The State of Downtown

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
First unread post1853 posts
After hearing mixed signals about downtown I deiced to walk around for a few hours today from 2:00 to 4:00 during that time I payed close attention to what was going on and how what is good and bad. I am going to use 3 categories office, retail and residential. Arch madness was in town so I may have not have a complete everyday fell of downtown.

1. Office You can tell there are not a lot office workers, but there are enough to notice them. Most off the workers were north of market and east of tucker, You can tell the start up scene is starting to gain stem. You can see the downtown workforce is getting younger and more tech oriented. Also the drain of workers from AT&T did hurt the retail in the buildings close to it. Downtown dose really needs about twice or three times as many jobs at it dose right now.

2 Retail. There is hope for retail but it still needs a larger population to gain stem. Right now there seems like there is currently enough people to support the coffee and sub shops, Culinaria was crowed on the inside like most other times so I do believe they are doing ok maybe even great. The Washington ave retail seen was kinda strange there were a lot of blank store fronts but the bars and restraints that are there were staring to draw good size crowd right when I was staring to go home. So I believe Wash Ave needs more development north and south of it to start to fill the empty store fronts. Retail districts need to set up on olive and Wash Ave so the retail can boast and grow off each other.

3 Residential. Wow I must say wow residential seems really strong right now. Most of the residents live west of tucker but I feel the effect does spread all over downtown. I saw lots of people walk there dogs and and just going on jogs. The private Residential parking lots were pretty full too. The most amazing thing I saw was when walk by when the new charter school it was letting out and saw a lot of kids walking downtown with there parents and just enjoying life. Also looks like families are even settling or staying put downtown. The neighborhood community does look vary strong and maybe a reason to live there too.

Over all I think downtown is in a somewhat painful transitional phase form a large old office economy to a tech and neighborhood based economy. The glass is half full but a lot of work needs to be done. I recommend new streetscapes start with Olive. Also install high speed fiber lines all over downtown to boast and lure tech jobs. The city needs to create a special task force to talk to major employers near and far to try to get more jobs downtown.
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.
downtown2007 wrote:
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.


I dont think its loosing momentum. However you just wonder that if a prosepective resident, who is maybe looking downtown, west end, midtown etc. reads something like this and crosses downtown off thier list. These events just dont scream, yeah thats sounds great i wanna live down there. If there are no more incidents for the rest of the spring/summer than we can say it was a sh!tty week and move on. Lets just hope thats the case
downtown2007 wrote:
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.



Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.

The Downtown Library is blocks away from the CBD fwiw. Homeless persons have many stressors and often suffer from psychological issues. Thus, there's a higher likelihood of crime in this segment -- particularly if there's a high concentration in a given area. Hopefully, the concentration can be reduced by a regional strategy.

sirshankalot wrote:
downtown2007 wrote:
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.

Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....

I'd suggest that there are a variety of other qualitative and quantitative metrics that might indicate otherwise. Basing this solely on office space allocation seems like a limited rationale to base your position on.
sirshankalot wrote:
You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


You are missing a huge picture here. The stabbing was right in front of our pride and joy Central Library, in front of a play ground, and next to a grade school (Lafayette Charter). I mean how f* up is that where we can have NLEC operate across the street from all of this.
sirshankalot wrote:
downtown2007 wrote:
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.



Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....


Your rationale is based on assumption, not facts. Keep in mind we spent the last 5 years trying to absorb the excess units built before the market tanked. In addition, Roberts Tower just opened and other large reuses are coming.

These incidents occur in other large downtowns such as SF, PDX, SD, and Denver where larger populations of homeless reside.

Now back to the NLEC.
Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....[/quote]

Your rationale is based on assumption, not facts. Keep in mind we spent the last 5 years trying to absorb the excess units built before the market tanked. In addition, Roberts Tower just opened and other large reuses are coming.

These incidents occur in other large downtowns such as SF, PDX, SD, and Denver where larger populations of homeless reside.

Now back to the NLEC.[/quote]

Well, I listed a bunch of facts regarding recent development announcements. But you're right, back to the NLEC.
sirshankalot wrote:
downtown2007 wrote:
sirshankalot wrote:
It's a shame downtown has lost so much momentum. You simply can't have these types of crime in your CBD...you can't, period.


How has it lost momentum? Please explain.



Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....


