Vandals smash planters outside planned youth center in south city

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ST. LOUIS - Vandals struck a south city property that is meant to someday serve and improve the community.

Doug Bram owns the building at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Fassen Street. He grew up in the neighborhood and came back with money he and his wife had saved over the years in hopes of bringing the neighborhood back to how he remembered it as a child.

One of their ideas was to use the building to house a non-profit youth center for the neighborhood.

On Tuesday morning, Bram arrived at his property to find five large concrete planters, valued at more than $300 each and imported from Mexico, shattered.

Bram said he considers it a cry out for help.

"I know with the businesses closing down the street, the shootings, that this is an area on St. Louis that's crying out for help and support," he said. "It needs more attention."

While he can't afford to replace the pots, Bram said he hopes to plant some positivity in the community.

"I would almost like to just leave those there, put up a sign and say whoever did this please come and help me plant some trees, let me get to know you," he said. "Let me reach out and show you that there's a better way something better to do with you life.​"