WHAT DO YOU THINK: What should go in the Osco Drug site downtown?

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 4:31 p.m. CST; updated 11:15 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 10, 2011
The former Osco Drug building near the corner of Providence Road and Broadway sits empty on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Osco building is on the left, with Office Depot behind it. On the far right is Walgreen's.

It has been seven years since Osco Drug closed its location downtown at 111 S. Providence Road, and residents who have contacted City Council are still riled up about the space's vacancy. Some say it's an eyesore.

The property is back on people's minds after Monday night, when the City Council decided to fine The Kroenke Group, which owns the property, for operating a temporary construction storage site that is violating city zoning codes. The fine is $250 per day. 

Stan Kroenke of Columbia is the namesake for The Kroenke Group and one of the wealthiest men in the country, according to a previous Missourian report. Council members have asked for a draft of an amendment to the city's zoning code that would allow temporary construction storage sites. 

First Ward Councilman Fred Schmidt has said: “Perhaps 10 percent of all the comments I have ever gotten on council have been about why is that Osco site not developed."

We want to hear your thoughts:

How would you like to see the space used in the future?

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Louis Schneebaum November 10, 2011 | 4:52 p.m.

"Some say it's an eyesore"

That seems inaccurate, who would NOT say it's an eyesore? It makes our CBD look like a joke. If Kroenke isn't willing to develop it, he should sell it cheaply to someone who can. There is another vacant block at the confluence of Providence and Broadway as well. Who owns that and will it EVER be developed? We keep building loosely packed disposable structures in the county and can't even fill the nucleus of the city. Osco drug was fine, by the way, but how well can an Osco do when you drop a Walgreens DIRECTLY IN ITS PARKING LOT. What a world.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 10, 2011 | 5:28 p.m.

"how well can an Osco do when you drop a Walgreens DIRECTLY IN ITS PARKING LOT."

Competition from Walgreens wasn't the reason why it closed. It closed because Albertson's and The Kroenke Group couldn't agree on the lease:

Speaking of drugstores, is CVS still scouting locations here? A couple of years ago, they were planning a store near Green Meadows and Providence.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 10, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.

I'd like to see a youth services resource center/drop-in facility for teenagers staffed by teachers, guidance counselors, peers and clergy.
A portion of the facility should be open to youngsters-in-need 24/7.
They could even offer emergency sleepovers or work with CPD on a workable curfew program.
The building could be called PaigeMart.

(Report Comment)
frank christian November 10, 2011 | 6:36 p.m.

Great idea Ray! Hope you can work out a way for clergy to be allowed to work with the union teachers and guidance counselors. We were told with reporting of the Columbine High school shootings that clergy was specifically barred from the scene, while "bus loads of grief counselors" unloaded and were rushed into the school and the students.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum November 10, 2011 | 6:40 p.m.


Interesting article. So Kroenke bought the property and made it impossible to negotiate a lease, which shouldn't be that difficult considering the property has served as nothing more than precipitation runoff accelerator for nearly a decade. Surely there were ulterior motives -- does he also rent the space on which Walgreen's sits?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 10, 2011 | 7:18 p.m.

I think we should plant a community garden. I don't know if I will be able to spend much time preparing the soil, planting, pulling weeds etc. After all, who can support a family of four preparing soil? Hopefully others will pitch in for that. What kind of a person wouldn't want to help a great thing like a community garden? I am much more suited to eat the veggies than to work to produce the veggies. So, that will be my contribution. We all have talents and mine is eating. We are all entitled to do what we do best regardless of the productivity or value. That's the only fair way to live, correct?

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 10, 2011 | 7:25 p.m.

It's not my right or anyone else's right to tell Stan Kroenke what he should or should not put on his property, so the question asked here is kinda silly. He shouldn't violate any laws, nor should he be allowed to "blight out" the property in order to qualify for tax breaks like TIFs, but that's the only thing we little people have a right to insist upon.

