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A 70-foot pecan tree stands on property once owned by Don Brasher in Chesterfield Blue Valley.

Pecan Park under development to protect monarch tree

Chesterfield Blue Valley, LLC [CBV] has begun construction on Pecan Legacy Park, located at the Blue Valley Development off Olive Street Road in Chesterfield.

The half-acre park is designed to preserve and protect the 124-year-old pecan tree located on the property. The park will sit on the former Bayer-Brasher family property on the edge of the development.

Donald Brasher, who passed away in October of 2013, wanted to make sure his family’s legacy would endure, according to Dean Wolfe, the principal developer for Blue Valley.

“He was concerned about maintaining the family connection to that piece of the world,” Wolfe said.

To solve the problem and keep the parcel consistent with the rest of the development, Wolfe said he suggested the idea of a park that would preserve the pecan tree, which Brasher’s family had planted in the 1890s.

The park became a part of CBV’s contract to buy the last 5.3 acres of land needed for the 132-acre contiguous Blue Valley development, according to a press release.

Given that the city of Chesterfield also has an ordinance in place to preserve such monarch trees, Wolfe said the situation was a good fit.

“From a legal and a zoning/governmental approval point of view, that became a part of the fabric of the total development,” Wolfe said. “As a practical matter, I thought it was a positive thing to do, because I think most developments of real estate for mixed use or retail are pretty sterile.”

Wolfe described the park as an amenity for the development where people can “come relax – can repose, if you will – contemplate their life and a tree that’s 124 years old.”

Due to the grading required of developments that sit in a flood plain, the park will be fitted in the center of a bowl, centered around the tree. There will be three staircases leading down into the park.

The old pecan tree itself has a trunk with a 14-foot circumference, and stands nearly 70 feet tall. An 80-foot flagpole with a lightning arrestor will be set up to protect the tree from lightning strikes. In addition to the main tree, three smaller pecan trees – which grew from the pecans of the larger tree – also will be preserved. Construction on the park is expected to be finished midway through October.
Silverstone Hotel, LLC, also has recently announced a new project at the Chesterfield Blue Valley Development. Silverstone will partner with Marriott to construct a TownPlace Suites by Marriott hotel, to be located on Blue Valley Avenue between Brasher Street and Premium Way.

The hotel is expected to hold around 112 rooms, with construction expected to begin in 2016 and complete in 2017.

“I think it’s consistent with our master plan,” Wolfe said. “I’ve called it a mixed-use project.”

Wolfe said outlet centers often use hotels as part of their marketing plans.

“Part of the marketing of outlet centers is literally tours, and people will be able to come in, get a bus in Cape Girardeau or get a bus in Hannibal or Jeff City, shop all day, stay at a hotel, shop the next day and go home that evening on the bus,” Wolfe said.

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