Some Tower Grove East residents don’t like modular homes being built in neighborhood

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Many residents of the Tower Grove East neighborhood are not digging the neighborhood's newest dig.

Crews installed a modular home from the foundation to the top floor Wednesday in the 2900 block of Michigan Avenue.

"I guess I was a little surprised, I had seen plans for this in the past year, but I didn't realize it was going to happen today," said Neighborhood Resident Chris Naffziger.

Naffziger got frantic texts from neighbors Tuesday night, asking why a crane was positioned in the middle of the street alongside the modules.

Some homeowners may like it if their home stands out, but Naffziger said many people pick Tower Grove East because their homes fit in.

"A lot of people really across the board, different social groups are really upset because they really do feel like brick is the standard material for this neighborhood," Naffziger said.

Ryan Sheridan is the brain behind developer Thrive-STL. Sheridan said area residents should give their new neighbors a chance.

"I think most people will be pleasantly surprised," Sheridan said. "When they see these boxes that come in that are white, wrapped in plastic that is kind of unsightly, but once you see the finished product -- most people will be surprised, the quality is I would say top notch."

Sheridan has plans to build about ten more modular homes like the one constructed Wednesday in Tower Grove East. He expects push-back from neighbors, but welcomes a conversation.

"It's ultimately their neighborhood and their feel, but this product is a combination of something that's not acting like something that's old and kind of fits in with a more contemporary style, which I would say is complementary to the neighborhood," Sheridan said.

The Tower Grove East neighborhood is part of a national historic district, but not a local one. Local historic districts like Lafayette Square have their own unique regulations, outlining what developers can and cannot build.

"People are fired up, and I would not be surprised if you see that a local ordinance for a historic district around here, is proposed in the next year," Naffziger said.

Sheridan said the modular home will be finished in the next few weeks and then he will put it on the market.

He bought the lot in a private transaction. On his other lots, he has options to buy them from the city's Land Reclamation Authority.