24:1 Celebrates Grand Opening of Carter Commons
By: James Fister*
On Saturday, July 31st, Rise and its partner PGAV Planners celebrated the completion of the 24:1 Land Use and Economic Development Plan at a community event in Pagedale, MO. In conjunction with the opening of the new Carter Commons at the Pagedale Town Center, Rise and PGAV staff chatted with community members and shared updates on the planning process.
The 24:1 Municipal Collaborative is a collection of 23 municipalities within the Normandy school district. In 2008, residents, officials, and local mayors began a series of conversations on how to improve their communities and the lives of all who live there. They are united under one vision for creating strong communities, engaged families, and successful children. This united vision is important; each municipality otherwise lacks the capacity to contend with larger neighboring cities. The residents of 24:1 have more power together than they do apart. Through an equitable plan, the residents and local leaders can ensure that the changes that come to each community are desired, desirable, and benefit all. This plan has helped the community realize a united economic vision and take control of its shared economic future.
Beyond Housing, who serves as the umbrella organization supporting and guiding development in the 24:1 area, funded the Land Use and Economic Development Plan. PGAV Planners led the process, and Rise carried out the community engagement. The completed plan contains specific proposals for future land uses, public improvements, and equitable development for the communities of 24:1. The five key themes included in the plan are:
· Connectivity & Accessibility
· Strong Commercial Corridors
· Transit-Oriented Development
· Diversity of Housing
· Industrial Reinvestment
Despite the challenges of engaging the community in the time of COVID, Rise’s commitment to hearing the voices of the community shone through. One of the consistent messages voiced by the residents was a desire to see more places to spend their time and money in their community. That is why celebrating the plan completion at the new Carter Commons was so special. The new development features a food hall, which will showcase locally owned eateries. There is also a boutique and a fitness center. In all, seven locally owned businesses will call Carter Commons home.
More than 300 guests who helped celebrate the opening didn’t just get to hear about the plan; attendees got to try samples from the vendors and provide suggestions for how to develop a community greenspace next to the new building.
Rise is proud to partner with PGAV, Beyond Housing, and the members of the 24:1 community. Once again Rise has proven that equitable, sustainable development is not only necessary but possible. Congratulations to the residents of Pagedale, the 24:1 community, and all who helped make the event possible!
James is a lifelong resident of St. Louis City dedicated to increasing equity and opportunity for all in the St. Louis region. He is currently a candidate for a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Development at St. Louis University. At Rise, he helps in community and organizational planning initiatives.