The State of Downtown

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
First unread post1964 posts
kinger wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:20 am
dredger wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:47 am
stlien wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:54 pm


Why does the CVC suddenly need all this parking?
What would make to me is this is part of plan to remove the private parking structure currently tucked away in the Convention Center in order to expand the ballroom space & better connect with the dome, either swapping the existing parking garage for a new garage on these lots or simply diluting demand that the other garage owner wants to sell out.
This is for future convention center expansion. Several years ago, the CVC started planting seeds in different political circles about their desire to close 9th street to create a modern truck apron with multiple loading docks for quicker setup/breakdown of events. Coupled with the desire for additional ballroom space, this is a required move among several to eventually create a super-super-super block with no northbound thoroughfare between 11th and 4th street
Wow. The super block sounds like a horrible result in order to create loading docks on 9th. Do you actually see this happening? Do you think the CVC will ask for public input?
I'd be willing to see the superblock over a dwindling convention industry. Was downtown last night and there were many people out and about who had come here with the two meetings that are in town. I think people underestimate the impact that tourism has on the center city. We would be in much more trouble downtown if it wasn't for all the visitors.
I was in town recently for a funeral. Both my wife (originally from Pittsburgh) and I currently live in Tampa, FL. We were really impressed at how packed downtown was last Sunday (Cardinals game and a believe a band convention was taking place). It was good to see the place hoping and definitely a noticeable amount of redevelopment. Haven't been to St. Louis in 3 years. The amount of development that has taken place in the city is mind-boggling. Certain parts of town are not even recognizable. I think when you live in St. Louis day to day you do not appreciate the changes that have taken place. Tampa recently passed St. Louis in metro size, but both my wife and I commented how St. Louis feels like a much more urban and larger metro...the metrolink system, urban core, walkable neighborhoods, architecture, etc. are just things that can't be recreated and should really be cherished by St. Louisans. I feel many in the city really take it for granted. My wife is absolutely in love with St. Louis every time we visit.
southcitygent wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:48 am
I'd be willing to see the superblock over a dwindling convention industry. Was downtown last night and there were many people out and about who had come here with the two meetings that are in town. I think people underestimate the impact that tourism has on the center city. We would be in much more trouble downtown if it wasn't for all the visitors.
Have to agree with southcity as St Louis can punch above its weight, if I got the phrase correct, for convention business with the Iconic Arch, Big Muddy and a Downtown/Forest Park situated well to bring & keep crowds entertained. St Louis is different feel for the better then say Las Vegas and New Orleans.

However, the super block brings on legitimate issues, concerns as no doubt articulated in this form. To me the best option for all the above is removal of the raised freeway between Wash Ave and Stan K bridge. An at grade Wash Ave intersection with a grand blvd instead of the raised freeway would be a huge change without breaking the bank & bring Lacledes Landing/North Riverfront back into the fold of downtown and mitigate the impacts of Convention Center superblock. I would even venture and advocate for removal of MLK bridge as well as finally go forward with trestle path in order to remove some of the redundant highway/river crossing capacity and encourage even more connected downtown as a grander infrastructure plan for riverfront revival.
dredger wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:46 am
southcitygent wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:48 am
I'd be willing to see the superblock over a dwindling convention industry. Was downtown last night and there were many people out and about who had come here with the two meetings that are in town. I think people underestimate the impact that tourism has on the center city. We would be in much more trouble downtown if it wasn't for all the visitors.
Have to agree with southcity as St Louis can punch above its weight, if I got the phrase correct, for convention business with the Iconic Arch, Big Muddy and a Downtown/Forest Park situated well to bring & keep crowds entertained. St Louis is different feel for the better then say Las Vegas and New Orleans.

However, the super block brings on legitimate issues, concerns as no doubt articulated in this form. To me the best option for all the above is removal of the raised freeway between Wash Ave and Stan K bridge. An at grade Wash Ave intersection with a grand blvd instead of the raised freeway would be a huge change without breaking the bank & bring Lacledes Landing/North Riverfront back into the fold of downtown and mitigate the impacts of Convention Center superblock. I would even venture and advocate for removal of MLK bridge as well as finally go forward with trestle path in order to remove some of the redundant highway/river crossing capacity and encourage even more connected downtown as a grander infrastructure plan for riverfront revival.
Here here.

Is there anything we can do to actively get the ball rolling, or at least increase awareness to MoDot about removing the elevated highway?

The idea was mentioned as part of CAR but ultimately never really brought up seriously, right?
You could revive the city to river effort

http://citytoriver.org/
How exactly would this work now, though, with the lid in place?

Wouldn't a boulevard still have to run below the lid and then back up again? Surely we're not going to demolish a lid that we just built to turn I-44 into a boulevard.

