Retail Rally: What's Next For Downtown St. Louis?

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
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With the Downtown Macy's announcing its closure in August 2013, what's next for Downtown St. Louis retail?

Here's a great idea from Cleveland.

Check out this recent video (04/08/13) from Cleveland where start-ups and entrepreneurs compete for grants to open stores in downtown Cleveland's 5th Street Arcades.

The competition - think Arch Grants - awards the winning small businesses with grants ranging from $1,500 to $20,000 to assist in opening or expanding their business in the Arcades, located between Euclid and Prospect Avenues in downtown Cleveland.

The competition in Cleveland is sponsored by Charter One, The Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and the 5th Street Arcades property owner - Cumberland Development. The property owner also gives the winner quality space with discounted rent.

See the video here.

5th Street Arcades (Facebook)
good stuff that would be nice to see here. btw, this is the smaller of Cleveland's two historic arcades.
roger wyoming II wrote:
good stuff that would be nice to see here.

I think the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis should explore this idea.
if this were to be done in our downtown, what would be a prime building or area?
I really like this idea. I would put in midtown though.
Wouldn't the most obvious/similar location be the rehabbed arcade area of the Arcade-Wright building at 8th/Olive?

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Alternatively -- looking at existing buildings -- an incubator at a yet-to-be-rehabbed Laclede Power House would be cool (though far off the beaten path). Or the 505 Washington building might work, though I have no idea what the layout/adaptability of the interior is (but dammit! -- something needs to go here!). Other options? Maybe 1711 Locust, McGuire Storage or, dare I even suggest it, Union Station?
Kevin B wrote:
Wouldn't the most obvious/similar location be the rehabbed arcade area of the Arcade-Wright building at 8th/Olive?

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Hopefully the Arcade-Wright redevelopment will be able to attract tenants w/o this type of program. The interesting thing will be to see if Cleveland uses this program somewhere else next. I could see a program in downtown Saint Louis where it targets a building or block that has retail potential but needs a bit of push.... once it seeds a few shops there, it moves on to another area.
Kevin B wrote:
Wouldn't the most obvious/similar location be the rehabbed arcade area of the Arcade-Wright building at 8th/Olive?


Yes.

A drugstore would help fill downtown's retail gap

We should start by looking for stores that will meet those residents’ and workers’ needs. “Food and pharmacy are great places to start,” says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of retail consulting and investment-banking firm Davidowitz & Associates in New York.

Downtown stopped being a food desert when Schnuck Markets Inc. opened its Culinaria store in 2009, but it hasn’t had a full-sized drugstore since 2006. It’s puzzling that even as Walgreens and CVS expand aggressively in the metro area, no one has found a space for either of them downtown.

Davidowitz says that landing a big drugstore, or a second grocery chain like Trader Joe’s, would send a strong message to other retailers that downtown has potential. Build a little momentum, he says, and St. Louis might even attract a City Target, the urban concept that is about two-thirds the size of a big-box Target.

“The hottest area of retailing right now is downtown, urban rather than suburban,” Davidowitz said. “I see tremendous potential for downtown development; it’s going on all across America, and St. Louis ought to be viable enough and rich enough to take part.”


http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... aign=email
If the city wouldve acted with any form of enthusiasm with Target, there would be a CityTarget right next to Macy's and Macy's wouldn't be leaving.
^Huh?
Thanks for posting moorlander.

I like this quote,

One thing’s for sure: Macy’s was no longer up to the task. The store was a link to downtown’s glorious past, but we can’t waste any time mourning its loss. The future is too important.


Are you listening Francis Slay? Where's your task force?

Also, it's ironic that City Target was mentioned as an option. I referred to the City Target in Chicago in the Macy's thread.

A City Target would set it off downtown. Reasonable prices and varied merchandise. It would be very appealing to residents, workers and tourists.
Regarding the idea of landing a drug store...

It would be great to see the owner of the 6th/Locust parking garage (the ugliest downtown, for my money), renovate the first floor for commercial. With centralized access to a strong work base, residential AND tourist/convention visitors, it would be the perfect location for a CVS. It even looks like it should house a city CVS:

Image
arch city wrote:
A City Target would set it off downtown. Reasonable prices and varied merchandise. It would be very appealing to residents, workers and tourists.


I agree. I also know its a relatively new product. Do we know how ambitious their growth plans are?
[quote="Kevin B"]Regarding the idea of landing a drug store...

It would be great to see the owner of the 6th/Locust parking garage (the ugliest downtown, for my money), renovate the first floor for commercial. With centralized access to a strong work base, residential AND tourist/convention visitors, it would be the perfect location for a CVS. It even [i]looks[/i] like it should house a city CVS:

[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5457/8814443088_b427b751d1.jpg[/img][/quote]

Interestingly, that very corner used to have a Woolworth's.

http://stl-style.com/_blog/STL-Style_Bl ... entreless/
Kevin B wrote:
Regarding the idea of landing a drug store...

