On the eastern half of the old McRee Town neighborhood, a new housing development is remaking this once blighted area. For years, drivers on Interstate 44 traveled passed blocks of mostly abandoned, derelict buildings in the heart of the city. News stories of violent crime were frequent. In the larger McRee Town area, this eastern half was by far the most deteriorated.
Today, new homes nearly fill out the site. At the grand opening, there were lines of homebuyers awaiting the opportunity to make deposits on their new homes. The location is conveniently situated, near the SLU Hospital complex, the neighborhoods of South Grand, the Hill, and downtown.
The vacancy factor in the former residential housing stock was significant. There are those in the community who decry the full-scale demoliton of buildings, and displacement of the few remaining, very low income, residents. There are others who see the project as a much needed, huge success, one which draws new homeowners to the city, and reestablishes the housing market.
There is no doubt the view from Highway 44 is vastly improved, especially compared to what it was five years ago.