Residents Rail Against Red Racks & ALDI Coming To Creve Coeur

Residents voiced their concerns during an informal gathering with Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz Thursday.

A pair of businesses expected to open within the next few months in Creve Coeur have not exactly had the welcome mat extended by some city residents.

Red Racks, a thrift store operated by Disabled American Veterans, could be open by Memorial Day, and .

Creve Coeur officials have already voiced their disappointment with the fact that Red Racks, which operates as a non-profit, will not generate sales tax revenue at an intersection which was improved under a Transportation Development District (TDD) project under the premise of collecting sales tax revenue as a way of paying for a realigned street and a traffic light to improve safety. Customers at the relocated Walgreens across the street do contribute to the TDD.

But during an informal gathering with residents and city officials at the Creve Coeur Government Center Thursday, one woman said she was concerned that the businesses would encourage others like them to the city. While she said she was "not trying to make this an untouchable place," she did voice concern that ALDI and Red Racks would appeal to a "lower class" of customers.

"We were all pretty blindsided," the woman added about word that the businesses were coming, and asked city officials to publish a list of new businesses opening. The city's newsletter does publish actions taken by city council and planning and zoning officials on conditional use permits for businesses, and a city business newsletter also indicates new businesses that are open.

Patch first reported news of the pending arrival of ALDI in December after whispers about it first popped up last spring.

Several residents present, including Les Steinberg and newly elected Ward 2 Councilwoman Ellen Lawrence spoke in support of the ALDI, mentioning that not all stores look alike depending on their location.

When asked about the criticism, Rob Jeffries, a Regional Division VP for ALDI said in a written statement that Creve Coeur was targeted because of a convenient location near shoppers in a high traffic area. The statement added that the store appeals to "smart shoppers" with the chain seeing 25 million customers monthly.

City Administrator Mark Perkins noted Thursday that the Red Racks is an approved use for the site, and that while it was the hope that whatever new business landed where Walgreens used to be would tear down the existing structure and build something new, city officials were working to make sure that the exisiting property does get brought up to code.

Mayor Glantz said he and other city officials have "begged, borrowed and pleaded" with Red Racks to be more discreet about the business. 

Update: In commenting on the story, Mayor Glantz noted below that he was referring to the signage at the business.

Doug DePew, GM of the the DAV's thrift stores in Missouri, was in Creve Coeur Thursday meeting with the store's manager as work continues toward opening. DePew said Creve Coeur officials told him that signage, similar to what exists at the Red Racks location in Ballwin, including interior signage, would not be allowed here.

But outside of city officials and a few neighbors, DePew said reaction was positive. He described a "cutting edge" operation and that he found it ironic that people are worried the business would be a detriment to the community because the type of customer they're looking to attract are people in the local community. DePew spoke of the need to "break stereotypes of what a thift store is, what it looks like and who patronizes them."

"We're bright, we're clean, we're well-staffed," he said, adding that the shops "smell like a regular department store...we love the city, we think it's a great city," DePew said.

Red Racks and ALDI did have another defender at Thursday's get-together. "The neighborhood hasn't gone to pot. Let's give them a chance," Peggy Gibstine, a 39 year resident said to applause.


Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misidentified a resident who spoke at this event. Patch apologies for any inconvenience and confusion.

