April 12, 2018

The official groundbreaking ceremony for Chippewa Park took place on Thursday, 4.12.2018, at 3 PM, in “Frog Park”, 2819 Chippewa St. at the corner of Oregon St. and Chippewa. It was the first wonderfully warm afternoon this Spring.

Our esteemed speakers for the celebration were:

Sal Martinez – Emcee – Executive Director/North Newstead Association

James Heard – St. Louis Field Officer at HUD

Cara Spencer – Alderwoman/Ward 20

April Ford-Griffin – Executive Director/Affordable Housing Commission

Nancy Hohmann– Senior Housing Analyst/Community Development Administration

Ruth Sorrell – Principal/Advantage Capital

Patrick Blassie – Vice President – LIHTC Specialist/Sterling Bank

Chris Shearman – Executive Director/Lutheran Development Group

Stephen Acree– President/ Rise Community Development

This past year, Rise and Lutheran Development Group (LDG) began a long-term, multi-dimensional community development partnership focused on Benton Park West, Gravois Park, and Dutchtown—three of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis. The area includes some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis and State of Missouri. It is surrounded by several prosperous neighborhoods, bisected or bounded by thriving and growing commercial corridors and located within the largest historic district in the State. Rise has also facilitated a community-driven planning process for this area, known as the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan.

Chippewa Park was born from a moral imperative to help correct the imbalance of investment occurring in surrounding neighborhoods by addressing the considerable shortage of quality affordable housing options in the more densely populated Gravois Park and Dutchtown communities. The project includes the complete renovation of fourteen currently vacant and abandoned multi-family buildings in the Jefferson-Gravois Streetcar Suburb historic district. The 46 residential dwellings fill mostly two and four family buildings in the area generally bounded by Osage Street to the south, Nebraska Avenue to the west, Jefferson Avenue to the east, and Cherokee Street to the north—with the project’s heart centered on Chippewa Street, where the development team will rehabilitate several mixed-use buildings and provide approximately 8,500 square feet of space to support retail and other commercial activity along this former street-car line.

Urban Werks Architecture and Urban Design are providing architectural services, E.M. Harris is the general contractor, Maurice-Benjamin is providing environmental services, RubinBrown is the project accountant and Rosenblum Goldenhersh is the legal counsel.

The total Development Cost is $12,800,000. financing is provided by Redstone Equity Partners, Advantage Capitalthe City of St. Louis HOME fundsthe City of St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Many thanks to those in attendance, to everyone involved in making this development possible, and especially to the residents of Gravois Park. Special thanks to local restaurant Gooseberries for catering the event and to E. M. Harris for all of their work preparing the site and for all the special touches.