She said she has been focused on navigating the coronavirus pandemic. The gym closed for three months during the first quarter of the pandemic, though it offered videos and online classes to help keep students engaged. Block said the St. Louis Gym Centre isn’t against change. But she doesn’t think her gym, a nonprofit, will find an affordable place in the Webster Groves area. The board looked for a new home six years ago, and couldn’t find anything.
“You’re asking for a rezoning (of) something we’ve never seen,” Commissioner Toni Hunt said during the three-hour meeting that turned prickly at times. They also need the site rezoned for mixed-use development. A planning commission meeting last week ended in a tie vote, 4-4, with no recommendation issued either in favor or against the project. Commissioner Scott Mueller recused himself.
“That’s right,” said Seneca’s Larry Chapman. “At some point you have to decide whether you want to have a change and do the good change brings with it, or you don’t want to change.” The developers, citing the cost of land acquisition and work to get the site ready for new construction, are seeking $35 million in incentives to make the project economically feasible.
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