County Council Approves Funding to Demolish Blighted Jamestown Mall

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click to enlarge Jamestown Mall has been abandoned for more than a decade. - Mike Kalasnick / Flickr
Jamestown Mall has been abandoned for more than a decade.

St. Louis County Council greenlit a $6 million proposal to demolish Jamestown Mall through a unanimous vote Tuesday night. The blighted former mall has sat vacant in unincorporated north St. Louis County for more than a decade.

Council members approved legislation sponsored by fourth district councilwoman Shalonda Webb that will appropriate $6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for demolition of the crumbling facility.

Webb says this has been a persistent quest of hers during her time in office.

“For more than a decade, 11 years, our community has had to live with this unsafe, grotesque, humiliating, demoralizing property,” Webb said before council’s vote.

Passage of two bills for the demolition followed applause by north St. Louis County residents in attendance. All council members voted for the bills except for fifth district councilwoman Lisa Clancy, who was absent from the meeting.

For Zenetta Bowers, demolition of Jamestown Mall is a ray of hope. She has lived near the mall for several years and says her neighborhood has felt less safe since the mall closed its doors.

click to enlarge Jamestown Mall will be demolished using American Rescue Plan Act funding. - Mike Kalasnick / Flickr
Jamestown Mall will be demolished using American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“This is a sigh of huge relief,” Bowers told the RFT after the council's vote.

Angela Pinex, executive director of Spanish Lake Community Development Corporation, says she’d like to see the former mall’s property used to host entertainment options for nearby residents.

“To have a space they can call their own and feel safe about it,” Pinex says.

Pinex added that an advisory committee will work to include community members and stakeholders in conversations about what should be put on the former mall’s property.

“It’s going to be a very inclusive process to make sure that whatever that site is, it’s what the community wants,” she says.

For many before its closing, Jamestown Mall was a treat to go to, explains Dana Ballinger, a board member of Spanish Lake Development Corporation. She lived in Alton, Illinois, as a child and recalls trips to Jamestown Mall in her youth during Jamestown Mall’s peak years.

“This is an opportunity for us to bring new life into unincorporated North County,” Ballinger says. “It’s time for transition and growth and development, and bringing pride back to North County.”

About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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