond Housing’s economic development of The Page area in Pagedale.
This year Beyond Housing took over management of the Wrap-Around Coordination Program for the Normandy Schools Collaborative. The program takes a student and family-centered, community-based, and culturally relevant approach to meet the social, emotional, health, safety, and basic needs of students and families at the district level.
Beyond Housing is working to apply its holistic approach to strengthening families to reduce mobility and other barriers to prevent greater success in the classroom.
Carter Commons, a $6.5 million development in The Page commercial district that includes a food hall and retail space, welcomed two new restaurants in late 2022, Adina’s Vegan Cuisine and Kay’s Kitchen. The new tenants join Healthy Habits, filling all three food retail spaces, as well as the new Drinkhouse Pub opening in a few weeks.
The success of former tenant Goss’Up Pasta led them to expand operations in a bigger facility just up the street at 6730 Page Avenue.
Investing in our region—including our people and communities that have often been left behind—is a vital part of moving the St. Louis region forward. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be communicating more about the impact of our work on both the communities we serve as well as our entire region.