Helene Siegfried April 05, 2013 at 06:03 PM
One more comment from a resident of 25 years, I am quite happy with Aldi's coming to Creve Coeur,I have shopped their for many years, in Ballwin on Manchester, on the Rock Road and on North and South in U. City, good quality, great prices. My only issue with Red Racks is the lack of revenue for the city. as long as I'm commenting I might as well say that I was really disappointed that's revue Coeur could not find a way to accommodate Delmar Gardens. Their proposal may not have been consistent with the details of the Comprehensive Plan but it was certainly in alignment with the direction of the Plan
Jasper Rains April 05, 2013 at 06:40 PM
I don't understand the issue that Creve Ceour residents keep having to developments. I think it was crazy that they did not allow Chik-Fil-A in the community. They would rather look at an old abandoned Walgreens than have a thriving business bringing in tax revenue in the same place. Have you been in a Chick-Fil-A lately? There is always crazy business. That would increase tax revenue by quite a lot in the community. Chesterfield Valley has a very nice Aldi that has not brought "lower class" people en mass to its location. I live in spitting distance to Creve Ceour and work in Creve Ceour and am disappointed that the residents and the city leaders seem to be so skittish about new thriving businesses coming into the community. They keep building banks. Maybe they think that is where money comes from? I still am upset about the CFA issue and think that the reasons presented were bogus. Glad to see that these businesses slipped in. I would rather have an Aldi where I can get good food for inexpensive prices than have the Ghost of Borders past sitting empty at Olive and Ballas.
flyoverland April 05, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Aldi's isn't my style, but a lot of people, especially retired people swear by it. With sales taxes going up again and Obama saying today he's willing to cut Social Security and Medicare, Aldi's will probably do a good business. Chic-a-fila was not a politically correct choice in a liberal town. And, where's that hardware store Harold kept promising us all those years?
Gregg Palermo April 05, 2013 at 08:50 PM
I've posted an editor's note at the bottom of the story. Quotes were attributed to the wrong resident in attendance Thursday. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Donna Snider April 05, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Once you have shopped in a Red Racks Store maybe your opinion will change. I hope so, Love the one's in our area and they have blessed me greatly with getting things for my grandchildren. Stores are clean and everything is sized and has a specific area in the store. Happy Shopping!
cmoongds April 05, 2013 at 11:40 PM
I suppose the city bans coupons too.
Teresa Hayworth April 05, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Nothing about supporting the disabled AMERICAN veterans should be discrete. These people died for your creve coure show some respect and taste!!
Karen Callahan April 05, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Okay...pack up your overused credit cards people and see what it's like to buy thrift. It's the new way to shop. I can pay full price at the mall but I choose to start at the thrift stores first. It's fun to find bargains. Ask Dave Ramsey, a financial guru. Or Warren Buffett, who has lived in the same house for 30 years and flies coach everywhere. They would love Red Racks and Aldi's...that is why they are gazillionaires.
Judy Wasserman April 06, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Judy Wasserman is the person who was mis-identified as making those remarks. Please see the newest version of the article,
Judy Wasserman April 06, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Judy Wasserman was not the person making those remarks. She made no remarks at all. See the latest version of the article, and find someone else to malign.
flyoverland April 06, 2013 at 01:27 AM
While I agree with you, Warren Buffet, the man who wants you to pay higher taxes and who disingenuously uses his secretary's tax rate to obfuscate that point, owns NetJets, the largest "time share" private jet company in the world. He also owns his own private jet. http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewstibbe/2011/09/22/warren-buffeett-jet/
Judy Wasserman April 06, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Mrs. Wasserman did not make those remarks. Please see the newest version of the article.
Judy Wasserman April 06, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Travis, to set the record straight, Judy Wasserman did not say those remarks. Please see the newest version of the article. She would never use those words or engage in the innuendo you do.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 04:15 AM
Well.....it's about time to get some sleep here in the casa de Bickle. I have enjoyed reading your discussion of whether or not you should allow these "lower class" shops into your city. I think this discussion kinda falls into the RWPP bin....for those not hip to urban slang...Rich White People's Problems. I am not making fun of rich people. I don't think they are by any means dumber than their counterparts a few miles away in the city but I think that many rich people believe that they have figured out how society works, that it's all about sweat, brains and merit rather than..in many cases..luck, cultural advantage and the social capital that comes with being born a certain color and in a certain class. Some rich white people can overcome this sense of priviledge but only if they want to be helped. This is good night from Travis. It is not really cold here in the Pinto on the lot tonight so I am looking forward to a good night's sleep. Be excellent to one another!
