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QuikTrip asks for zoning change to build gas station on historic site in St. Louis County

QuikTrip is asking to rezone a former furniture store from commercial and residential to just commercial, and for a conditional use permit.
Credit: St. Louis Business Journal
This rendering shows the modified layout of the proposed QuikTrip, with the canopy behind the convenience store.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Convenience store operator QuikTrip Corp. is taking steps to advance a plan to build a gas station at the site of a historic building in south St. Louis County.

A year after QuikTrip held town halls on a plan to demolish the historic Kassebaum building at the corner of Lemay Ferry and Butler Hill roads in unincorporated St. Louis County, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company is asking St. Louis County for the required zoning change while offering details of its plan, revised from the one presented last year based on a traffic study.

The building at 5039 Lemay Ferry Road, also known as the Session Fixture Co. building for the home and business furniture store that used the site until 2015, dates to 1913, according to information from St. Louis County, and was constructed as a store operated by August Kassebaum. It said the building, listed as a landmark by St. Louis County, and Kassebaum's home nearby were previously spared by a highway widening. 

QuikTrip is asking the commission to rezone the former furniture store from commercial and residential to just commercial, and for a conditional use permit.

Vacant for four years, the Kassabaum/Session building would require more than $3 million to get it up to code to use as a business again, Gwen Keen, real estate project manager for QuikTrip in St. Louis, told the St. Louis County Planning Commission at a public hearing Monday.

“That does not include the property. That does not include any new business trying to fill it with equipment, or anything else in order to establish a new business in the building,” Keen said. “At the end of the day, the costs would far outweigh the value of the property and a new business.”

While Keen said the historic building would never be used as a business again, the area around the site, near an exit of Interstate 55, has bustled with business activity in recent years with the openings of BJC Healthcare and Washington University's Center for Advanced Medicine outpatient facility and a St. Louis Children's Hospital specialty care center, in addition to new hotels and fast food restaurants.

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

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