Curious why it should matter if a development is new construction or a redevelopment? Downtown has been humming with redevelopments large and small with more on the way.. Projects range from the small (1214 Washington, Marquette Building, Lacassian) to medium (Alverne, Millennium, Tower OPOP, CityParc, Marquette, Chemical) to the hot damn! (Arcade-Wright). And of course we're seeing the Blues Museum and Union Station redevelopment projects (and BPV) on top of all that residential.

So, yes, most downtown projects aren't new construction, but there still is a lot going on. Also, on the old versus new -- as I mentioned in another comment, I actually would be more excited to see an announcement on the rehab of key ghost buildings such as the Jefferson Arms, Railway Exchange or Beaumont Building than on new tower(s) downtown.
nice post, but can you edit the thread name to State of Downtown? Downtown has some good things going on, but I don't think we can say its sated yet!
What kinds of streetscape improvements do you have in mind? And why do you think that would boost retail along Olive?
They have just torn up Delmar from I think Jefferson (can't remember if it stretched that far) all the way to the convention center for repaving. Also tore up 10th street, north of Washington for repave. I can only assume Washington Ave is next?!
Downtown West is losing another 80 jobs with layoffs from Bank of America's mortgage servicing operations across from Union Station. Frustrating as heck that Saint Louis City has one of the worst downtown job performances in the nation... even Detroit has some jobs momentum.
sirshankalot wrote:
Every NEW commercial development announcement has been Clayton (2 gleaming high-rise apt buildings), CWE (I think 3 new high-rise apt buildings), and GC. I know DT might get a Drury apartment building on the Landing but that's just rumor.

Also, midtown is exploding with new development as we all know. Downtown, not so much, my opinion....



All in the name of progress...

http://m.stltoday.com/business/columns/ ... touch=true
I think what olive needs is new sidewalks and street lights maybe historic looking ones. Also Olive and Washington would be marketed as downtown's retail, main streets.
Downtown is bleeding off jobs left and right. It's really sad.
dweebe wrote:
Downtown is bleeding off jobs left and right. It's really sad.


Oh jeez
^ The loss of at least 700 solid paying office jobs in recent months isn't a concern?

edit: sadly, I meant 900 jobs.... I was thinking the VA loss was around 600 and not 800.
Downtown needs to transition it's job base from the dying old economy to the new economy such as tech, bio, finance, Etc.

There will continue to be consolidation in these dying industries that propped downtown up in the 70's and 80's. As long as downtown is focused on creating new jobs in growing industries like they are doing with TREX we will hopefully see results.

Chicago just started to see an increase in tech jobs which caused firms to relocate downtown from the burbs. STL is usually 4-5 years behind.
downtown2007 wrote:
dweebe wrote:
Downtown is bleeding off jobs left and right. It's really sad.


Oh jeez


Why "oh jeez"? Am I lying? Am I supposed to be happy?
Im not concerned about downtown adding new residents I'm concerned about downtowns less than stellar aggressiveness when it comes to getting jobs from anywhere to relocate there..I'm not sure what they are doing but they need to figure out on what direction they want downtown to go as far as jobs.. As far as crime its going to happen anywhere but yes you are right it shouldn't happen in front of a newly renovated 70 million $ project or anywhere in downtown...Downtown hasn't stagnated when it comes to jobs it's bleeding jobs with almost no end in site. I hope things turn around i would love to see a vibrant city center for once in my lifetime..
downtown2007,

We're 20 years behind when it comes to jobs downtown not 4-5.... its been a disaster in recent decades. While we do have a few green shoots with tech growth, it is painfully slow; T-Rex is great, but the reality is its only a couple of floors in one building. Meanwhile, cities like Pittsburgh and Minneapolis are leaving us well behind and Kansas City and Cincinnati are hustling in ways we don't seem capable of. Hopefully you're right in 4-5 years we'll have great jobs growth downtown, but we've been singing this song for a long, long time.
I guess I understand the pessimism but I am wondering what people on this board are doing to try to change the dynamics besides providing negatives energy? Did you support RallySTL initiatives? Are you supporting Arch Grants? Do you attend downtown events other than sporting events. Any other ideas how we should be doing more?
I'm 28, 6 years ago when I was getting ready to graduate all I wanted to do is get a place downtown.....yeah never happened and right now I have no desire for it at all, I haven't even been downtown in 2014 yet. I lived in tower grove south for a few years and last year bought a house in south Hampton and 90% of my friends (ages 25-32) live in either tgs/SoHA/Princeton Heights or cwe. I don't know a single person that lives down there. There is nothing that draws me to downtown and I think a lot of people in my age group are the same way