Plan for luxury townhouses gets chilly reception from Clayton neighbors

2014-04-01T00:45:00Z 2015-05-11T23:18:14Z Plan for luxury townhouses gets chilly reception from Clayton neighborsBy Margaret Gillerman mgillerman@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8126 stltoday.com

CLAYTON • Developers who want to build luxury townhouses at the old Maryland School site met with neighbors Monday night to pitch their plans and solicit support.

But from the tenor of the questions and comments, many of the Clayton neighbors appeared to be resolute in their opposition to the project, which is called the Maryland School Town Homes.

More than 60 people attended the meeting at Washington University's west campus and expressed concerns about housing density, parking, green space and safety for children from additional car traffic. They said the townhomes would not fit in their quiet neighborhood of single-family homes.

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The developers are Larry Schiffer, president of Clayton-based Love Investment Co., and Bruce Korn, co-owner of Higginbotham Custom Homes, working with famed architect Gyo Obata. All spoke at the meeting.

The developers said they would pay for a traffic study and then expected to submit formal plans to the city in about four to six weeks. They said the development would have many benefits including bringing in about $420,000 of tax revenue a year, meeting a demand for new-construction townhomes and generating business for Clayton restaurants and other businesses

"Our feeling is that it will only enhance property values," Schiffer said.

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The townhomes would start at about $750,000.

They propose to build 45 attached, two-story, brick upscale town homes between Maryland and Westmoreland avenues just west of Jackson Avenue.

The 1930s elementary school, which is no longer in use, would be razed. The School Board has approved the sale of the land but the proposal now needs to go through the city's planning and approval process.

Margaret Gillerman is a reporter for the Post-Dispatch.

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