Vacant Housing at the End of New Florissant Road to be Torn Down; Future is Uncertain; Tax Credit Application is Withdrawn

By Carol Arnett

The owner of the property at the north end of the New Florissant Road has withdrawn an application for tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC).

The application was filed by Golden Management, which manages the Kensington Square Apartments. The application called for 49 two-bedroom units, renting for $465 – 495.

Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider’s office announced that there is no pending development on the project.

The site still contains a row of town homes built by Behlmann Construction several years ago, when Behlmann owned the property. The town homes were never completed.

In an interview, Schneider said that Golden has owned the property for approximately six months. The company has told the mayor that it will be tearing down the town homes.

“I am pleased that they are willing to make the property safe and aesthetically pleasing and maintain it in a decent manner,” Schneider said. He said the vacant town homes were not safe and the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has concerns with standing water on the site.

Schneider’s office compared the proposed apartments to St. Patrick’s Apartments, St. Denis Apartments, and Diane Marie Apartments.

Mark Behlmann, who previously owned the property, said that he and Councilman Keith English both spoke in opposition to the proposal at a hearing held by the MHDC in October.

“There was an outpouring of email from residents opposing it,” Behlmann said. “Those in favor call it affordable housing, but the developer applied under low income housing.”

Golden withdrew the application from consideration at the December MHDC board meeting. They can re-apply in March for the next round of hearing beginning in June.

The site has been vacant for several years. M.J. Behlmann Construction broke ground on a proposed 53 unit gated community in June of 2007. Just a few months later, the national housing market crashed. After a street and only one of the planned town home rows was built, construction stopped.

No one ever occupied the homes, which are  unfinished. They had planned as high-end condominiums for senior residents, that in 2007 would have started at $300,000 and would have had a private nature trail and manicured lake.


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