Cinco de Mayo along the burgeoning Cherokee Commerical District

*NOTE – This article was originally written in May of 2007 for the newsletter.

Cherokee Avenue is one of those streets that has held onto the title “up and coming” for some time now. Whether deserving of this label in the past or not, the street is slowly coming into it’s own. It has gradually found it’s own identity as a haven for Mexican-Americans and artists alike.

The 2007 Cinco de Mayo celebration held along Cherokee, just to the west of Jefferson is a perfect example of how far the area has come. The crowds during the festival could just as easily been ripped straight from the playbook of the Soulard Mardi Gras celebration, albeit on a much smaller scale. The fact that so many people showed up in this humble little corner of South City is an example of why the area isn’t so humble anymore.

Attendance figures for the event were not available as of writing this article, but the streets were full all day long. The main draw seemed to be the margaritas, authentic Mexican cuisine and artisan displays. Each year seems to bring bigger crowds and more interest in the area. As people flock to the festivities they witness the potential neighborhood possesses.

A drive through the area still shows that there is a significant undeveloped segment of the neighborhood, but the energy for improvement is there. Best of all, prices are still within reason, making the district an intriguing development target. As a commercial sector, Cherokee east of Jefferson, has already made tremendous strides and has found it’s own niche has continued to improve the residential community around it has improved as well. A similar fate might well await the improving Benton Park West portion of the Cherokee District.

There are lot of opportunities in the area and with the promising price-to-rent ratio found in the area, those opportunities could be good ones. In ten years, this area could be the “New Soulard.” Mark your calendars, that day will be here before you know it.


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