Manchester P&Z approves Nordstrom Rack
By: Brian McDowell
The Manchester Planning & Zoning Commission has voted to approve a site plan that would bring a Nordstrom Rack retail store to the city’s Manchester Highlands development. The store would be the second Nordstrom Rack in the St. Louis metropolitan area; the other one is in Brentwood. The store sells at reduced prices out-of-season and closeout apparel, accessories and shoes originally featured at Nordstrom department stores and other items purchased exclusively for Nordstrom Rack.
“It will be a tremendous draw and a great addition to the Highlands,” said Rick Randall, of Pace Properties, which oversaw construction of the Manchester Highlands development. “It is a big advantage for the entire development. It will bring in customers from all around the area.”
Randall appeared before the Manchester Planning & Zoning Commission at its Aug. 22 meeting to seek approval to construct the store, abutting the western wall of the Weekends Only store. The primary entrance to the new store would face Highlands Blvd.
Jeff Kaiser, of TR,i Architects, and Randy Mardis, of Landscape Technologies, would work on the project and also attended the meeting.
“The staff is generally excited about Nordstrom Rack and the attention that it brings,” Manchester Director of Planning & Zoning/Economic Development Franz Kraintz said.
However, Kraintz and commissioners raised questions about possible effects the store could have on automobile and pedestrian traffic. Commissioner Jason Truesdell expressed concern that the lone entrance to the parking lot, which is on the building’s west side, could create bottlenecks and traffic problems. He wondered whether motorists would have trouble getting in and out of the lot in the event of a traffic accident.
To ease pedestrian access to the new store, commissioners suggested an additional sidewalk be placed on the south side of the automobile entrance.
Additional questions were raised about planned landscaping around the store and the kind of paint that would be used to fit Nordstrom’s color scheme.
After the project architect addressed those concerns, the commission voted unanimously to recommend the site plan and adjust the boundaries around Weekends Only to allow construction of a Nordstrom Rack store.
“We are excited about having this store come in,” Truesdell said.
Randall projected the store would open to the public late next spring.
The plans still need the approval of the Manchester Board of Aldermen.