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Developer Targets More Than 250 Homes In Buyout For Retail Project

The Devereux Company said it is not interested in using eminent domain to acquire the property in unincorporated St. Louis County just north of Creve Coeur.

A real estate firm has informed residents in a subdivision long eyed as the potential home for commercial development along Interstate 270 of plans to buy them out in a push for a "multi-anchor-based retail shopping plaza."

This is not the first time residents in the Orchard Lakes subdivision have heard talk from developers. Interest perked up a few years ago from THF Realty and reportedly included meetings with residents back in the summer of 2011.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported at that time that there were 256 homes in the subdivision.

In a letter to residents from The Devereux Company obtained by Patch, company President Dan Devereux told residents that he is prepared to make "generous offers" worth more than the value of homes to get residents on board through the approval process for any potential project, which he wrote could take between 18 months to two years.

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Devereux Company officials could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

The letter indicated Devereux was looking for full participation from residents before going forward with plans and that he was "not interested in using eminent domain as a tool to acquire any homes or property."

Devereux plans to discuss his proposal at an upcoming subdivision meeting next week.

Creve Coeur City Planner Whitney Kelly said Monday the city had not heard anything regarding the project and that it was unclear what, if any city approval would be needed for the project. Currently, Kelly said, the road leading into the subdivision is the only property within city limits.

City leaders have in the past identified this area of unincorporated St. Louis County as a potential annexation target but have moved off that as a specific short-term goal in recent planning exercises.

