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Rolling Ridge Plans $25 Million Project

Brewery, restaurant, coffee house & new apartment building all part of "life-style center"

Rolling Ridge Nursery, 60 N. Gore Ave., has been operated by four generations of Jim McMillan's family since 1892. A $25 million mixed-use redevelopment project is planned on the nursery's seven-acre property. photo by Diana Linsley.

August 31, 2018
A major new mixed-use development is in the works for 1.6 acres of property at Rolling Ridge Nursery in Webster Groves.

Jim McMillan, owner of the business that has been run by his family for 124 years, is planning a "life-style center" focused on a natural setting of plants and flowers. The $25 million development includes a complete renovation of the 26,000-square-foot Rolling Ridge building.

The two-phase historic renovation calls for a coffee house, a brewery and a restaurant. The project's anchor is Side Project Brewery, one of the region's fastest-growing microbreweries. A food court with a garden will provide year-round seating for brewery, restaurant and coffee house patrons.

Loft-style offices with timbered ceilings, hardwood floors and other historic features are planned for the building's second and third floors.

The plan also calls for new construction on the property with a four-story, 36-unit apartment or condominium building to front the Shady Creek Nature Sanctuary that runs along Kirkham Avenue. In addition to the four stories, an underground parking garage is being proposed.

Despite the changes, Rolling Ridge will continue to operate as a nursery.

"Our commitment to Webster Groves will continue with a new concept in our nursery sales. Soon, we will introduce a new look, not only in selling plants and flowers, but providing a year-round gathering place where we can meet new friends and join old friends," said McMillan, whose grandfather, Henry Schulz, built the feed store at 60 N. Gore Ave. 1892.

McMillan said the nursery will continue to involve itself in the community with tours, "how to" classes, the hosting of local garden clubs and as sponsor of the annual Christmas Show and Market.

Steve Symsack, of Symsack Development, LLC, is the owner consultant on the project. He said creating a multi-space gathering place at Rolling Ridge is a way to turn a seasonal business into a year-round business.

"This project serves the city of Webster in that it extends the commercial corridor of Webster Groves into an area the city has projected for future growth," Symsack said. "The development is a proto-type mixed-use historic project that meets the needs of the city for new retail space with parking and an alternative residential multi-family option to keep Webster residents in Webster."

Symsack expects the project to go before the Webster Groves Plan Commission in October for a zoning change to mixed-use.

Symsack said plans for a microbrewery will not compete with a microbrewery currently under review by the city for the former Auto Beauty building on West Lockwood Avenue. He said more restaurant and brewery options will serve to drive patrons to Old Webster.

In addition to Symsack Development, LLC, McMillan Development, LLC, has teamed with Gershman Commercial Real Estate, architect Rosemann and Associates, general contractor AGH Associates, LLC, and CEC Engineering.

"The Rolling Ridge project is a treasure that will forever be defined by its historic past as a nursery operated by a Webster Groves family associated with the property since 1896," said Lily Seymour of Gershman Commercial Real Estate.

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