QuikTrip has signed a long-term lease with the owner of the northwest corner of Manchester Road and Big Bend Boulevard. The company also has the OK from St. Louis County to incorporate right-turn lanes to accommodate traffic.
Regardless of having a signed lease, the proposal needs to go to Maplewood Planning and Zoning for approval. If it passes there then it will go to the City Council. If it doesn't pass Planning and Zoning, they can still go to the council for approval.
Those both for and against QuikTrip moving from its current location on Big Bend to the busier intersection are signing petitions–but no matter–the move is progressing.
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At the concert Wednesday night at Ryan Hummert Park, Maplewood mayor James White collected signatures on a petition to run again for mayor, and spoke to residents about the issue. He said the plan is to get QuikTrip and Maplewood Richmond Heights School District representatives together to “hopefully reach a compromise.”
“Mayor White hasn’t told us that,” MRH school board president Maria Langston said, when reached later by phone.
Langston said the school board represents the parents and the community. “Whenever we’re out there fighting for something, it’s because that’s what our constituents want,” she said.
“We’ve met with QuikTrip once, and voiced our concerns. We met with the city and voiced our concerns,” she said.
Langston wrote an open letter, as school board president, opposing QuikTrip moving to the corner.
The property is owned by Elsie Lesseg. Her son, Daniel Lesseg, a St. Louis attorney, is representing her in the process. She also owns the lot that CVS is building on, and the parcel next to CVS, which so far is unleased.
“She’s looking forward to having a new lease with QuikTrip,” Lesseg said. She realizes it does have to go through governmental approvals, and the citizenry of Maplewood will obviously have to agree to the building going there as well; at least a majority.”
He said QuikTrip approached his mother a couple years ago about a long-term lease.
“At this point we’re progressing through their due diligence which includes the governmental approvals, and at this point, I’ve been assisting QuikTrip with presentations,” he said. “This afternoon we spoke to the special business district tax advisory commission.”
Lesseg realizes there is opposition from the school district, and he plans on addressing those concerns.
“Barry (Greenberg, Maplewood city council member) is in possession of talking points that we’ve disseminated among members of the chamber as well as the tax advisory commission,” he said.
“They include a lot of accommodations of the worries that I know of,” he said. “We’re attempting to find out what, if anything can be done.”
He said QuikTrip is interested in staying in Maplewood, and that the proposed shop is what is known as a “generation 3” QuikTrip.
“It brings a lot of new things to QuikTrip,” he said. “Instead of just a brown box, the building itself is beautiful. It’s about 2,000 more square feet. The services it offers is much more.”
He said the Maplewood store would be like one that is opening on St. Charles Rock Road, west of Interstate 170. Its grand opening is on Thursday.