RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KPLR) – A $35 million, high end, apartment complex is a step closer to reality in Richmond Heights. The Residences at Boland Place received approval from the city council, Monday night, despite the majority of the capacity crowd on hand to oppose the project.
The development is set to go up on a site at the corner of Dale and Boland, just a few blocks from busy Hanley Road. It’s currently home to a vacant school and an old church building.
Last month the city’s planning and zoning commission okayed the project with a 7-2 vote, but opposition began to swell, as residents adjacent to the site saw fears about traffic and the size of the building grow.
Rich Doerr, who lives directly across the street from the site, gave council members an earful during public comment.
“Picture your front door, going out your front door and seeing this monstrosity in front of your house,” the resident of sixty-four years told council members. “How would you like it? I urge you to vote against it.”
His neighbor, Derek Bolden, said it wasn’t the location, but the size of the 187 unit building and the traffic they believe it will bring.
“Many of us in opposition are not against development on this property. It has always been the size and the scale of this development that we are against.”
But talk of progress carried the evening with people like Mark Bassie pointing to the future of what they consider a shrinking Richmond Heights.
“If this project were to take place, it would bring in people, which is something our city currently lacks and is losing at a rate that is unsustainable. “
Council members voted 8-1 in favor of the plan, which developer Joseph Cyr says should have been a “no-brainer” all along.
“You’ve got a site here that for all intents and purposes has been blighted for over twelve years, and we’re able to bring up to 300 residents to Richmond Heights without displacing a single resident or destroying a single home.”
But that didn’t stop plenty of people from leaving disappointed.
“I’m just sorry the council ignored the will of the majority,” resident Paul Lore said. “I think we had strong support. The vote was what it was and I’m just sorry that they didn’t hear us.”