St. Louis building boom....

St. Louis references in the news. Oh yeah, don't forget our favorite "Top Lists."
http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2014/06/ ... /11292573/

Nothing new in this story, regarding new projects. However, to hear a guy from the AGC, who is in the know regarding STL construction , say some of the things he said, it is encouraging. Comments of note:

He said the next 5 years will transform the way STL looks. He said this will be the most transformative period of construction here, since the 60s'. We are already seeing this happen, right in front of us. I am very optimistic. Again, the story does not mention anything new regarding projects, but as most of us agree, momentum is building here. As new projects like City-Walk, Cortex and others come to fruition (from the proposed to completed stage), more projects will follow. Let's hope other factors can straighten themselves out, such as City-County reunification, Metrolink expansion, reduction in crime and Jeff City getting their act straight.
Those will be tougher tasks, but I'm on a roll, with my positive thinking right now. ..... :mrgreen:
I've read the article(s), but I'm conflicted because I just spent the last 8 days in Denver. I realize Denver is th state capitol and the city is part of the county, etc...But it's not even close really and Denver used to not even be our peer. Now, they are on the cusp of becoming a true world-class city. Their downtown looks like a mini Los Angeles DT and the construction boom in LoDo goes unabated. They are truly committed to biking, transit, etc...

Again, no real news here but our collective, old-school fiefdoms hold us back and it's depressing....
I made this comment on the other thread:


I'm trying to come up with what would satisfy me if we indeed have a building boom for the next five or so years....

Downtown, I'd definitely want to have nearly all of the historic buildings downtown taken care of (Mercantile, Jefferson Arms, etc.) as well as a handful of new residential towers and ample mid-rise infill throughout downtown, including Laclede's Landing. On the office front, modest construction concentrated in BPV and a new 22nd St. mixed-use area starting to take form would do. I'd also like to see the beginnings of quality infill helping the transition between Downtown South/Soulard-Lafayette Square.

Elsewhere in the central corridor, I'd like to see continued infill in Midtown and a well-designed Midtown Station. Grand Center should be an active spot, with at least one or two mid-rises and a prominent tower at the Grand/Lindell dog park. For CWE, ample mid-rises and prominent towers at key locations like Kingshighway and Lindell; and of course Cortex getting nearly built out.

For South City, I'd take an emphasis on quality adaptive re-uses of commercial and office buildings with the Lemp Brewery as the feather in the cap but also would like to see some modest multi-family new construction. For North City, seeing the warehouse district between Laclede's Landing and the Stan Span become a hot spot, more projects like North Sarah, and real momentum in Northside Regeneration would be great.

Overall, I think the above is not too ambitious... essentially it would be like catching up to where some of our peer cities already are at or underway with. Having a modest number of tallish towers, steady mid-rise and near-completion of our major historic buildings along with the beginning of the development of essentially new districts like 22nd Street, Laclede's Landing North and Chouteau/Railyard Village sounds good to me for a to-do list rounding out this decade.






^ I'll add infill development with the Loop Trolley and Saint Louis Streetcar routes to my "What Will Make Me Happy" list. Resolving/capitalizing on the NFL stadium location issue also would be nice.
My bad on the double-posting of this 'building boom' link.. I saw it on KSDK last night. For some reason, they posted it 6 days ago, but ran it on the air last night.

Regarding Denver, they have ONE big thing we do not.... legalized marijuana :mrgreen: ... I am not at all advocating for that in MO. but I bet Denver is seeing a spike in smokers moving there. Probably a lot of young people. I'd prefer something like Google Fiber to attract newcomers, but hey, at this point we'd probably take any influx of new residents, by any means.

Roger, totally agree on your points. That list is where we should be. Again, I think a lot of those 'other factors' need to fall into place as well (City-county , transit expansion...etc..)
^ What I'm trying to wrap my head around is how far can the residential spike and development boom go w/o better regional performance on the jobs front. Decent or solid jobs growth I think is what is super-charging Downtown and Central Corridor development in the Denvers of the world over laggards like ours that have some momentum but haven't been able to reach that next phase of development.
Something I'd love to see in our city is more detached single family infill in the struggling near north. If homes are going to be torn down due to neglect and abandonment, it's good to replace them with homes that aesthetically fit a city setting, and don't look low income. I think a challenge in doing that, is that due to the nature of much postwar development, there simply aren't many contemporary archetypes for new urban single family residential, as FHA policy more or less only made lending feasible in culdesacland. So what we end up with (and the reason we cling so tightly to existing and/or historical styles) is a reluctance to build new because of the near certainty that new=Wentzville-lite in most cases.

