Developers are eyeing the open fields on Butler Hill Road at Interstate 55 for four new restaurants—including a Popeye’s Chicken and a Burger King—and an oil and lube car repair shop.
MidAmerica Hotels Corporation, which owns the 10.95-acre tract on the south side of Butler Hill Road, presented its plan to the St. Louis County Planning Commission Monday night as part of a re-zoning request. The developers are hoping to change their zoning so they won’t have to pay traffic generation assessment fees, which would cost $90,000 just for one restaurant. The request would change the area from a Planned Commercial District to a Highway Service Commercial District.
“Most developers today are having a hard enough time borrowing money,” said John King, the attorney representing MidAmerica Hotels Corporation. “Banks will not give them $90,000 just for traffic generation assessment fees.”
Commission chairman Wayne Hilzinger agreed that getting bank loans to finance traffic generation assessment fees is extremely difficult.
If the commission agrees to change the area’s zoning to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, it could mean new businesses and jobs in an area that has sat vacant for more than 10 years.
At the planning commission meeting, King presented the developers’ plan to build a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant and to move a Burger King restaurant from across I-55 over into this lot. King also said they plan to build two sit-down restaurants and an “oil and lube”-style car maintenance facility.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said developers should provide a traffic impact study to show how the new restaurants would affect traffic before zoning is approved.