New apartments developments along Olive road and its impact on the School District

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The VUE apartment, off Old Olive Road

Update (09-06-2023) Just heard the proposed Bayer campus redevelopment project will have 1,000 apartment units. Note this will be much bigger than the other completed or ongoing projects. Think a school district impact study is needed here (between the developer, the City of Creve Coeur and the Ladue School District).

Original (09-03-2023): we live in the best school district in the state of Missouri, well, almost the best (we are Number 2 according to the Niche website). But our high school is number one in terms of the non-selective high schools (public high schools) according to the US news.

At the same time, in recent years, I saw quite a few new apartments development along the Olive road, and all those apartments fall inside the School District Boundary. I think I even saw a sign for the townhouse project at Dielman and Olive road, and I quote: ……boundaries of the award-winning Ladue School District and its new $65 million high school & and current $126 million dollars of improvements to the elementary schools……

Naturally there is some anxiety among some current residents and some administrators (and school board members too?) regarding the potential crowding of the schools.

Pre-mature Worry?

From our recent past experience, though. This worry may be pre-mature. Two new apartments developments, the Vanguard Heights, and the Vue, did not bring as many new students as the school district initially feared. Spoede Elementary School made room for the apartments residents, but the apartment residents didn’t come to the party, for the most part. I don’t know about the Oliver apartment and Old Bonhomme Elementary, but it seems it’s similar to the Vanguard Heights and the Vue, from my casual observation.

Next up, it’s going to be the Olive Crossing: look we are going to have 181 new apartment units. Start panicking, people 🙂

At least the OPUS Olivette (Irvington and Reyem Courts) seems on hold now. Here are the updates at city of Olivette website, note here is no update since April 2022 🙂 or :-(. Depends on your perspective there.

On the Creve Coeur side, not to be out done by the little sister Olivette, I noticed the new apartment near the Briarcliff condo is almost done (it’s the Olive Apartment in the PDF link, 10809 to 10819 Olive Blvd – it seems the structure is there, not sure why the outside and the landscaping work is on hold now, 09-07-2023).

And then there is this massive development at the former Bayer Lindbergh west campus: that one is planned to open in year 2025. Note the Olive Crossing project didn’t complete at the beginning of school year (2023 to 2024) as their banner said, so we may assume similar slack for the Bayer campus project.

One may ask why so many apartment developments. One reason I think is the soaring home prices (this is a national trend after the pandemic, btw. I used an example in Jackson Hole, WY in the recent CBS Sunday Morning video), rising mortgage rates, and the affordability and availability of single-family houses in the school district. Another reason is peace of mind in terms of not worrying about the home maintenance work (apartments) and yard work. Note for the condo or townhouses, the owner still has to be responsible or maintain something (AC, furnace came to mind). Anyway in St. Louis County, some of the houses in the city of Ladue, and Frontenac (both are located in the LSD) are expensive, along with the Town and Country.

My priority on school district

I think this is probably interesting to some new people coming to the district. I do believe most parents want the best of their kids when they grow up, in terms of education and career (or business) opportunity. I have lived in the district since year 2005. And in last 8 years or so, I have 2 kids going to the school here.

For the parents, I think the number 1 thing in the America (this is true across the world, I think), is the safety of the kids. When I say America I think people would understand the unique America problem.

School Safety: physical, psychological

I recall the Columbine high school shooting in year 1998, at the time I was a graduate student in Rolla, MO. I came to the US in year 1997, and I don’t understand why people need guns here. After staying in this country for 26 years, I have a bit more complicated view on the gun rights. Obviously I was sadden by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and disappointed at lack of legislation coming out of it. We have a small progress after the Uvalde Robb Elementary School shooting. More close to home, we had Central Visual and Performing Arts High School shooting in 2022. And we had security incidents at Marquette High School. We are not immune to this society disease though.

Back at the end of the day, we do what we can, and we have to take some risks in life. As old Chinese saying goes – 因噎废食,we cannot stop eating food for the fear of choking. That way we will stave (to death).

Back to school it’s important to know the kids feel safe at school. Sometimes it’s small things, or small gestures, e.g., the other evening, my 13 year old suddenly realized she likely left the school iPad at library. Mom was worried, my 13 year old wasn’t. She said, she will likely get it back in the morning. So this is opposite to what I talked about the other day. Another time I learned from my younger one saying she fell during the recess, there maybe some push when the kids went off to the playground. But it’s really minor and I don’t think the kids were doing it intentional, if any. Middle school may be a bit more challenging though, from what I heard. And there is high school.

AP classes and course load in High School

Editorial: AP caps won’t solve student stress

Los Altos High School culture pushes students to participate in a college applications rat race, piling on taxing course loads and extracurriculars in an effort to stand out from their classmates in college admissions.”

I think this is a thread probably worth its own post, and I will write more as my older one going to high school next school year 🙂

Btw, I listened to this Unconfused me podcast (Gates and Kahn) on Apple Podcast and it’s good. I believe it’s on YouTube and other venues too.



Olivette Current Building & Development Projects

Side note:

I think of one reason that the developers build more apartments in the St. Louis area (both city and county) than single families houses is due to “perceived lack of demand” for single family houses, and I just noticed other booming cities have more housing development, as shown in this YT video.

Other apartments developments I saw/heard recently: Kirkwood downtown, Westport, Grand Ave (near SLU) and Manchester (near Sam’s Club).

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