So while a lot of folks here talk about towers and high rise apartments, there also needs to be a focus on building high standards single family in the residential parts of the city. Maybe to do this the right way we need new developers that didn't cut their teeth in the burbs.
Regarding Denver, I just don't understand the hype. The city has twice the population of ours, but it's spread over more than double our land area. And our metros are almost exactly the same size. Denver is growing more quickly at the moment, but it's currently no more an international city than St. Louis. Sure, there are a bunch of new residential buildings going up on the DT perimeter, but they also don't have as much old stock to reuse. Their DT skyline is more impressive than ours height-wise, but none of their newer skyscrapers are notable (actually, I think most of their contemporary stuff ranges from unremarkable to ugly). Outside of the 16th St. mall (which is pretty tacky in places, IMHO) and LoDo there really isn't much going on DT (which, by the way, has its fair share surface parking). I didn't get a chance to explore the detached-housing residential areas, but the two commercial streets that I explored (Broadway to the south and Colfax to the east) were pretty low-density (plenty of surface lots and gaps between buildings) and not particularly impressive. This isn't to say it's not a great place; I just don't think it's better than St. Louis. Two things that really impressed me, however, were their amazing bus system and the kick-ass running/biking trail (Cherry Creek Trail, I think?) that runs through the city and around the DT perimeter along the Platte. Anyway, my point is just that, while we're lagging in growth and Denver is getting lots of attention right now, it certainly hasn't left us in the dust yet.
^ It will be interesting to see how much positive press/buzz we'll get in 2015-1026 as a steady number of high-profile projects get completed on a pretty regular basis. Downtown we'll have Arcade-Wright, Keiner and Arch, and National Blues Museum (on top of BPV) and elsewhere in the Central Corridor we'll have IKEA, City Walk/Trader Joe's, more Cortex/BJC completions and of course quite a few smaller projects.

If additional marquee projects such as new tower construction, the creative redevelopment of our dwindling number of large downtown historic properties and some actual progress on Northside Regeneration move forward by 2016, I think we would be fully deserving of major attention as a re-emergent, vibrant city. We're almost there but have some more work to do.
^ Exactly, Denver is soooooo overrated in terms of urbanity. There are areas in the city of Denver that look just like Chesterfield or Florissant, not urban at all, despite the city being on a strict grid. Portland and Seattle are overrated too in terms of urbanity, even Minneapolis to an extent. None of these cities have urban neighborhoods like St. Louis, St. Louis has much more urban, old world bones. The difference is that these cities have better regional cooperation, these cities have better state governments, these cities have better economies, and these cities want to be "urban" meccas of their respective region. So while these cities are building up trying to mimic an authentic urban form like St. Louis, St. Louis is trying to mimic a more suburban city. These cities also benefit from not having large, visible African-American populations. As ugly as it sounds, a lot of investment, development, and policy in this country is still dictated by race. There was a good article a few years back that talked about how all the "cool" or "hipster" cities are overwhelmingly white.
Some key project completions in the next few years

2015
National Blues Museum
Arch Grounds and associated work (Central Riverfront Trail, Keiner Plaza, Wash Ave, Third Street)
IKEA
Citywalk
STL COP and McKinley Research
Missouri Theater Building

2016
Arch Museum
Arcade-Wright
Loop Trolley

One thing that does concern me a bit about downtown is that the residential pipeline seems to be slowing with actually announced projects.... hopefully its just a lull, but I don't think any significant project has been announced since the Beaumont Building last fall. Not much will be coming online last winter (The Alverne) and while we'll have the Arcade-Wright (and Chemical hopefully) for 2016, I'd really like to see downtown adding units at a quicker pace... we need more announcements!
urban_dilettante wrote:
Regarding Denver, I just don't understand the hype. The city has twice the population of ours, but it's spread over more than double our land area.