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Travis, If possible please attend the final night of Mayor Adam Paul's Removal Hearing (see below.) If the Pinto still isn't running and transportation is a problem, just take a taxi. We'll reimburse you. We'd like your take on the proceedings as an outsider. You now have a "following" in Ellisville...but, not in that creepy new ABC show kind-of-way. There is plenty of disdain to power your laptop. We've been saving it up for more than a year and it will likely reach a critical mass on April 8th. You can comment, live blog, tweet whatever from the meeting room and not run out of power. I'll be the one handing out badges. Obviously, you'll be the one with the Mohawk. I hope you haven't changed your hair style. It's a good look for you. If Matt Pirrello has the time following the foregone conclusion of "guilty," perhaps he can give you some tips on how to file for office. E. Schmidt April 8, 2013 St. John Lutheran School Cornerstone Building 15800 Manchester Road 6:00 p.m. CONTINUATION OF HEARING/SPECIAL MEETING The Ellisville City Council will conclude the hearing relative to Preliminary Resolution #02-27-13A concerning the removal of Mayor Adam Paul and conduct a special meeting to determine whether Adam Paul has forfeited the office of Mayor of the City of Ellisville. Doors will be open to the public at 5:30 p.m. (No mention of cookies and coffee.)
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Travis, I forgot to mention, we now have a Savers in Ellisville...and an Aldi and Red Racks just to the east down Manchester Rd. in Ballwin. If you come out early, you could get some shopping done. No need to pay those high prices and high sales tax at Walmart in the Valley. According to the latest national news reports, Bentonville has laid off so many employees, Walmart can't keep the shelves stocked. So much for Walmart's ridiculous promise to hire veterans...Every time I think of that hollow promise and sappy commercial they ran several weeks ago, it makes my sick to my stomach. IIRC, you are a Vietnam vet? You can support veterans by shopping and donating in Ellisville and Ballwin. Ellisville has a DAV donation center next to Pepper's (?) sandwich place along Clarkson near the intersection of Manchester and Clarkson.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 02:08 PM
E. Schmidt.. I bet I could get a good suit, some nice shoes and socks and a nice shirt at the Savers, DAV in the less stuffy "lower class" Ellisville community. I am glad to hear that the citizens of Ellisville and Ballwin have no problems with shippers buying used goods to help disabled veterans.. Wal Mart is so crazily profit driven that they cut employee hours so much that employees really can't afford to work there. Those Wal Mart heirs, all 6 of them, I think collectively have as much wealth as 1/3 of the citizens of the United States. As far as vets go, working for Wal Mart must be a dream come true! A lot of kids joined the army to get out of working at Wal Mart, went to a crappy job in the army in a country with bad infrastructure and no health care for its citizens and a lousy government that did not care about its people, just to get shot at or shot and NOW these vets get to come home to a crappy job in a country with bad infrastructure, no health care and a government that does not care about its people, is populated with politicians like Jane Cunningham, Todd Akin and Brian Nieves that are certifiably crazy and GO BACK to their crappy job at Wal Mart where they can't make it trying to work! Man, that is the American dream! See rich white people are so ignorant of the basic realities poverty and inequality that they just don't understand why these vets would not be rushing to work at Wal Mart. You know the arc of history bends toward justice. M.L.King said that.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I forgot to mention one of my other favorite politicians from this area, Tim Jones. It appears there is this shadowy political group called The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC and they WRITE legislation and give it to local politicians to put into their state legislatures. Jane Cunningham introduced a lot of anti teacher tenure bills that were really close to ALEC bills. Paul Curtman did the same with Islamophobia bills. Tim Jones is pushing a lot of anti labor bills. Brian Nieves, well....Agenda 21 and the tin foil hat crowd have his attention right now. See...the American dream works for these legislators because it is NOT the American dream. They make big money running your state government for some rich guys named the Koch Brothers. I may live in a 1976 Ford Pinto on the parking lot of a Wal Mart but I think I have a lot more integrity than your politicians. Namaste from Travis.
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Travis, ALEC is now loud and proud. They have been “outed” over the past several years as the ghost author on many many state legislative bills sponsored by legislators who either prefer not to or simply can’t think for themselves. FYI – Re: Brian "Call Me Crazy" Nieves and the tin foil hat crowd need to watch that tin foil business. They need to be advised that there is evidence that tin foil “enhances” rather than “prevents” beaming. Of course this piece of research could be a plant by TPTB hoping you’ll REMOVE the tin foil from your hat. Can we really trust graduate students?...from MIT?...we know a lot of government money gets funneled to research there. See: http://web.archive.org/web/20100708230258/http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/ Hope you can make it to Ellisville Monday evening.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 04:02 PM
