North St. Louis community meets to determine fate of erstwhile J -

North St. Louis community meets to determine fate of erstwhile Jamestown Mall

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( -- North St. Louis County residents packed a community discussion Monday to talk about what to do with the Jamestown Mall site.

The discussion, held at the West Side Missionary Baptist Church in Florissant, was aimed to address the property’s future; one residents hope holds more than just slow deterioration.

David and Michele Donald have lived within walking distance of the Jamestown Mall for 32 years.

During its heyday it was a busy place.

But today, Jamestown has become a ghost town. The Donalds say they'd like to see the area thriving again but don't think a traditional mall could survive.

They're hoping for a mixed use development.

“Not a mall again but it could be shops, activity area, maybe a few apartments, a restaurant or two,” David said.

“I would like to see apartments because we have Baby Boomers now that are ready to sell their homes, they're ready to move into an apartment, but none of these apartments around here are for the Baby Boomers,” added Michele.

Kelvin Baucom is the only business owner still on the property. He leases the old Sears Auto Center and also runs his Precious Memories services which provides event planning, funeral services and memorials.

“I believe some of the buildings need to be bulldozed and rebuilt,” Baucom said. “I would love to see beautification, new buildings, restaurants, senior citizens, something more community orientated.”

To that end, he's offered to buy the two buildings he rents and about two acres from the New York City-based group that owns the mall.

David Donald believes some of the mall is worth saving.The mall itself may have died but he’s hoping that someone can bring new life back to the property.

“The buildings are solid as far as i see. Needs some renovation on some of it but I say use the same structure, save some money. Just renovate it and use what you have,” he said.

A spokesman for St. Louis County said the county is acquiring property on the empty mall site and plan to pursue redevelopment.

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