by Michael R. Allen
Some great news: The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has now closed on both of its loans for its North Market Place development, which includes construction of 41 new homes and rehabilitation of several old buildings. Credit goes to the Restoration Group for rehabbing several buildings that had been approved for demolition and were in advanced states of deterioration.
Look for lots of activity on Benton, North Market and Monroe Streets between Hadley and North Florissant this fall and spring. Rebuilding neighborhood density is always interesting to watch, but rarely heartening. This project is encouraging. While the new homes use some materials that I do not find appropriate, their design, scale and — most notable — lot placement (close to the sidewalk, close to neighboring buildings) are compatible with the neighborhood.