Which brings up my favorite Stanley Kroenke "lives by another set of way different rules" story, the egregiously low $200 and change he pays in property taxes for 133 acres across from Mill Creek Elementary that he paid nearly $2 million for back in 1999.

If I'm Stanley, I'm figuring if I can get away with this, I can get away with pert near anythin'.


Deeded Acreage: 133

Current Appraised: $40,030
Current Assessed: $4,803

Year's Tax
Year: 2011
Amount: $283.46
Boone County, Missouri
801 East Walnut Columbia, MO 65201 USA

While all we little people pay higher taxes, obey zoning laws, and so on.

Thank you, all ye conscientious public servants who facilitate this garbage.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum November 10, 2011 | 7:49 p.m.

We, as a society, have a right to want our communities to thrive in a functional, meaningful way.

(Report Comment)
Vince Powers November 10, 2011 | 7:58 p.m.

Mike, you underestimate yourself. Just think about the amount of fertilizer you provide.

(Report Comment)
Vince Powers November 10, 2011 | 8:03 p.m.

Mike Mentor, that is.

(Report Comment)
Dan Gier November 10, 2011 | 8:21 p.m.

Ok Haters Lets Back off Mr Stan and Ann, just imagine our city if they were not here!!!! Their donations to the economic driver of this city, "MU" for those that seem to forget.... not only in their names but the names of family members and in-laws, rival any university in the country.

Stan's development on the retail side of our economy has brought national retailers to little ol COMO that usually over look college towns, but they are here making Columbia truly one of a kind. Now for the taxes he pays on agricultural land is the same that anyone pays in Boone County...

Now for the Osco site I'm sure it might end up sometime in the Universities hands maybe the site of a Ice Arena plus student housing... An for our Grand City I'm afraid that they might find that the "fine" will not hold water, I believe that the state or university are EXEMPT all the planning and zoning codes just as it has been from the beginning of time, and I bet Mr Stan has either leased or donated the lot to MU during the construction, thus no violation can take place since the city has no power over MU.

Or he turn it into a Neighborhood Market or a "new' Wal*Mart Express

(Report Comment)
Vince Powers November 10, 2011 | 8:31 p.m.

I think they should use it for porno. I really like porno! Does my vote count? If we get enough people to vote can we have porno?
They could make a lot of money selling those little dolls that look like Ann Coulter.

(Report Comment)
Jen Schaffer November 10, 2011 | 9:03 p.m.


I've always thought this would be the perfect spot for a Trader Joe's.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 10, 2011 | 10:02 p.m.

Dan, those retailers would have come here either way because of the metro's population and demographics. As for the fine, it will stick because MU doesn't own the property. The lessor is what counts, not the lessee.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks November 10, 2011 | 10:33 p.m.

Trader Joe's is a private company and do not issue out Franchises. They decide when and were a store will open and have settled on no new stores anytime soon. Already checked out/researched/called them on it. Not for the Osco area of course but for Columbia in General. Preferably the south side where all the money is at.

I think the Kroenke Group should do what they want with it. Not sure why he would sell it cheaply. I imagine that if someone where to offer the right amount to him he would take it. You do not purchase land/property in a prime location to sell at a lose.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 11, 2011 | 6:03 a.m.

Kroenke has other projects in mind. Visualize Columbia Mall. Bernadette Street runs along the north side of the mall, then loops to the south on the mall's west side. West of that is a largely wooded tract extending west to Silvey. Kroenke either owns or has rights to this land.

As discussed in the local papers a few years ago, the plan is to build a shopping center, but development is contingent on there being another I-70 interchange, which would connect with Scott Blvd.

When my neighbors and I heard about this we were distressed. How dare they cut down our woods! Well, it isn't OUR woods.

After thinking about it, I started laughing. Given the snail-like pace with which all matters concerning I-70 are moving, I'll be pushing up daisies long before they start felling trees.

At present there's a monster pile of dirt on the property, much of it from construction of the Broadway Walmart complex. Mount Kroenke. :)

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 11, 2011 | 9:05 a.m.

