Editorial: Privatizing a park: the Balkanization of Olivette

Source: Editorial Board, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 10, 2014

…By Balkan standards, Olivette is flush. Its annual budget is a little more than $10.7 million. It has its own police and fire departments, each with 23 officers. It has five people-parks and one dog-park. That’s a lot of expensive services for 7,700 people, but many of them are the sort of politically engaged citizens who demand quality services. So what better way to pay for those services than to take 29-acre Warson Park and lease most of it to a private developer? BWB Sports would knock down the existing community center and replace it with a 150,000-square-foot complex with three indoor ice rinks, two artificial-turfed soccer/lacrosse fields, 750 parking spaces and oh, by the way, a sports medicine building….
Sports complex, medical building proposed in Olivette’s Warson Park
Source: Doug Moore, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 28, 2014

A plan to build a large sports complex featuring three indoor ice rinks, two outdoor lacrosse fields with artificial turf and a medical building to provide “best-in-region physical training and therapy” in Warson Park in Olivette isn’t popular with some residents. A private developer wants to build what is being called St. Louis Sports Centre in the park, which now houses the Olivette Community Center. BWB Sports wants to lease the park land from the city to build a nearly 150,000-square-foot, $25 million sports complex. It would replace the community center, and the main entrance would be off Warson Road….