The 2000 census data counted 8,193 residents (down 29% from 1990's count) of whom 98% were black, 1% white. There were 4,063 housing units counted, 73% occupied (46%/54% owner/renter split). Wells/Goodfellow is not a place people (read black people as it's been 98% black since for at least 10 years) want to live. It lost another 20-30% from 2000-2010 if you use this analysis. A 28% loss was the official census count in 2010 with insignificant racial shifts. It's bleeding residents at an alarming rate. This neighborhood appears years away from attracting a diverse set of people. Sweeping, innovative, new thinking is needed if this part of St. Louis is every to be a place visited and cherished by the region. Whatever has been going on in the last 20 years is not working, people are voting with their feet.
Here's a sign entering the Wells/Goodfellow marking the St. Louis city limits. Unfortunately, the signs will need to be updated to the depressingly low number of 319,294 as counted in the 2010 Census.
The Wells/Goodfellow neighborhood is to the south of the former General Motors Plant which is the new home of Union-70 Center Industrial Park. Both its perimeter streets and Goodfellow Boulevard are lined with many businesses. In the neighborhood are St. Louis Comprehensive Health Center and Mound City Medical Center. There are also many religious institutions including New Bible Days-United Church of God in Christ, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and a Large Islamic Center. Barrett Brothers Park is also in Wells/Goodfellow.The former GM plant I assume was the Chevrolet pickup truck plant that was closed and moved to Janesville, Wisconsin. Or, was this the same plant that built Corvettes from 1954-1981 on Union and Natural Bridge before it was closed due to environmental issues and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky? There are some great photos of Corvettes being assembled in the city, at this website.
The Wells/Goodfellow neighborhood is dominated by many single family dwellings in both the Dutch style and those built in the shotgun style. There are also many two and four family buildings primarily located on its major streets. The neighborhood is prime for redevelopment with many available structures and lots.
And here's a great KETC video on the Corvette's made in St. Louis. Alright enough of that, back to the neighborhood as it is today.
As with any neighborhoods in a state of severe residential decline, there are signs of when the area was thriving and quite dense; but sadly, those days are over. There were the once bustling commercial corridors of MLK, Natural Bridge, Goodfellow, Union and St. Louis Avenue, as well as signs of many intra-neighborhood corner stores:
Mark Twain/I-70 Industrial neighborhood, this has long been a neighborhood that was close to the manufacturing industries of days gone by; here are some interesting former factories near Maffitt and Hamilton that caught my eye:
Construction has started on the Arlington Grove residential redevelopment project in north St. Louis. When complete it will include 112 mixed-income rental units in garden apartments, townhouse and semi-detached housing, along with a new mixed-use building and rehabilitation of the historic Arlington Elementary School. All together, the redevelopment will total 162,000 square feet of residential space and 5,000 square feet of commercial space.
The school renovation will include 21 apartments. The rest of the Arlington Grove’s residential space will be 91 new-construction townhomes and garden apartments. All of the units are designed to meet mandatory Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) criteria as required by the Capital Fund Recovery Competition (CFRC) grant, a stimulus-related grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that helped pay for the $41 million development.
The redevelopment will contain market rate units, Low Income Housing Tax Credit units for tenants at 60 percent of the area median income, HOME units and public housing units. According to the developer McCormack Baron Salazar, Arlington Grove is considered one of the first EGC “green” designed mixed- income projects in the country, and the first for the city of St. Louis and Missouri.
Environmentally friendly features incorporated into the development’s design by KAI Design & Build–Arlington Grove’s architect, engineer, general contractor and building information modeling coordinator–include Energy-Star appliances and fixtures, high-efficiency HVAC systems, solar panels, water-conserving appliances and fixtures, and the reduction of heat-island effect through highly reflective roof shingles and pervious paving. During construction, KAI Design & Build will practice water-management techniques, as well as the recycling of content materials.
“The development’s green design will absolutely make it competitive in the marketplace,” Anthony Summers, KAI Design & Build senior project manager, tells MHN. “One attractive feature of the development is its more efficient heating, cooling and plumbing systems. Tenants can anticipate lower utility bills as a result of these systems, and that is an attractive benefit.”
The development is part of a larger effort to revitalize this part of the city of St. Louis, undertaken by a number of local organizations, including Friendly Temple Church, the City of St. Louis, Ald. Jeffrey Boyd, the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis and the St. Louis Housing Authority. Construction on the Arlington Grove redevelopment is expected to be complete in spring 2012.
Here's what the construction site looks like today: