The State of Downtown

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
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You have to rid downtown of it's perception that it isn't secure. I'm telling you, talking to my commercial real estate friends, that is THE issue. They take prospects around DT, look at reports, and then decide on Clayton or other suburbs.
whitherSTL wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:13 am
You have to rid downtown of it's perception that it isn't secure. I'm telling you, talking to my commercial real estate friends, that is THE issue. They take prospects around DT, look at reports, and then decide on Clayton or other suburbs.
Yep, and the Brown & Crouppen news certainly didn't help matters.
Downtown needs to be put on lockdown, permanent "hot-spot policing". I feel that way when I am in Downtown Chicago, at least near Michigan Ave. There is a police presence at every turn. While I know STL is not nearly as alive as DT CHI, maybe that would change if the PD had it on lockdown. I think the majority of shootings are targeted and related to issues outside of Downtown, such as gang/beef that happened at Hooters and during the NLCS a few years ago when the Cards-Giants game was getting ready to start. The petty car break-ins and armed robberies are hard to fight. They happen fast, randomly and usually to vulnerable people/property. There is something to the 'police can't be everywhere, all of the time' theory. I think Downtown STL is at a major disadvantage, versus other cities and even Clayton. You have 2 of the most impoverished areas of STL, bordering DT. North City and East STL. While Old North is showing progress, ESTL isn't going anywhere. NSTL still has a long way to go. While the development and progress pushes west, the great divide still lingers just north of DT, as well as just across the river. DT will always have issues, until the PD makes it clear, that there will be consequences for committing crime DT. Cameras and lighting have helped, but the court system needs to keep repeat and violent offenders off the streets. DT is just loaded with easy and vulnerable targets for criminals.
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:22 pm
Ballpark Village proves what Downtown can be and should be.
In what way?

IMO, there is nothing organic, exciting, or inspiring about BPV.
DogtownBnR wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:55 am
Downtown needs to be put on lockdown, permanent "hot-spot policing".
If downtown gets a permanent increased police presence, can I get that for my neighborhood, too? I'd rather not have to continue to pay for private security.
bprop wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:59 am
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:22 pm
Ballpark Village proves what Downtown can be and should be.
In what way?

IMO, there is nothing organic, exciting, or inspiring about BPV.
Tru dat, yo
San Luis Native wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:21 pm
bprop wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:59 am
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:22 pm
Ballpark Village proves what Downtown can be and should be.
In what way?

IMO, there is nothing organic, exciting, or inspiring about BPV.
Tru dat, yo
I mean that Ballpark Village is a model for the City. They have plans to build on the Vacant lots that they own. Why can't the rest of Downtown be that way to where developers and just owners in general who own lots build on it.
chriss752 wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:49 pm

I mean that Ballpark Village is a model for the City. They have plans to build on the Vacant lots that they own. Why can't the rest of Downtown be that way to where developers and just owners in general who own lots build on it.
I think there's be a greater willingness for people to build on their vacant lots if the City lavished the type of money on those owners as they do on Ballpark Village.
^ yup, Phase II is getting super-TIFed.
Our downtown has lost its character the momentum we had has been wiped by the high profile crimes that have plagued it also larry rice hasn't helped any either. Our leaders need a renewed focus on downtown and all of north st.louis. Bringing 100s to thousands of new jobs downtown shall be one of the major focuses bringing 100s and thousands more people to live downtown helps also bringing more conventions its the same things we talk about every time all of it won't go away over night if they can at least make some progress on those same issues then i believe downtown can actually begin to see more investors right now seems like no one wants to invest in downtown.. I dislike what brown & crouppen has done its their right to condemn the crimes that have plagued downtown however instead of running away try helping downtown and reinforce the commitment in staying downtown thats the problem these companies want a easy reason to escape.
As far as Ballpark Village seems like everyone is out against the TIF which i can understand however i rather give them a TIF than not and still have a big black parking lot sit there for another decade now its up to the Cardinals to make due promise and deliver and not procrastinate also not poach from within downtown actually find a company from outside of St.Louis thats willing to move here and be proud to call Downtown St.Louis home.
Areas of needed focus on downtown are ridding of high profile crimes filling more buildings with jobs of variation adding much needed retail specially small business and national retailers investing in our riverfront from north of lacledes landing and chouteaus landing investing in vacant lots and parking lots encourage new development of mid rise to high-rise that means its time to get the ball rolling on the former Bottle District site I'm tired of seeing it in the state of condition its in theres no excuse it brands our downtown as dated tired and no investment also ween developers from TIFs if a TIF isn't necessary also streetscape is important beautifying our downtown lastly if metro link extension is voted down maybe its time to look into a possible city wide street car system anyways all of this is easier said than done though i feel whoever becomes the mayor will have major task on moving downtown ahead in more progressive 21st century way.. Right now its sad theres no basic options downtown such as CVS Walgreens etc.
bprop wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:04 pm

