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Des Peres doesn't allow apartments, but a developer wants to change that with a plan for 180 units

The apartments would total 39,799 square feet and accompany 4,000 square feet of commercial retail space on the same site.

DES PERES, Mo. — The city of Des Peres has never had any apartments within its boundaries, something that was built into its zoning code long ago. But a developer is hoping to change that with a mixed-use development anchored by an apartment complex.

Developer Barn Owl LLC, a partnership of Doug Theis and Sam Koplar, has submitted plans to build a project on 6.45 acres along Manchester Road in Des Peres, including a retail site and an apartment complex.

The “Magnolia Ridge” development would have a five-story, 180-unit apartment complex at 13431 Manchester Road, mostly surrounded by retail uses in the commercial corridor.

The apartments would total 39,799 square feet and accompany 4,000 square feet of commercial retail space on the same site. The retail space would likely be used for a restaurant or coffee shop, according to a report from the city.

Barn Owl has the land, which is currently undeveloped and zoned commercial, under contract from the owner, Ernest Paul Wright Trust, according to filings with the city. Projected development costs were not disclosed, and Theis was not sure how long potential approval of the project might take. 

The developers chose the site for its proximity for young professionals who work at Edward Jones or St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital, among other employers nearby, but Theis said the apartments could also give older residents of Des Peres a way to stay in the city after they sell their larger houses. He has focused on developing senior living facilities like The Sheridan series, while Koplar's firm Koplar Properties is proposing a 30-story apartment tower near Forest Park. 

"We’re introducing a housing type that doesn’t exist in Des Peres and would diversify the housing mix," Thies said. "We're really excited about it." 

The application was submitted last week, and city officials will examine it in a public meeting for the first time when the Planning and Zoning Commission convenes at 6 p.m. March 9 at The Lodge Des Peres, said City Administrator Douglas Harms.

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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