Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Update On 3740 Marine Ave.

Update on 3740 Marine Ave.

Last week I commented on a number of South St. Louis institutional properties being for sale.

I found out in a mailed notice about last night's Marine Villa neighborhood meeting (which I did not attend) that the 3740 Marine Ave. property, formerly the Salvation Army Hope Center for Children (and the Edgewood Soulard School), may be acquired by an agency with a similar mission:
Boys and Girls Town of Missouri.

This sounds, generally, like good news. Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, historically based for decades on its St. James campus, has developed over the past several years significant outreach programs in St. Louis City.

Boys and Girls Town of Missouri (BGTM) currently operates two facilities in the City:

  • St. Louis Center, a residential treatment facility at 4485 Westminster Place, a former Roman Catholic convent built in 1968 at the NE corner of Taylor and Westminster. BGTM owns this building, and has operated there since 1996 or so.

  • Academy at Boys and Girls Town, a school for children with behavioral and emotional disorders, briefly known as St. Louis Academy and located in the former location of St. Joseph's Home for Boys at 4753 S. Grand Blvd. on the campus of St. Mary's High School at Grand and Delor. This property is leased from the Archdiocese. St. Joseph's closed its residential facility in 2001, and now operates from the 20 Archbishop May Dr. campus in Shrewsbury as " St. Joseph’s Home & Family Support Services."

    Anyway, I'm not clear whether the 3740 Marine property would be used to expand the residential treatment program, or to expand the school. It might be a replacement site for the Academy, since it is located in leased space that the Archdiocese is unlikely to sell, given its location immediately adjacent to an Archdiocesan high school.

    In any event, this seems like a pretty positive development. While it will not get the property back on the tax rolls like a residential redevelopment could, it seems this facility is almost ideally suited to the needs of an agency like BGTM.
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