I think there's be a greater willingness for people to build on their vacant lots if the City lavished the type of money on those owners as they do on Ballpark Village.
Here's an interesting situation where Krewson pushed a bill selling two City lots to a private couple who hope to build on them. The lots were sold for much less than market value:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/colu ... 9609e.html
hiddeninput wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:43 am
If downtown gets a permanent increased police presence, can I get that for my neighborhood, too? I'd rather not have to continue to pay for private security.
I don't want to comment on whether this is actually a good idea. I don't really know. However, I will ask this: is your neighborhood the economic engine that drives the region or the face that outsiders think of when they think of our city? If you can honestly answer yes, then maybe. If not, then . . .
St.Louis1764 wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:00 pm
... (1) instead of running away try helping downtown and reinforce the commitment in staying downtown thats the problem these companies want a easy reason to escape. ..

(2) its time to get the ball rolling on the former Bottle District site I'm tired of seeing it in the state of condition its in theres no excuse it brands our downtown

(3) Right now its sad theres no basic options downtown such as CVS Walgreens etc.
(1) Cities want businesses. They bring in tax dollars, and employees who create more tax dollars, which creates a need for services which create more tax dollars. If a city can't provide a basic level of protection and safety for a business, then it's not the business's responsibility to "stick it out" for another decade of false promises. I've worked downtown for almost 20 years. I can't even tell you the last time I've seen a SLMPD police office down there.

(2) Why? When one thing opens downtown, another closes. It's at a saturation point. How much more "dining, shopping, and entertainment districts" can downtown support? Retail is completely tapped out. Regionally, we have millions of square feet that can't be filled.

(3) That I agree with! I find the downtown population numbers suspect for that reason. There just aren't businesses that should be needed in a neighborhood of that size. The ones that are seem to cater to the daytime population rather than actual population.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:08 am
hiddeninput wrote:
Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:43 am
If downtown gets a permanent increased police presence, can I get that for my neighborhood, too? I'd rather not have to continue to pay for private security.
I don't want to comment on whether this is actually a good idea. I don't really know. However, I will ask this: is your neighborhood the economic engine that drives the region or the face that outsiders think of when they think of our city? If you can honestly answer yes, then maybe. If not, then . . .
Is downtown the economic engine that drives the region? It certainly doesn't seem like it. Most large employers and large companies in general in the region that I can think of aren't based downtown.

More generally, I think there's a collective idea that if only x happens, downtown will somehow be returned to what it was some 70 years ago. I would love for that to be the case, but I think we need to acknowledge that we're in a zero-sum game and every extra resource that we devote to downtown is a resource that isn't being spent in the other 78 neighborhoods in the city. And what we're hearing from a lot of the candidates running for mayor this year is the lament that we aren't treating all parts of this city fairly. I'll admit that that perspective rings true to me. Idk, maybe more police officers downtown is a great idea. But we need to be able to turn around and tell people living in the other neighborhoods in the city why they should have fewer officers as a result. Having a safer business district to drive growth is a potentially valid reason, but I would argue that lots of people will see that as putting more resources into an area that already seems to be doing pretty well relative to many other parts of the city.
Honestly, the thing downtown, and by extension the rest of the region, probably needs most is something to help alleviate the grinding poverty adjacent to it. No, most businesses aren't downtown anymore. And that may be a symptom of the disease. But there are still more downtown than in any other neighborhood int he city, I'd guess. Downtown has been slowly reshaping itself from a predominantly business driven neighborhood into a mixed use neighborhood. But whether we like it or not, it is still every inch the neighborhood that others see. Where did the hip kids from Detroit want to go with us this afternoon? The Botanical Garden? The West End? The Grove? No, they wanted to go get drinks on the roof of something downtown with a view of the arch. As it happens we DID go to the botanical garden, Soulard, and the West End. And even Clayton. (Very whirlwind tour.) But we also went downtown. Of course. Inevitably. It IS the face of the city that outsiders see. And if we ever want to even hope to lure any new fish here from elsewhere that's the neighborhood we need to do it. If we want to grow organically (probably a better bet, actually) downtown matters less. Bring immigrants to the city. Give them the tools to fix up their new neighborhoods and fill the voids. Fight poverty. Give people already here the tools they need to build new lives so they don't feel driven to move away, or worse yet suffer and die for all our sins. (Or worse.) Give bright, energetic students the tools to build new companies in their own homes. We should be (and perhaps finally are) doing all of these things. Please note: I only say maybe. I don't claim answers.

