5055 Arsenal Street is the address of the Schnucks supermarket "On The Hill" which of course is not really in The Hill neighborhood, so it's officially known as the Arsenal Schnucks.
Schnucks got a building permit last month for a $350,000 renovation of this store. This store was built in 1984, making it not exactly new by Schnucks standards. So, it is showing its age in places. It is also not a 24-hour store, being open only from 6 am to midnight.
Also later this year, the City plans to replace the adjacent Arsenal Street bridge over the Union Pacific tracks.
This seems like smart timing: while the bridge is closed, cutting off access from the west, renovate the store.
However, it does beg the question: what about the South City Schnucks at 3430 South Grand? It was built in 1989, and is about 20,000 square feet larger than the Arsenal store. No major interior building permits have been issued since it was built, although Schnucks did a fair amount of renovation work there in 2000.
However, customer service, cleanliness and produce quality at the South City Schnucks certainly leave something to be desired. And the security guards are rather arrogant at times. So, many people who have other options choose to drive further west; it is, after all, the easternmost full-service grocery store in South St. Louis.
If you're gonna pay the same Schnucks price, why not at least get better service and selection? If you're willing to sacrifice service, you could at least get better prices at Shop N Save in the already trashy-looking "new" Gravois Plaza.
The 950 Loughborough Avenue store (built in 1978) is being replaced as part of the controversial Loughborough Commons big-box center, and already had some renovation work done back in 1996 after Schnucks acquired it in the 1995 buyout of National Supermarkets.
The Gravois store at 7450 Hampton at Gravois, was extensively remodeled and expanded in 2000. Schnucks remodeled it along with the Affton and Webster Groves stores, eliminating the Schnucks Station Restaurant at each store. This store is 24-hours, and has great produce and meat selection. Plus it's conveniently located on several major bus lines, next to the Gravois-Hampton MetroBus transfer center. It was built in 1963, I believe as a Bettendorf's.
The Hampton Village store is as fancy as any West County location, and is 24 hours. It was built in 1993 as a National store, and acquired only 2 years later by Schnucks. Ironically, Schnucks had closed and demolished their former Hampton Village store, in the old village market building, only a few years earlier.
I've noticed a recent Schnucks trend in North County is to close two stores and replace them with one. This happened in Bridgeton, where a new store opened in late 2005 near St. Charles Rock Road and N. Lindbergh, replacing both the Carrollton store and the Breckenridge Hills store; and will happen again when the new Jennings store opens on the former site of Northland Shopping Center, replacing both the current Jennings store at Jennings Station and West Florissant (its sign is often visible upon approach to Lambert from the east!) and the Dellwood store at 10148 West Florissant.
Indirectly, the same thing happened in North City, when City Plaza opened: the Newstead and Natural Bridge store closed immediately, and about two years later the North Oaks Plaza store at Natural Bridge and Lucas Hunt also closed.
While these investments suggest Schnucks does not plan such a two-to-one pattern in South St. Louis, the closure of both the Delmar and Cass stores in the past several years does leave the Lindell store as the only one operating in the central corridor.