O’Fallon City Council moves forward Southview Plaza’s revised Starbucks development
Revisions to a new mixed-use development proposal for Southview Plaza have advanced for final approval by the O’Fallon City Council.
A scaled down version, at the southeast corner of East Highway 50 and South Lincoln Avenue, is expected to be on the agenda Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The planned use includes a 2,016 square foot drive-through restaurant/café (Starbucks Coffee), with an outdoor patio, which is slated for this year.
The original proposal was for a 4.93-acre mixed use development, including a 9,000-square foot retail strip center on Lot 2, including a sit-down/full-service restaurant uses, with alcohol sales for on-site consumption, not to exceed 2,000 square feet, and a drive-thru restaurant, plus a 41,500-square foot multifamily apartment or mixed-use building. They have been scrapped from the current project. Phase 2 was for 2024 and Phase 3 was for 2025.
In a 11-2 vote at the council meeting Monday, Feb. 6 — with Aldermen Jerry Albrecht and Andrea Fohne opposed — the council OK’d several amendments suggested by the Community Development Committee on Jan. 23. Alderman Gwen Randolph was absent.
Phase 1 now includes the removal of those improvements and re-establishes the surface with grass until a building permit is issued for a project. It also states removal of all gravel associated with the demolition of the original Southview Plaza must happen and grass or landscaping must be re-established.
The CDC amended proposal, suggested by chair Todd Roach and recommended by the city staff, also recommended that Wellesley Drive be closed to the Southview Plaza. This followed residents expressing their concerns.
Residents had discussed traffic throughout the site, in Southview Gardens, and on East Highway 50 and South Lincoln.
Staff said the Starbucks would have a right-in right-out access point.
Uses on Lot 2 will be limited to no more than 2,000 square feet of restaurant space based on parking provided. The potential residential component of the development must be parked at a minimum of 1.7 spaces per unit.
A sidewalk will be required along Lincoln Avenue — pending St. Clair County approval for the sidewalk in the right-of-way. If St. Clair County will not permit the sidewalk, a variance to remove the sidewalk along Lincoln Avenue is granted.
Robert B. Kim of JRJ Family Limited Partnership, who filed the application, was present Monday, and agreed to the changes.
His father, Yong B. Kim, now deceased, owned the property for 30 years.
“I think it is a good choice to pause on the second phase,” he told the council.
A previous proposal in 2021 did not advance, and developers returned with a different project this January.
Southview Plaza history
Southview Plaza’s heyday was as a shopping center during the 1960s through the 1980s. Originally built in 1959, it was home to Keck’s Tomboy grocery store, Ben Franklin, Dollar General, several Hallmark shops, Bollmeier Hobby Shop, Movie Mania video rental and a few chain stores — now defunct in the U.S. — including P.N. Hirsch department store and Western Auto.
Mom-and-pop restaurants — like the Barrel Room, Schiappa’s and House of Hunan — plus clothing stores, beauty and barber shops, dry cleaners, hardware stores and gift shops were tenants during its 59-year history. St. Clair Travel, insurance agencies and other businesses also operated there.
The center had been in decline since the 1990s, with residents complaining and calling it an “eyesore.” Many businesses had already left when Dollar General moved several years ago. The last tenant, a Papa John’s pizza, relocated to Regency Park.
More about Southview
Rejuvenating the nearly vacant center took a major step forward in 2018 when the city council approved a TIF redevelopment agreement with Dover Frontier, the plaza owner who planned to demolish the buildings.
They performed the environmental remediation necessary to make the property development-ready. The property was demolished in phases, finishing in summer 2020.
The maximum cost was $1.8 million to demolish all structures on site, provide all environmental cleanup and obtain a “No Further Remediation” letter from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Additional city council action
In other action, the council OK’d agreements for infrastructure work.
An agreement was approved with L.W. Contractors, Inc., for the South Trunk Main Replacement - Phase 1 project for $955,504.50, based on their unit price bid.
The existing sewer trunk main is concrete and needs to be replaced. This project will replace the existing sanitary sewer trunk main beginning at the north end of Woodstream Sewer Phase 1 project and extend north 5,000 feet where it converges with the north trunk main.
The aldermen approved a contract for construction engineering services with Gonzalez Companies for the West Presidential Streets Phase II & III Project for $91,595.00.
This is a continuation of the Presidential Streets improvement program. Phases II & III include the Presidential Streets generally west of Lincoln and north of State Street. The agreement with Gonzalez Companies is for construction staking, material testing and as needed construction inspection. The project is located in Ward 3.
An agreement with Rooter’s Asphalt for the 2023 Concrete Rehabilitation and Resurfacing project for $1,899,240.39 based on their unit price bid, was approved.
The city has routinely contracted for concrete and resurfacing in Crown Pointe Subdivision, West Deer Creek Drive, Fieldspring Court and Haps Lane in the Manors at Fairwood Hills Subdivision, Hawthorne Place, Cottonwood Court, Butternut Lane, Sycamore Place, and part of Edgewood Drive in the Manors at Timber Creek Subdivision. The project is located in Wards 1 & 4.
The council OK’d an agreement with TWM for the South Lawn Avenue Roadway for $21,000, plus reimbursables.
Recent developments on the west side of Lawn Avenue have been required to widening the roadway with curb and gutter and install sidewalks. The Bluegrass Townhome development the council recently approved also will be required to complete the same improvements.
Once the Bluegrass Townhome improvements are completed, approximately 70% of the roadway will be widened on the west side. This engineering agreement will provide plans for the city to complete the remaining 30% of the widening and install sidewalks.