Melvin White’s goals for Beloved Streets of America are about as pie-in-the-sky as they can get: He wants to rebuild the community and economy along one of the most blighted sections of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, starting with the area around the BSA office on the corner of Hamilton Street.
If you happen to be driving along the 8-mile stretch of Martin Luther King Boulevard that begins in Wellston and ends in downtown St. Louis, it wouldn’t take too long to realize that there aren’t a lot of options for purchasing fresh, healthy foods in and around the neighborhood.
If all goes according to plan, a hydroponics factory could soon be located on Martin Luther King Drive. It’s the newest effort by St. Louis nonprofit Beloved Streets of America to revitalize the street.
A walk down the 6-mile city street named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. yields plenty of images that would surely unsettle the civil rights leader: shuttered storefronts, open-air drug markets and a glut of pawn shops, quickie check-cashing providers and liquor stores.