Whether or not you foster fond memories of the Pasta House restaurant on Dorsett near McKelvey Road, you no doubt have noticed what an eyesore it has become since it closed.
Take heart: the landowner there has submitted a preliminary development plan to raze the old restaurant and build a new multi-tenant building in its place. No leases have been signed, but tenants could include something along the lines of an eye glass company, cell phone retailer and possibly a small restaurant. On October 9, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved the plan with modifications, which primarily are aimed at improvements to the building's design features.
Another, perhaps greater, concern is how the new building will help or hinder the effort to move Dorsett Road toward becoming a "Great Street" (see post below), that is, more pedestrian and bike friendly with a unique character. Merely replacing the Pasta House with a newer version of the same thing does not contribute to the city's own initiative to bring more distinctive character to the neighborhood.
Many buildings along the Dorsett/McKelvey business district are older and may come up for replacement at some point. We should take every opportunity, including the one with the Pasta House location, to make sure we are creating the community and street-scape that we want, and not just perpetuating the past.
Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth, is hosting a public event with MoDOT and the City of Maryland Heights on the reconstruction of the I-270 interchanges at Dorsett Road and Page Avenue which begin this month.
Wednesday - February 17, 2010
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Presentation and Q&A with MoDOT and City of Maryland Heights Public Works
7:00 -8:00 p.m. - Open Forum with Community
Maryland Heights Community Centre - Auditorium
2344 McKelvey Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
This is the first public forum with specific details and timelines on this two-year construction project. The project will start on I-270 and Dorsett Road the first year, then move to Page Avenue interchange in 2011. The project is expected to take two years. MoDOT will also be showing the public the animated driving sequences on the "divergent diamond" design on Dorsett at the I-270 interchange.
There will also be a major, parallel Maryland Heights city project moving Prospect Parkway away from the rebuilt Dorsett interchange which will place the finished road further east on Dorsett. It will relocate the road on the north side of Dorsett past Syberg's and cross to the south-side of Dorsett just east of the Drury Inn. The south-side construction will feature a "jug-handle" design and is designed to assist with traffice congestion from the newly expanded Edward Jones campus as well as funnel traffic in and out of the Westport area.
180,000 cars a day travel on I-270 through Maryland Heights every day and this is going to cause big disruptions for both local traffic in Maryland Heights, Westport and Creve Couer as well as those who are just traveling through the area on I-270 from Page Ave. to I-70. There will be lane detours and reduced lanes as they completely rebuild the bridges/interchanges.
Please come and join the discussion!