To the Editor:
Three or four years ago, when the mall was still in receivership, I had a conversation with Mayor Bob Nation about the city’s involvement in the transition of the mall property.
Mr. Nation seemed surprised that I would have any expectation of the city’s involvement or that it might be important for the city to have a seat at the table so as to help transition the property to something that would benefit the community and avoid the property becoming an albatross.
Clearly, the property has been iconic for the city of Chesterfield and has tremendous potential and value.
Mr. Nation stated that to do so would mean offering some kind of incentive, as though that would be an outrageous consideration. He went on to point out that Chesterfield was the wealthiest municipality in the area, the absolute envy of all, including Kirkwood and Clayton.
Mr. Nation perhaps lacks an appreciation for quality over quantity. The city might also be out of touch with what the community wants. This is Chesterfield shooting itself in the foot – again. Instead of being proactive to protect the future interest of this pivotal property for the community and actually creating what could have been a cool, vibrant, revenue-generating city-center, a destination, the city chose instead to do what it appears to be best at – nothing.
No doubt it was this same do-nothing approach that led to the over development of chain store retail that has left the area with a dying mall locked into a dysfunctional ownership structure and a second outlet mall that is nearly shuttered.
Mr. Nation, trust me, no one in Kirkwood is envious of this.