5612 Waterman - Oppose Apartment Building
5612 Waterman - Oppose Apartment Building
Purpose: We collectively oppose the 5-Story Apartment Building proposed at 5612 Waterman Blvd. (at Clara Ave.). The Warwick Condo Association includes 32 condo units at 5600 Waterman Blvd. 425 Clara Ave, 433 Clara Ave, 427 Clara Ave, and 445 Clara Ave.
Background: Waterman Blvd is residential; it’s a quaint, quiet, charming street that runs between Belt and Clara Avenues. It is not DeBaliviere Blvd. It is not Union Blvd. It’s not Pershing Ave. These are thoroughfares with some retail, large apartment buildings, stop lights and a lot of vehicle traffic. The feel of these streets are completely different from Waterman. The lot in question at 5612 Waterman is not an abandoned, dilapidated space. It serves as green space for an already dense neighborhood. It has become the space where neighbors walk their dogs, and where neighbors gather to chit chat and socialize, and it almost defines our street.
Problem: As you know, the DeBaliviere Place area has become over-developed and over-saturated. Approximately 750 new apartments have been built or are being built in less than 2 years (Tribeca: 160 apts., Chelsea: 152 apts., Hudson: 150 apts, Expo: 290). Parking is a problem. The ease of getting in and out of Waterman Boulevard and Pershing Avenue on to DeBaliviere Ave and Union Blvd is a problem. Basic street services, such as street cleaning and trash pick-up, are not provided consistently due to over-abundance of street parking. We are respectively asking that the Board of Adjustment adhere to the current code and regulations for set-back and for parking (that is a 1:1 ratio). We want to preserve the neighborhood residential feel of Waterman Blvd; as well as its charm, architecture and quietness.
We understand that our Alderwoman, Heather Navarro supports this development and cites analysis and statistics about other cities regarding the use of parking, the use of public transportation, the ratio of parking to apartment units, and the use of green space. This information and analysis is questionable as our neighborhood associations believe it doesn’t apply as an apples-to-apples comparison of the property in question at 5612 Waterman Blvd. We also want to point out that Heather Navarro lives in the 5900 block of Pershing--three blocks west of DeBaliviere Blvd--away from 5612 Waterman and the overdeveloped dense streets of Pershing and DeBaliviere. It's easy to support something like this when it's not next to your home, on your street and you are not directly impacted.
So, we want to leave you with this picture in your mind...you’ve been living in your home for 20 years. It’s your space. It’s your neighborhood. It’s where you live among other homes and neighbors. Then a 5 story apartment building with 60 units will be built right next to your home, right next to your home or even on your same block. It will tower over your roof, over your home. It encroaches upon the green space to which you’ve been accustomed. It disrupts the feel and culture of the area around your home, around your neighbors’ homes, and on your street. How would you feel about that? Be honest with yourself.
This is what we’re facing right now. This situation becomes personal. It hits home. This is a very important decision. You’ll of course consider and enforce the code and regulations for set-back and for parking and other factors as part of your responsibility to the citizens of St. Louis, but I also want you to consider that scenario I just painted for you. This is where we also need to use common sense and approach this decision carefully and thoughtfully for the citizens of Waterman Blvd.
Common sense is not necessarily the knowledge we gain through extensive study or experience; it’s our gut instinct, it's our better judgement. It is the belief and norms that are common among our peers, our neighbors, our citizens. Ask yourself: Is it common to have a 5-story apartment building with 60 units set among a residential area? Is it common to have a large scale apartment building with modern architecture set among historic residential buildings? Is it common to cram a 60 unit apartment building with less than ideal parking among an already over-developed and over-saturated area? And, last but not least, Is it common that you would support a 5-story 60 unit apartment building in your own neighborhood, on your own street and or next to your own home?
Long-term goal: The long-term goal for this green space is that it will be turned to a community park that would meet the interests of the neighborhood. This could include a dog park, playground, and social gathering place.
Please help us make this vision a reality! The first step is blocking this development.