On February 20, 2011, I was invited to attend a stakeholders meeting at El Torita Taqueria hosted by the neighborhood association of Benton Park West. I don’t live in BPW, but I list and sell homes in all city neighborhoods and the neighborhood wanted a Realtor’s perspective on some of the issues they were discussing that night.
I was really excited to be part of the discussion. It was also quite inspiring to hear about all the goals the residents and shop owners have for their neighborhood. Plus I got to sit next to Steve Patterson, my Urban Review Hero 🙂
The agenda for the evening was as follows: Introductions, Current Perceptions of Benton Park West, Stakeholders Reasons for Investing in the Area, Reasons People Invest in Other City Neighborhoods, Key Aspects to Build Benton Park West, Obstacles for BPW to Overcome, How can BPW differentiate itself from other neighborhoods, What Action Steps Can the Neighborhood Association Take to Make Progress
Above is Bryan Walsh from Aisle 1 Gallery which will be opening March 18 at 2627 Cherokee Street. One feature of the neighborhood that was highlighted throughout the discussion concerned the artistic vibe of the area. Cherokee Street, the southern boundary of the Benton Park West neighborhood is really beginning to develop a reputation as a grassroots arts community. So notable, in fact, is this little district that it will be highlighted during the SGCI conference in mid-March. From what I understand truckloads of conference attendees will be dropped off on Cherokee Street March 18th.
Benton Park West is bordered by three commercial district and is intersected by Arsenal. All along these corridors there are opportunities for commercial and retail development. Because Benton Park West is an up and coming neighborhood these opportunities are still affordable. And that, I believe, is what will make Benton Park West the next Tower Grove South. (I really hate to compare neighborhoods but I gotta do it). People love love love TGS because it is so walkable. It is surround by two commercial districts (South Grand and Morganford) and Tower Grove Park. Everything the residents want is there. That geographical fact is what contributes to the neighborhood identity and the intimate and cozy area. The same will be true for Benton Park West, as those commercial districts fill-in the neighborhood will take on a character unto itself.
What’s really cool about Benton Park West residents is that they don’t want to be any other neighborhood. They see the neighborhood for all that it currently has to offer (superior Mexican food, local arts, convenient location and great housing stock) and they just want to make it the best it can be. After what I heard last night, I wanted to move to BPW. The energy around that table was inspiring.
So, if you are interested in learning more about Benton Park West contact Linda (President of the BPW neighborhood association).
More Faces of Benton Park West