Cherokee street retail development

Discuss construction activity, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc. in South City -- defined by the area south of Interstate 44/55.
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Vista will be replaced by something called ckMorning Glory per stlmag. October open.
Not everything will always be available without a trip. That's an unreasonable expectation. What you want is everyday stuff.
for the love of god, just look at the storefront index comparison that i posted to see how poorly St. Louis compares to other cities in terms of city retail. there's a vast continuum between "everything will always be available without a trip" and the current state of retail in St. Lous city. and i'm sorry but a hardware store is an essential business. small hardware stores used to be everywhere. they were essential then, they're essential now. but like everything else they've consolidated into a handful of big boxes. and pet supply stores are middle class white culture? give me a break.

symphonicpoet wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:27 am
In all honesty, it seems like far and away one of the healthiest mixes of people in town. And you keep asserting that it will somehow fall on hard times if it doesn't become more upscale, and by implication more trendy. More not immigrant. Not Mexican. You have consistently ignored the enormous concentration of unsexy but well maintained everyday services of a sort not seen anywhere else save, perhaps, the Hill.

And it's hard not to come to the conclusion that you're ignoring them because they're not there for you. You don't use them so you don't see them. This is pretty profoundly normal. We all do that sometimes. But it's important that we try to step outside it.
you're putting words in my mouth. i'm well aware of the immigrant and A-A populations and i have no desire for them to go anywhere. i was not aware that they sell men's clothing at the Mexican grocery (beyond the T-shirts in the windows) but, honestly, i'm probably not going to buy my clothes there. that's not to say others can't or shouldn't. personal style preference. my entire point is that the neighborhood should appeal to a variety of people and a variety of incomes, or even just a variety of incomes. you know what would be great? if a flood of immigrants moved in, bought up the crumbling houses, and rehabbed them. then we'd still see more and varied businesses move in to cater to the additional population. i'm talking about getting to a denser, more car-optional, more functional city. you're talking about preserving the neighborhood in its current state. nobody has yet answered the question as to whether the success of Cherokee has spurred significant investment in the surrounding neighborhood. take a walk around; vacant and crumbling buildings are still plentiful.
I live less than a block south of Cherokee and find that most of my daily needs can be met on foot. I walk or bike to Liberty Hardware on near the intersection of Jefferson/Chippewa/Broadway and they're super helpful. I've never bought clothes on Cherokee besides t-shirts at the STL Style Shop, but there are are at least three Latino stores that sell new clothing/shoes/boots/etc. for the whole family (and I almost bought a pair of shoes at the economic shop a few weeks ago). We also have two tailor shops that will do custom clothing for men or women (that I use now and again for alterations), and an woman's boutique where Bridge Bread used to be. A lot of us are pretty happy with the selection of shopping and dining that we already have! I don't have pets, but I'm pretty sure Save-a-lot can fill that need...

Also, rehabs are going on at an astounding rate on both sides of Cherokee. It's really remarkable.
This is admittedly tangential to the discussion on this thread, but Cherokee-related: can someone who is more knowledgeable in urban planning than I am explain to me why is it that most business districts/hip areas in St Louis tend to develop in a single stretch of a road/street, as opposed to more block-based development? I am thinking of Cherokee, The Grove, South Grand, Washington Ave as prime examples. The Central West End is a little bit like this too, with a lot of business development at Euclid but very little outside. Also Maplewood/Manchester (even though there seems to be some "orthogonal" development in Big Bend). The only exceptions I can think of are Soulard (and even then very little retail besides bars and the occasional restaurant), and the corner of Mississipi and Park on Lafayette Square (which is only one block).
^Speculation on my part, but maybe a lot of retail corridors developed around the time that streetcars (initially horse-pulled, later electric) were developing, so they tended to develop in a linear fashion along a streetcar line, rather than in a block-by-block strictly pedestrian-oriented downtown pattern.
I was thinking of this same development pattern during a trip to Chicago last weekend. The South Side has some similar trends - I spent time on 47th, 53rd and 79th, all of which are commercial corridors with primarily residential neighborhoods on either side of them.
It might even have something to do with zoning laws. Soulard is the rare surviving neighborhood that predates zoning laws.
I would guess the answer is a combination of all of those. Street car routes (or some other factor) caused the buildings suited to retail to be built along a single street with residential on the surrounding blocks. Now when these areas are redeveloping, the properties suited to business still exist along those routes and there are plenty of vacant store fronts to work with. Opening businesses on surrounding streets would require reworking residential property for commercial use and/or rezoning and is probably more hassle than just moving into a vacant space.

That being said, there are some examples of corner market/corner bar type buildings off the main drag but I'm guessing they are not an attractive option given today's auto centric economy because 1. they don't see enough traffic to attract new customers and 2. even if you had, for example, a successful restaurant, that you relocated and could count on a certain number of your clientele following you to the new location, you would have to find a way to account for parking (and wouldn't we all like a surface parking lot in an otherwise residential neighborhood).
An interesting multi-venue interactive public art project coming to Cherokee this Summer:

"Counterpublic is a public art platform scaled to a neighborhood. Organized by The Luminary, Counterpublic 2019 will bring groundbreaking contemporary art to the barbershops, bakeries, parks, and taquerias that anchor the Cherokee Street neighborhoods of South St. Louis and act as gathering spaces for the diverse residents living in the area.
The project centers on a series of twenty-plus site-responsive commissions in venues as divergent as a tea shop, punk club, former sanctuary, Buddhist temple, Mexican panaderia, and community-organized park and basketball court.
Works will range from architectural interventions to archival community-led sessions, meal-based gatherings to dramatic public processions. Spanning three months from April 13th to July 13th, the project is meant to be a layered, nuanced neighborhood-based platform that engages the complex community organizing, conflicted politics, radical openings, and distressing developments that intertwine within Cherokee Street and its surrounding neighborhoods. Together, Counterpublic intends to advance new contexts of liberation, care, complexity, and dissent into the everyday spaces of our neighborhood through responsive commissions and intentional intersections among the many publics and counterpublics of this place."