E. Schmidt.....Well, Brian and Paul are both graduates of that esteemed academic community of Pacific, MO. I think they offer classes on cooking meth in soda bottles judging from what I hear happens out in Franklin county.Brian frustrates me with all that "I want an AR-15 in every closet in my district" stuff or like that. After having served 10 years in the navy you would think that he would understand that if your government WANTED to put you in a concentration camp they would be able to. I don't think the government has any such agenda and he just peddles fear to keep his job and appeals to gun nuts and survivalists.(I am opening up a big can of worms here). I think the real agenda of people like ALEC is to turn the whole working class, including teachers into low pay, no benefits revolving workers for their own profit and Brian has gone to some of their meetings. The problem with a non living wage is that it drags down even the rich after a while because even they do not have anyone to sell their stuff to. Waltons excepted because most of their profit is from overseas now anyway. Some people talk about "American exceptionalism" and that is a crock. We are just like all the other third world countries where the rich siphon off the profits while the masses have squat. Politicians like Tim, Jane, Paul, Todd and Brian are either crazy or stupid or both. I think Brian has a substance abuse problem judging from his tweets and posts.Jane is just plain old crazy. Paul is a kid.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Just one more comment concerning education. You know, if I recall my communist history, when the communists took over China the first thing they did was kill off the teachers and educated people then they sent the regular people out to do no pay farm work. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia rounded up the teachers and shot them as well in like 1975. The assault on public education here is not quite that drastic but still an assault. Break those teacher unions. Put fear in the teachers that they will lose their jobs. Do we really want our kids educated by the worst teacher we can employ because bright kids are NOT going to go into education if the workplace offers no retirement, low pay and no job security. The other part is that if you look it up there are a lot of wall street types pushing investing in charter schools as the next "bubble".This is becoming a sad country. I got it beat though because I have nothing. "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose"..Janis Joplin
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Travis, Not certain which Paul you are referring to...Mayor Adam Paul or City Attorney Paul Martin? Mayor Adam Paul is supported by a large majority of Ellisville residents. I also support him. He is anti-TIF and against the use of Eminent Domain. Agreed, he is young. He hasn't been given a fair shake by the Ellisville City Council. Certainly one, and perhaps two or more members, have colluded against him with City Attorney Paul Martin to trump-up charges/allegations and have him removed from office. Yes. It is confusing if you are from the "outside." One too many Pauls in the mix. Can't tell the players without a score card.
Gregg Palermo April 06, 2013 at 04:43 PM
I appreciate that this retail issue has connections to other communities, but I hope we can steer clear of political issues and politicians in those other communities who really have nothing to do with Creve Coeur. You can discuss impeachment on Ballwin-Ellisville Patch
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 05:11 PM
E. Schmidt......I was referring to famous Ron Paul devotee, gold standard and world class Islamophobe....Paul Curtman.
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 05:14 PM
OK. Gotcha. Come on by ellisvillea9a@yahoo.com and introduce yourself if you'd like.
Travis Bickle April 06, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Editor Palermo.......My sincere apologies. My mind wanders like so many homeless people and the fumes from the parking lot where I live in this 1976 Ford Pinto I think are mutating me. I will try not to comment and if I do, it will be on topic. Peace, Travis
E. Schmidt April 06, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Editor Palermo, I have no such explanation/excuse. I am clearly trying to poach one of the funniest posters on the Patch that I've read in some time and shill for my "causes."
Kimberly Armstrong April 07, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Changing subject a bit, What is wrong about Culver's coming to Creve Coeur?
Gregg Palermo April 07, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Drive thru restaurants require a certain amount of acreage in Creve Coeur, which has limited similar development in the past. Are you asking an open question about Culvers in general? I haven't heard of anything specific to the restaurant as far as interest in coming here.
Lee May 02, 2013 at 06:19 PM
I can understand not wanting Red Racks as they don't generate any revenue for the city. Aldi's on the other hand is an awesome store. I can afford to shop wherever I want, but I choose Aldi's because I don't like wasting money when I can get a deal. I can see how a bunch of old snobs would label it lower class though, since historically it has been present in lower income neighborhoods. Creve Coeur should be happy to have Aldis. It's better than a vacant Borders space which has been sitting there for years. The last recession has changed a lot of habits, and Aldis is thriving as more people look to save money wherever possible.


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