But if you can afford private security . . . quit bitching. Most can't. That's a luxury. Those as can afford luxuries aren't the folks that should be asking handouts. It's poor politics, questionable economics, and just plain bad form.
^ great comment. by the way, what were the Detroiters' impressions of our fair city?
They enjoyed it, I believe. They really liked the Botanical Garden, but wished the service had been better at the Ballpark Hilton. (It was crowded, but there were a bunch of bar areas that were unstaffed.) I'm hoping I can lure them back sometime. And I'm grateful they drug me out drinking and generally slurping huge quantities of shellfish. I loves me my museums etc., but I can otherwise be a bit of a homebody at times.
Has anyone ever noticed how Downtown St. Louis gets significant new construction proposals every 20 years? We were reaching it during the first decade of the 2000's but it stopped do to the recession. The 2020's will bring significant new construction to our Downtown IF and ONLY IF The AT&T Building and the Millennium Hotel building receives a plan to be redeveloped. Our City has lots of Abandoned historic buildings but all of them are coming back to life in many ways. But we will see
I really think once people see the new tower going up at Ballpark Village, perceptions will finally change. People don't notice all the rehabs that have been going on, but large-scale new construction is highly visible.
^ I agree BPV will help if it gets going, but I also think large rehab projects like Jefferson-Arms and Railway Exchange would also advance the narrative quite a bit. Also, the smaller rehabs that are closing up some dead zones. like the LaSalle & Mercantile Library area (along with YMCA move) will also help perception of actual visitors. But ultimately downtown needs a lot more boots on the ground; unfortunately what redevelopment progress we've had just hasn't been enough to translate into undeniable progress with significantly more vitality on the streets and corresponding retail, etc.
Too let most of you know I'm not complaining about Downtown or the City itself cause i always find great things throughout the city the region in fact what amazes me St.Louis is truly a special place a beautiful City with so much to offer and that I'm eternally grateful to call this place my home. Downtown will continue to mold into the epicenter of the region Clayton doesn't concern me cause Downtown truly has the big draws such as the River the historic core the diversity that makes a city thrive. We may not be the comeback city like Detroit or the best city to live in like Austin however great is happening here too! It may seem like not much is taking place cause our crime has been the prime focus but there will come a day when todays crime will be our past and the city will truly flourish....
STLToday: "Downtown STL nixes tourist guides, adds security patrols"

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crim ... 991ad.html
^Good idea, IMO.
Yeah it's a good decision. The Guides were great people and it sucks watching them lose their jobs but money can be better spent on safety. Plus everyone has a cell phone and can navigate much easier than when the program started years ago.


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Why does the downtown CID have to pay extra for police protection? This isn't so much augmenting existing patrols (which are entirely inadequate and have been getting worse for over the past five years), but paying for a basic service.

I can't help but think of Metro, which has claimed that they've doubled police protection on the system - by paying for more officers - but in fact anybody who's a regular rider knows that there is less officer presence today than a year ago, and far less than even five years ago.

Where is all this extra money going with nothing to show for it? In what way will the supposed extra police protection downtown be measured and guaranteed?

Until those questions can be answered, this is nothing but a farce.

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