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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favazza's Still Planning Two Demolitions on the Hill

While Favazza's restaurant on Southwest Avenue may have removed two demolition proposals from last month's  Preservation Board Agenda, their quest to rid of two adjacent commercial buildings is ongoing. (For some background, see this earlier post.)

The owners of the restaurant plan to demolish 5209 and 5211-13 Southwest for outdoor dining space. Right now, the plans to rid of 5211-13 (the farther west of the two structures) are only preliminary, while Favazza's is actively pursuing demolition of 5209 (the white building, pictured below).



Photo Source: Ecology of Absence

Here are the plans for 5209 Southwest:






I know Favazza has claimed that 5209 Southwest is too storm damaged to justify saving. I think, accepting that this is true, at minimum the facade should be saved. This would make for a unique outdoor dining concept.

Favazza has acknowledged 5211-13 is structurally sound and originally told me he had interesting plans for the site. Now it appears it will become outdoor dining, too, if things go their way.

I don't know what the next step is or if, somehow, Favazza has obtained a demolition permit for 5209 Southwest Avenue without going in front of the Preservation Board. The demolition item is not on the December agenda and so they may just be waiting a bit to have the space ready by springtime. Disappointing, indeed, to possibly face the loss of not one but two commercial buildings in one of St. Louis's most commercially successful and vibrant neighborhoods.

I would recommend calling Favazza's (314-772-4454) or emailing them (info@favazzas.com) to politely disagree with their plans to deurbanize the Hill.

7 comments:

Saint Louis Urban Workshop said...

The retail on the Hill is often not very urban. I'd even argue (maybe just for the sake of arguing) that the Hill isn't very urban-minded at all. Community-minded, yes. Urban-minded, no.

Vanishing STL said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but their site plan only shows 12 outdoor tables! Only 6 of those are located within the footprint of the proposed demolition (which appears to only be one building, but still un-needed). Favazza's could make a very nice courtyard space in the existing space between their corner building and 5209. They could also put some small tables out ON THE SIDEWALK! The owners should be taken on a tour of the CWE and the Loop.

Another solution would be to do a curb bump-out at the corner like what is in front of Duff's and Kopperman's. I would gladly lose two street parking spaces before losing a building.

Rick Bonasch said...

For a different take, visit:

Southwest Avenue outdoor dining expansion planned

Alex, I'm curious why you say the Hill's not very urban?

It's densely developed. It's in the middle of the city. It's historic. It's an ethnic enclave. It's got alleys.

What's not urban about it?

Matt M. said...

^ I absolutely disagree with your sentiments on that post, Rick, but am also curious as to SLUW's take on the urbanity of the Hill.

Rick Bonasch said...

From the plans, it appears the building with the storefront addition is to remain. So is there really only one demolition or are they all coming down?

Matt M. said...

^
I was told by the Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association that 5209 is the only definite plan for now, but that their ultimate intention is to demolish 5211-13 for more outdoor dining space as well.

So for now, only 5209.

Rick Bonasch said...

Imagine those restaurants lining the highway boulevards down at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Lots of people outside, drinking cold beer and eating onion rings and listening to music.

People are looking for places to gather. If there's a fun place on the Hill, they'll go there.

Fast Eddie's has the formula down to a T.

Not saying Favazza's has plans anything like this, but I'm sure they are hoping to increase sales.

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