The Enterprise Zone: Will Wellston Rise Again?

The Wellston Area Enterprise Zone

The Wellston Area Enterprise Zone (St. Louis Economic Council)

When Wagner Electric shut its doors in 1983 and left behind toxic waste, it was difficult to imagine how Wellston could ever be the site of successful redevelopment.

Designated as a federal Empowerment Zone and as a federal Enterprise Community, Wellston may now become just that: a Phoenix rising from the ashes of a once-proud neighborhood.

In the mid-1990s, the sadly deteriorated Wagner complex became the site of the Metropolitan Education and Training Center.

Wellston Neighborhood Park

Wellston Neighborhood Park, funded by an Empowerment Zone grant (Greater St. Louis Empowerment Zone)

Developers are now removing the final remnants of the Wagner factory in preparation for the construction of Plymouth Industrial Park. And St. Louis County plans to build another industrial park across the street on the site of the former Abex plant. Both facilities – the Wagner factory and the Abex foundry – closed for business in 1983.

Other efforts are underway. St. Louis County has begun repaving Wellston’s streets. Habitat for Humanity has joined the effort to revitalize Wellston: already about 100 new houses have been constructed in the once-thriving community. And MetroLink includes a Wellston stop on its route – perhaps signaling a return to the community’s key role in the area’s transit history.

You’ve come to the end of your Wellston tour, but there’s always more to explore!