About the Bernadette St/Silvey land Ellis Smith is talking about that Kroenke might build a shopping center on:

12,600 sf lot on BERNADETTE DR & FAIRVIEW RD
Assessed Value: $260.00
2011 Property Tax: $15.43, up from $14.89 in 2007!

and then there's this:

77.2 ACRES ON I-70 DR SW
Assessed Value: $1,450.00
2011 Property Tax: $85.59, up from $83.07 in 2007!

The people who cheer this scam or ignore it completely baffle me. They clearly have no idea the harm it is doing to this community and their own pocketbooks.

BTW, throwing the word "haters" out in the context of a political/economics discussion like this one is just another form of Godwin's Law:

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 11, 2011 | 10:01 a.m.

Forgot to mention that the watershed involved is Harmony Creek (not Hominy Creek), whose main water source is storm water runoff. Harmony Creek empties into Perche Creek after passing under Route ZZ.

To build the interchange and any commercial facilities will require moving around a fair amount of earth. I've walked over the area (sorry about that, Mr. Kroenke) and we're looking at lots of hills and gullies. But given enough money and earth moving equipment, it can be done.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz November 11, 2011 | 10:23 a.m.

My brother and I own 60ish acres in the county, agriculturally zoned. Sounds like I need to go to the assessor's office and have my property taxes ($500ish if memory serves) lowered to equal the figures above...

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle November 11, 2011 | 10:38 a.m.

State-of-the-art Hacky Sack Training Complex. Duh.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin November 11, 2011 | 1:28 p.m.

Sorry, John. Being a Libertarian leader will get you nowhere with Mr. Schauwecker. Millionaire donor, maybe.

BTW, most of this land is zoned residential, commercial, or a mix. (Look at the city zoning maps if you don't believe me). If the assessor is calling it something different -- oh, well -- as Mr. Perry says, "oops!"

Or is it "Ka-Ching!"

Speaking of Ka-Ching: 3.02 acres of residential land right off Sinclair near Stan's estate.

2011 taxes: $22.43

And behind this door: 18.2 acres in the middle of Thornbrook, complete with cul-de-sac and utility stub ins, owned by the Sapp family.

2011 taxes: $51.07

But no -- this is all okay. We can just make up the difference. These people build so many neato subdivisions and shopping supercenters. They help keep prices down and keep those other baaad competitors -- like Osco and Whole Foods Market and builders who shun vinyl -- out.

Paying their taxes is the least we can all do. It's really like we're just giving back -- to those who give soooo much.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor November 11, 2011 | 3:12 p.m.

Thank you for your diligence!

I can't believe we have made it this far without someone requesting a high rise parking garage with a couple of steel sculptures that look kinda like the statue of liberty with an indian headdress on after a rough weekend...

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks November 11, 2011 | 10:45 p.m.

Ellis: "At present there's a monster pile of dirt on the property, much of it from construction of the Broadway Walmart complex. Mount Kroenke. :)" Are you talking about the hill directly behind the Broadway Wal Mart just on the other side of the street? If I remember correctly that was put there at the request of the home owners in the area to create a sound and site barrier to development. In fact it was more then a request it was an order during the zoning phase.

Mike: Are you mad at these specific people for owning agricultural sized land and pay the set rate in property tax or are you upset at the system? Seems like you might be throwing your anger at the wrong group. Just so you know I agree that I should be paying less then 1K for my half acre tract I live on outside city limits but I don't hold these people responsible for it just like you can not be made at U2's Bono or Bruce Springstein for there lack of tax on the property they own. It is the system and it can/should be changed. But not by anyone in office today or those running tomorrow.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 12, 2011 | 2:19 a.m.

@Corey Parks:

No, Corey, the pile I am talking about is located west of Columbia Mall, not too far from the power substation. You cannot see it from Bernadette. In fact it's hard to see from any direction when there are leaves on the trees (I can only see "Mount Kroenke" in the winter). We had quite a "parade" of dump trucks hauling all that dirt to the present pile. You are correct about the "berm" directly north of Wal-Mart: it was placed there at home owners' request.

(Report Comment)

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