It would be great to see the owner of the 6th/Locust parking garage (the ugliest downtown, for my money), renovate the first floor for commercial. With centralized access to a strong work base, residential AND tourist/convention visitors, it would be the perfect location for a CVS. It even looks like it should house a city CVS:

Image


Good call. 6th St. should be a priority for streetscaping as it is a logical pedestrian link between the Metrolink stop and M/X south to the heart of downtown and to Keiner. Somehow getting a drug store at this parking monster would really engage the linkages, as would getting retail into the 6th St. facing portion of the Macy's and the building that Starbucks is in (which I believe has a new owner, who hopefully can get something done). Eventually a tower needs to go up at the surface lot at 6th & Olive as well... it is a prime location.
That parking garage is an ugly monster all around, but are those unfortunate columns structural? It looks like they might be. M/X has same problem on 6th St.
As a pharmacist who lives downtown, I have to say, I'd prefer to see an independent pharmacy to a chain, although I would support whatever was built. Hmmmm, I might have to look into this...
For those who might not know..............

This building used to house Woolworths. It was a busy place too. From what I recall, the place with packed and cluttered with retail displays and racks and the ceiling was low. It wasn't the most comfortable place to shop.

I'm sure a developer/drug store could fix those problems.

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City Target in downtown Seattle with a residential tower. Seems like this project would be a good fit for the Ballpark Village.

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City Target, Downtown Portland, Oregon
The building resembles the Railway Exchange. Note: Let's not associate Macy's with the Railway Exchange building.

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stlien wrote:
If the city wouldve acted with any form of enthusiasm with Target, there would be a CityTarget right next to Macy's and Macy's wouldn't be leaving.


Please don't take this as me being dismissive, but do you know something that the rest of us don't? Has Target actually looked into downtown St. Louis already?

Oh, and I agree with everyone that mentioned the garage on the northeast corner of Sixth and Locust streets. Woolworth's once occupied that space- it moved there when its original location on the northwest corner of the street was demolished to make way for St. Louis Centre, aka The Biggest Mistake in Downtown St. Louis Retail History. It's hideous as hell, but since it isn't likely to make way for something- anything- more interesting, it'd be the perfect spot for a CVS.
threeonefour wrote:
stlien wrote:
If the city wouldve acted with any form of enthusiasm with Target, there would be a CityTarget right next to Macy's and Macy's wouldn't be leaving.


Please don't take this as me being dismissive, but do you know something that the rest of us don't? Has Target actually looked into downtown St. Louis already?


Yes. They haven't fully "looked into" downtown. It was stopped short, and not on Targets end. Also, the CityTarget twitter account created quite the stir at Target's HQ.. They didn't even know STL was an option until the "media generating attention" event. And as I remember, an executive from Target gave a presentation on CityTarget (and urban retail) at some event/conference (after the twitter thing), and either the Arch was on a slide or he made mention of St. Louis. I can't remember exactly. Either way, keep hope alive.
stlien wrote:
threeonefour wrote:
stlien wrote:
If the city wouldve acted with any form of enthusiasm with Target, there would be a CityTarget right next to Macy's and Macy's wouldn't be leaving.


Please don't take this as me being dismissive, but do you know something that the rest of us don't? Has Target actually looked into downtown St. Louis already?


Yes. They haven't fully "looked into" downtown. It was stopped short, and not on Targets end. Also, the CityTarget twitter account created quite the stir at Target's HQ.. They didn't even know STL was an option until the "media generating attention" event. And as I remember, an executive from Target gave a presentation on CityTarget (and urban retail) at some event/conference (after the twitter thing), and either the Arch was on a slide or he made mention of St. Louis. I can't remember exactly. Either way, keep hope alive.


Ah, I get it. I figured you were referring to the CityTarget Twitter account, but I underestimated the (potential) impact of it at Target headquarters. :wink:

The last time I heard a rumor about Target building a store in the Central Corridor, it was for the site on Forest Park Avenue near Saint Louis University (which was later linked to IKEA in a NextSTL article written by Alex Ihnen). I'd think that if Target was willing to give this site consideration, a downtown location wouldn't be such a longshot.

And while the pessimist in me thinks retailers (especially larger ones like Target) would be turned off by downtown St. Louis now that Macy's is abandoning its store, the optimist in me thinks that they might see the value of locating in the Railway Exchange. Where else could they find a spot in downtown that could accommodate the CityTarget concept with such relative ease? And even though retail has been slow to come back to downtown- with or without Macy's- it's still in the heart of the traditional retail corridor, just two blocks to Metrolink and America's Center, and it's right by the eastern end of the proposed streetcar route.

But the city can't stop short this time. Downtown Houston recently lost its Books-A-Million as well as Macy's, and the Houston Pavilions development has struggled and was recently rebranded as GreenStreet. Not long after the Macy's announcement, Houston's mayor announced the creation of a retail task force. I wish I felt like St. Louis had leaders with vision and the proper planning to make a difference, but I feel like there were many missed opportunities over the previous decade with the efforts to attract and retain downtown retailers that led us to this point.

I think CityTarget in the Railway Exchange is a longshot but a worthy goal. In the short term, attracting smaller clothing retailers to begin to fill the void Macy's will leave should be the focus. And the Arcade Building is well-suited to encourage small business development, as it is one more step toward connecting the dots along Olive Street between the Old Post Office and the Railway Exchange.
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(From Target, via today's NYT)

The design isn't exactly awe inspiring, but it'd be great to see one of these at Washington & Broadway or anchoring BPV.