packman May 14, 2013 at 01:55 PM
His rental homes would be considered his business and they would be taking that away from him. Thats got to be worth something
TransducerX May 14, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Whoa, whoa. Nobody it *taking* anything from anyone. I think you might need to re-read the article.
flyoverland May 14, 2013 at 03:47 PM
No one received anything other than "fair market value." Federal Law prohibits Federal funds being used to pay anything else. Obviously, there is always an argument over what is the fair market price. These private developers will not have that restriction. You are obviously not old enough to remember the Carrollton buyout. Very few people wanted to move. It was only after the project was announced and no one could sell otherwise and people stopped improving and maintaining their homes that it went downhill. That is always a strategy used by the government when "taking" private property.
TransducerX May 14, 2013 at 04:00 PM
1. Old enough to remember the airport expansion. 2. It's called imminent domain and it's the law, like it or not. 3. Enough about Carollton. It's not germane to the article.
flyoverland May 14, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Then you were not paying attention back then. By the way, you don't get to decide when the conversation ends.
Momof3 May 14, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I too live in this subdivision and I personally hope it goes through. I am so tired of the wishy washy with these developers and for those of us who actually put time and money in our houses, when this stuff comes up, people stop and the neighborhood looks like junk for a year or more. I take pride in my home and while I love it and am happy here, I'm tired of being somewhere that is constantly haggled about being bought out. I would be willing to sell if the price is right and I'm looking forward to seeing what the offer is. Obviously, they can't expect Olive and Craig to handle the traffic, but we sit on top of 270 and I'm assuming they would just have to make and exit between Olive and Page to control the traffic.
flyoverland May 14, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Oh, by the way, it is called eminent domain, not imminent, although imminently, you will be learning a lot of new terms IF this moves forward.
Joni Goldstein May 14, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I live in apartment complex that backs up to orchard lakes I see there back yards. Heather ridge has been here for a very long time. They just were bought out from Gannon properties, now is another company.
Scott Simon May 14, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Convenient to you in Maryland Heights. Not Creve Coeur.
STLalltheway May 15, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I wonder what kind of offer Deveraux would even be willing to put forth. When looking at previous redevelopment attempts, Hadley and Maplewood, those homeowners were offered 2.5 times their appraisal value. I would say for that there would be no question in staying or going. I know it isn't all about money but i would say that is lottery material.
TransducerX May 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Ha! You got me! You know they are grumpy when they start correcting the grammar. End of Carollton conversation.
TransducerX May 15, 2013 at 01:10 PM
2.5 time the appraisal? Wow. Actually, the deal was even better than that. "At the meeting, several residents said they should be paid more for their properties than what they were being offered. Pace is offering to pay 2.4 times the county appraisal of the properties plus $50,000 for owner-occupied properties. No one would be offered less than $190,000." http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/hadley-township-developer-answers-questions-from-richmond-heights-residents/article_a5393244-4621-5621-a636-d37dd377d626.html
Paul Varley May 18, 2013 at 06:04 PM
OK...let me understand this. As a homeowner in Orchard Lakes, I received the letter from Devereux. So, AFTER he secures signed contracts from 100% of the owners, he wants up to 2 years to secure zoning and the closing date. So, for two years, the homeowners cannot sell, should not make improvements, and basically sit in limbo. If, at the end of the 2 years, he cannot secure zoning then the deal is off? So, we keep the earnest money? Now, in the meantime, we agree to a purchase price, right? But we don't get the money yet? So, we can't really buy a house yet, can we? And for those of us who have paid off our mortgages and had planned on not making any more house payments, while we wait for him to secure zoning and a closing date, do the values of potential homes rise? Does the payment for my home rise with inflation? On the unselfish side. . ."multi-anchor retail shopping plaza" right across the street from an elementary school? I'm sorry. I just don't see any good in this at all. Increased traffic in the area, a loss of a great neighborhood, a shopping plaza across the street from an elementary school, the potential of losing student enrollment at Craig Elementary, living in limbo for 2 years. . .he'd have to be a heck of a salesman to pull this one off.
Patricia May 25, 2013 at 04:11 PM
I also live in the subdivision and I think if people don't want this to happen and don't want to keep being bothered by developers every 1-2 years, the indenture could be changed. We could allow for homes over 1 1/2 stories to be built. If the neighborhood had some newer, bigger homes built, it would be too costly for developers to try to buy us out. Last time we updated indentures, some of us wanted to have that protection put in place but some people didn't like the idea, so it didn't happen. Now we've been through this buyout issue twice in three years and our lives are on hold again for another 2 plus years. We've had several houses burn down in the last couple of years and they could have been built in a more modern style. Instead, they look just like the rest and those home owners of virtually new homes are in the same position as the rest of us. I'm just saying, if people want to end the issue of development, we can change the indentures and the neighborhood will progress and our values will increase and we can decide on a one by one basis whether or not we want to move. (This is a possible solution for Momof3 and Paul Varley)
20feet high June 05, 2013 at 10:50 PM
I cannot find an update by the editor on the buy out since the meeting, I saw the guy there but the trustees would not let him attend the meeting. I took notes, The zoning with Creve Coeur would be when the guy buys the strip center and the bank that fronts Olive. He also mentioned a fly over bridge off of 270. He also said he would know with-in 90 days after he sends the offer out whether the project is do able. He also said he would not be making an offer in the 2-2.5 range he said The Patch mentioned, but would make it worth our while. Well I checked and for some reason this year almost everybody's assesement went down $5k-20k from 2012. So if he makes an offer of of this years, he will be getting it cheaper, so we have to take in inflation, as home prices have been going up. Oh and the issue of the guy that has multiple houses making out like a bandit? Only problem is he will have to pay a ton of capital gains taxes on these homes as he has probably taken all the depreciation he could on them.
Chris June 30, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Well, just got the offer. Not what I expected, still not bad though. Now just to see what happens.
Wilma shoveler July 02, 2013 at 10:23 PM
I wonder if my fellow neighborhood residents would be willing to participate in a survey so that we would know where the majority stands such that we would be less in a limbo state of mind. Comments? A WEB survey would be simple.
Scott Simon July 03, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Hadley Heights comes to Creve Coeur!
20feet high July 03, 2013 at 05:47 PM
I just got my offer, more then what I expected them to offer compared to the last time an offer was sugested. Wilma, who would go around and tell each home owner there is a survey on the web?
Michael Mitchell July 05, 2013 at 10:54 PM
My wife and I put a contract on a house in Orchard Lakes mid June. We are supposed to close on it soon. I just found out about the buyout and I'm thinking about backing out of the contract. We would appreciate anyone's thoughts.
20feet high July 05, 2013 at 10:58 PM
This should have been disclosed to you as all home owners new about this since March and had a subdivision meeting with developer in May.
Michael Mitchell July 05, 2013 at 11:04 PM
We really like the house and we are shocked to find out about the subdivision status.
20feet high July 05, 2013 at 11:14 PM
You might lose out on the Ernest money but since they did not disclose the possible buyout you shouldn't unless seller plays ignorant. Call one of the trustees for more info
Michael Mitchell July 06, 2013 at 09:38 AM
If they would have disclosed it we wouldn't have written a contract, I better not lose my earnest money. This is something you have to disclose. Its Such a nice house!
Chris July 08, 2013 at 07:35 AM
20, you think you can get that much putting your house on the market? You have to do no repairs or upgrades at all? After I checked our numbers it would be crazy not to take the offer.
Patricia July 08, 2013 at 10:13 AM
There's a facebook site for Orchard Lakes Subdivision St Louis set up by a subdivision home owner. Please check it out and voice your opinions/comments/concerns. 33% over a very low appraised value is not a good offer when you have to wait 2 plus years for it as home prices and interest rates increase. Also, the contract binds the seller to supporting Devereux in his efforts to acquire the neighborhood. That includes his dealings with the county/feds/Creve Coeur, etc. That will most likely set neighbor against neighbor. Not a good deal. please check out the facebook site.
Mike S. July 08, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Hi Patricia, thanks for letting us know about the Facebook site. Here is teh address if anyone needs: https://www.facebook.com/OrchardLakesSubdivisionStLouis I agree with your point on the indentures. Obviously even if the indentures could change by August 30 it would not affect the property values by then so we need to deal with this offer. I agree with Wilma that it would be of value to know approximately what everyone plans to do so we don't have to be in limbo for an extended length of time. Hi 20 I am not sure I or any one of us would visit 250 home owners and tell them to take the survey but I would be willing with a team of people to drop a flyer at each home providing a link to Survey Monkey asking them to let their neighbors know where they stand by answering the survey. Would anyone be game for that? Thoughts?
Gregg Palermo July 09, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I love this dialogue and hope it continues here and in the future stories we'll be doing on this....I would encourage anyone in the impacted neighborhood to start a Patch blog where you could also continue to have a give and take. Here's how to start: http://crevecoeur.patch.com/blogs/new
20feet high July 11, 2013 at 09:12 PM
I for one do not want a 2 story house next to my house. The subdivision would look terrible. Patricia, do u think you could sell your house for as much or more then want is offered? Someone said they need $10k to move. If you hire a moving company it might cost the same as a house payment. By the way Chris my house does not need any repairs or updates
Laura Muther- Schifferdecker September 29, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Orchard Lakes Subdivision is not going down hill. I know I live there. No matter where you go, there will always be those who do not take care of what they have. This buyout is not worth my families life and home. I have been here for the last 17 years, we love it here. I do not care what others say, we need another retail market place like we all need a hole in the head. Maybe some of those that want this and see $ signs, do need a hole in there heads. Money is the root of all EVIL! There is no amount to make me move or want to. I think we should have new indentures written and only residents that have lived here over a certain number of years, should be our trustees. If you don't like living here, then leave. Do not let your greed and Mr. Devereux's destroy our lives. I for one will not leave and I know a lot more that won't either. So pick another subdivision or better yet somewhere where no one resides. KINDA A NO BRAINER....

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