The 315-lot project would be built into the Missouri River bluffs around the periphery of the St. Charles, Mo. club and leave the golf course “unaffected,” according to Greg Whittaker of NT Home Builders, which is known for introducing a “new urbanist” style of community design to the area. “It’s going to be more of a resort feel,” said Whittaker, whose company has previously developed subdivisions around golf clubs, including Whitmoor CC.
A developer known for introducing a “new urbanist” community design in the St. Louis, Mo. area is now proposing another distinctive housing development, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, that would be built around the periphery of the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles, Mo.
Greg Whittaker of NT Home Builders, is asking St. Charles (Mo.) County to rezone nearly 400 acres just south of the Missouri Research Park for a 315-lot housing development that would be built into the Missouri River bluffs from which the club takes its name, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The forested, hilly terrain, bounded on the south by the Katy Trail and Missouri River, would give the subdivision “more of a resort feel,” Whittaker told the Post-Dispatch. If it wins the necessary approvals, he aims to make it a “low-impact development,” preserving the elevation changes and trees, rather than grading the ground flat before building.
“There is no site like this, unless you go to, like, Branson or Springfield,” he said, referring to the Ozark-like terrain of those southern Missouri cities. “I’m trying to think of a project in St. Louis that would be like it, but I can’t think of one.”
Whittaker has the land under contract from the University of Missouri, which owns it as part of the Missouri Research Park that has developed along Highway 40 (Interstate 64) over the last 30 years, the Post-Dispatch reported.
That research park has become more than corporate labs and office, the Post-Dispatch noted. For more than 20 years, the university has leased the roughly 200 acres where the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club is to a company affiliated with the Whittaker family’s business. The golf course was originally developed by Greg Whittaker’s father, Bob Whittaker, who died last year.
Greg Whittaker and NT Home Builders’ proposal would develop 315 single-family lots on roughly 200 acres, leaving the golf course unaffected. Whittaker said his company would build the houses, which are expected to be marketed for between $500,000 and $1 million or more.
In addition, plans call for about 120 attached housing units, likely villas or cluster homes near the clubhouse, Whittaker said.
Whittaker’s firm is best known for its New Town development on the northern edge of St. Charles, a development in the suburbs with the trappings of urban living, such as shopping and restaurants in walking distance, the Post-Dispatch reported.
While his family’s company has developed subdivisions around golf courses before, such as Whitmoor Country Club in St. Charles, Mo. 30 years ago, Whittaker told the Post-Dispatch that this project, known as “The Bluffs,” will be “completely different.”
“It’s going to be more of a resort feel, just because of how the bluffs are laid out with the elevation changes and the trees,” he said.
Whittaker told the Post-Dispatch that he has been eyeing the university-owned property for a decade now. “We’ve looked at that for probably the last 10 years,” he said. “The timing works out with the economy getting better, and the building environment is a lot stronger.”
While mostly bounded by offices in the Missouri Research Park, the land also is bounded by the Busch Greenway and Katy Trail and is near the village of Weldon Spring Heights, which shares an access road, Research Park Drive, with the Missouri Research Park, the Post-Dispatch noted.
Village resident Greg Kelly told the Post-Dispatch that the west entrance to the research park off of Highway 94, which has no traffic signal, is already dangerous.
“I’ve personally seen a number of accidents and near misses there,” he said. “If the university wants to put a large residential development in the park, they really need to make improvements to that western entrance to accommodate the increased traffic and make it safer for everyone.”
Mike Hurlbert, a planning director with St. Charles (Mo.) County, told the Post-Dispatch that he agreed the latest proposal from Whittaker is unique and would take previous development projects that he’s seen “to probably another level.”