WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. — The building that houses Rolling Ridge Nursery has been in Lynn Cressler’s family for four generations.
Her great-grandfather built it. First, it was a feed store. Then, it was a moving and storage business. Since 1959, it has been a nursery.
“It’s got so much character,” Cressler said.
Now, Cressler and her family are ready to expand.
“My family has always thought it should be more,” she said.
Cressler said it will keep the nursery and the existing structure. But, they are working with a developer to add more to the space. The proposal would include offices, retail, a restaurant and a microbrewery.
“A lot of things are being explored,” Cressler said. “We're not limiting anything.”
Adjacent to the nursery is a neighborhood full of historic homes. Neighbors say they’re worried the expansion would be too disruptive.
“I love the historic street,” said Karen Finnegan, who moved into her home 16 years ago. She said the nature preserve behind her home was the main reason she bought it.
She is worried phase two of the proposal — a condo building — would hurt the environment. She is worried about increased traffic and noise.
“It would take this private community to a whole different level, and people are worried about their property values,” Finnegan said. “Nobody's against progress or having a lot of more shopping or retails in Webster. That would be fun. They have to make it palatable to the street. As it's proposed right now, it is not.”
Cressler said she and her family will listen to their neighbors as they’re planning the development.
“We're concerned for them and we want to make sure we do what's best for them,” Cressler said.
Meanwhile, neighbors have hired a lawyer to make sure the development does not hurt their way of life.
“We love being close. We just don't want it shoved down our throats,” she said.
The proposal, which includes a change in zoning, has to be approved by the city. There will be several meetings before a decision is made.