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New mixed-income housing development opens just north of downtown St. Louis

Newly built homes line the street on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Carr Square. Thursday marks the grand opening of Phase 1 for the “Preservation Square” project — a $209 million development to address affordable housing in northern St. Louis.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Newly built homes line the street on Thursday in Carr Square, marking the opening of Phase 1 of the Preservation Square redevelopment project.

St. Louis leaders are celebrating a new mixed-income housing development that’s been years in the making.

Preservation Square offers nearly 700 units that include both market-rate and affordable housing options in a neighborhood just north of downtown and adjacent to the future NGA west campus. Mayor Tishaura Jones said the redevelopment is good for the entire city.

“While downtown is important, we have to make sure that the neighborhoods around downtown are thriving,” Jones said at an event on the site Thursday. “That’s what’s going to lift up the city as a whole.”

Jones added that with the new soccer stadium creating jobs in the area, Preservation Square could offer workers a commute much shorter than they might otherwise face.

Developers McCormack Baron Salazar got a 2015 Choice Neighborhoods grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and since then have pulled together almost $210 million, which includes additional federal and state grants and low-income housing tax credits.

Alderman James Page has been talking with residents in his ward and around the site of the new project during its construction. He says the mixed-income development, which includes multi-story apartment buildings, has more appeal than what he calls the “concrete column” architecture of the past.

“This construction, on the other hand, looks no different than the single-family homes that are constructed in the suburbs,” he said. “And I’m convinced that this type of construction, this architecture, will give people a brighter look at the future.”

In the time it’s taken to bring the project to fruition, Page said he’s heard only positive responses from area residents.

“I really have not heard any doubters about this project, and I’ve watched it from the first shovel of dirt thrown until now,” Page said.

Preservation Square replaces 342 apartments that were demolished and will add 159 affordable units and 195 market-rate ones, according to McCormack Baron Salazar. The complex includes a swimming pool, splash pad, sport court and green space among buildings of various sizes. Residents who were displaced due to demolition and construction will have first dibs on the new units.

Follow Amy on Twitter: @AmyHMayer