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Neighborhood Assets & Losses

December 01, 2017
They are at it again. We are about to lose another one of those big green spaces that add quality-of-life to our communities.

Tower Tee, a 27-acre recreation area of golf driving ranges, a par-3 golf course, batting cages and a habitat for local wildlife at its wooded edges, will close.

Tower Tee, a fixture at 6727 Heege Road in Affton since 1963, was not given the opportunity of renewing its lease by property owner, Tegna, Inc. Tegna is the parent company of KSDK Channel 5. McBride Berra Land Co. LLC has a contract on the property. McBride & Sons Homes and J.H. Berra Construction Company want to build a subdivision of 150 homes with an average sale price of about $350,000. St. Louis County Council is widely expected to green-light on the deal.

Tegna has promised that proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Tegna Foundation for distribution to non-profit activities in the 38 markets the company serves.

Generous of them? Maybe.

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But the generosity that would mean something in Affton and Webster Groves and surrounding communities, would be to value the asset that Tower Tee is to our communities.

The generosity that would mean something is to value a place that has provided for generations of family recreation. The generosity that would mean something is to value a low-impact green space over another subdivision of houses and the traffic along narrow, Heege Road that the subdivision will generate.

The generosity that would mean something to neighbors is to maintain a green and wooded habitat for the resident deer herd and other wildlife that will be forced into surrounding neighborhoods.

Of course, no one asked me. And no one has asked the neighbors. Big money wins almost every time.

Local Impact Shopping

My 19-year-old clothes dryer stopped working this week. My usual appliance repairman made an over-the-phone diagnosis: get a new dryer.

Down the street from my office is one of the oldest independent appliance dealers in St. Louis County. I stopped in Lemcke Appliance, chose another dryer of the same brand that had served me well. Delivery will be in a couple of days. Try that ease of good service from a big box store!

The brick and mortar businesses of our towns give us a quality of life that differs from the big centers of national chain store shopping. A bigger percentage of the purchase we make in those independent stores stay in our towns. Yes, the chain stores contribute something too. But less.

Purchases made online, however, yield just about nothing locally. And it's most unlikely your UPS driver will install your new dryer and take your old one too.

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