Their population is about 634,000 in 152 sq. mi. Downtown is really their only cluster of skyscrapers. Their light-rail is not as long as ours.

We have 500,000 people in the City and Mid-County, which is about 100 sq. mi combined. If we added that last 52 sq. mi. onto that, we would have about the same population. They just draw their city limits larger than ours, but that doesn't necessarily mean their entire 152 sq. mi. has a truly urban form. Even parts of Mid-County are more urban than parts of many actual cities. Look at much of Downtown Seattle, for example: office parks, drive-thrus, parking lots, and suburban houses. And that's Downtown...Not NEAR Downtown, but actually Downtown.

Denver has us beat in population growth, rapidly increasing tourism, better funded public schools and an extremely quickly improving crime rate.
So remember that tease Geoff at NextSTL had about a huge announcement? Well he's teasing again, and he favorited a tweet of mine asking if this was the same thing. I assume that means it is.

The good news?

This time he says he's hoping to break the story TONIGHT.

Geoff Whittington @GeoffWhoLou
HUGE development news east of Skinker and west of the Mississippi coming very soon @nextSTL.


Geoff Whittington @GeoffWhoLou
@TheRealGoat314 @mattfredstl @nextSTL Hoping for a little later tonight...
goat314 wrote:
The difference is that these cities have better regional cooperation, these cities have better state governments, these cities have better economies, and these cities want to be "urban" meccas of their respective region. So while these cities are building up trying to mimic an authentic urban form like St. Louis, St. Louis is trying to mimic a more suburban city.


All of this right here. Being the major metropolitan area for a state certainly helps. Plus throw in being the state capital as another bonus.

goat314 wrote:
These cities also benefit from not having large, visible African-American populations. As ugly as it sounds, a lot of investment, development, and policy in this country is still dictated by race. There was a good article a few years back that talked about how all the "cool" or "hipster" cities are overwhelmingly white.


Bingo: it's that subtle racism. I often forget how "black" St. Louis is until I travel to places like Denver or the Twin Cities. (Sorry for the quotes.)
^^ Could be this evening. or November. You never know!
Gateway City wrote:
Denver has us beat in ...rapidly increasing tourism.


Being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains doesn't hurt.
roger wyoming II wrote:
^^ Could be this evening. or November. You never know!


Not knocking nextstl...but how long have we been hearing "HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT! COMING SOON!"?

Image
here it is:
http://nextstl.com/2014/06/koplar-hires-kpf/

Kingshighway and Lindell. But nothing concrete yet.
dweebe wrote:
Gateway City wrote:
Denver has us beat in ...rapidly increasing tourism.


Being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains doesn't hurt.


Their tourism has increased by more than 20% since January. It's obvious why, Denver isn't keeping it a secret.
Gateway City wrote:
dweebe wrote:
Gateway City wrote:
Denver has us beat in ...rapidly increasing tourism.


Being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains doesn't hurt.


Their tourism has increased by more than 20% since January. It's obvious why, Denver isn't keeping it a secret.


It's always 4:20 in Denver.
The motherlode of the CWE. What we've all been waiting for. Now the fun begins. So maybe a tall, glass, angular, or even possibly leaning building?
I hope it's as cool looking at the Bottle District's main tower was supposed to be...Maybe it will even be just as tall, too! I know I'm asking a lot here, but a 500 footer would be the cumshot of new construction in the City this decade!
It should be a signature building and hopefully it gets on the fast track.... I was disappointed there wasn't a more concrete announcement from Geoff.

Maybe this can be the marquee building in a wave of towers between Grand Center and Forest Park that makes a run at Atlanta's Midtown... here is a slideshow of a large number of projects being proposed there (5,700 units so far this year)
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/gall ... -boom.html

Image

Some look pretty pedestrian but some are pretty sweet.
I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the possible budget numbers being bandied about for the Koplar site could put it within reach of being a "signature" building. I suspect we might be talking about something in the realm of two or three or four Park East towers in terms of project cost.