I think the only way this happens is a partnership with developers like Drury to build a tower, and other mixed use from others, to build, should a sound concept and plan for highway removal materialize.
It would be nice if you could extend the lid from Pine to Walnut (or more) then build some 5-10-ish story mixed residential/retail on it, but the amount of money to do that I assume would be super high.
Here was a boulevard concept that included the lid

http://citytoriver.org/blog/?p=691
Not sure how I've gone 4 years without hearing/reading this but I read in an article recently that one of the reasons the lid is so small is that a larger lid would have been classified as a tunnel i.e. would have required costly ventilation systems.
The lid would still work pretty well in a boulevard replacement, one of my few fears though is that they would leave everything south of the Lid as is. I'd like to see the removal of the North Bound ramp from PSB (which never should have been rebuilt in the first place) and the restoration of Spruce and Poplar as standard intersections. This would really help access to the future Chouteau's Landing Loft Apartment and Office district :)
Interesting. Hard to tell, but it just looks like it would be narrower and dip below the lid then? Then back up and form regular intersections with Walnut, Spruce, Pine, Wash, etc.?

If anything like this ever came to fruition, I'd hope that somehow we would be able to break the Millennium super block too.

Thanks for the link!
Stlmag - More and more creative firms are locating downtown. Can they recreate St. Louis?

https://www.stlmag.com/longform/as-more ... n-some-wo/
Is there a single block of downtown sidewalk that's not haphazardly, randomly closed for one reason, or for none at all?

I'm not even talking big demolition or construction, but just thoughtless, cheap barriers like the following, with no concern for the disabled or even able-bodied pedestrians, no indication of work being done, and no provision made to get around.

Image

Nothing says half-assed, lackadaisical, lazy Midwestern like this. Just pure St. Louis. And it's everywhere. One intersection just south of there had sidewalks on both sides closed, and requires walking right up the middle of the street against traffic if you don't want to go around who-knows-how-many blocks to get to the other side.
^ truly pathetic.
We're going on nearly a year since the forklift fell through this spot on Washington near 15th.
Image

Totally normal, right? I mean, if some drunk plows into your car, your insurance company just leaves your holding your wrecked car, with no replacement, for years afterwards until blame is legally assigned, right?
^Depends on whether or not you settle. In some cases . . . yes.
Now that it's August and Autumn is within sight, I'm wondering what big projects may not get underway this year as hoped... if the Railway Exchange, Jefferson Arms and Chemical all fail to get underway by the end of the year I'll be a bit disappointed with the pace of downtown development while recognizing some good projects are going on. Those three plus Butler Bros. Building are pretty key to moving downtown to the next level and it's so tantalizing having three of them sit there with advanced plans for new life; hopefully at least one gets going this year.
Flying Saucer closing according to the Biz Journal.
Supposedly the space will be replaced with a new concept by the owners of Wheelhouse/Startbar. Not geared towards the college crowd though.
So the former Sheraton City Center hotel (Edison Bros warehouse building) is now the Red Lion Hotel? Looks like it has lousy reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, etc. Has anybody been inside lately? There are some luxury condos on the top floors, right? I can’t imagine an off-brand hotel can be good for their marketability. Too bad this signature downtown building that was restored with much fanfare has apparently declined in recent years.
stlgasm wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:07 am
So the former Sheraton City Center hotel (Edison Bros warehouse building) is now the Red Lion Hotel? Looks like it has lousy reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, etc. Has anybody been inside lately? There are some luxury condos on the top floors, right? I can’t imagine an off-brand hotel can be good for their marketability. Too bad this signature downtown building that was restored with much fanfare has apparently declined in recent years.
It was something else off brand before this change. I had family from out of town stay at it a year ago. I think it was called just city center hotel? I can't remember. I think they thought it was okay, a little run down but not too bad. They are pretty picky, imo and seemed fine with it overall.
I was Downtown on Sunday to visit Gateway Arch National Park. I parked on Market near City Garden. I was shocked and disappointed to see so much trash all over the streets, sidewalks and in the garden and especially Kiener Plaza. What is going on with the City these days?!!! I saw there was a rat infestation in the City Garden a few weeks ago. Is there not money in the budget to pay a staff to keep this area clean? I know it was a Sunday morning after a likely rowdy Saturday night, but a lot of the trash did not look fresh. There were tons of beer bottles, large liquor bottles, paper trash and food debris. It was embarrassing. I was taking my relatives from Vegas to the Arch. I was disgusted to see my City so dirty.

On top of that, the new Kiener Plaza pavers look like Gateway Raceway with all of the tire tracks from the Bird and Lime scooters. While it was awesome to see so many people out and about on scooters, it is quite an eyesore for Kiener plaza to have all of those tire marks all over the place. I'm not sure what can be done other than forcing the scooter companies to power-wash the area occasionally.

Overall, my family loved the Arch and thought it was amazing. I think the new Arch Grounds are great!

Does anyone know what the Park Service is doing in the Arch observation area at the top? The carpeting that lines the walls near to lookout windows was ripped off of the majority of the walls. I assume they are replacing it, but I would have guessed that would be done as part of the redo.
^ the condition of Keiner when I was down there a couple of Mondays ago was maddening. I was at first willing to shrug it off when we went through at 10 in the morning on the way to the Old Courthouse and Arch --- thought maybe the crew just wasn't out quite yet -- but I was pissed when all the trash was still there at 12:30. Unacceptable.

Btw I'm not sure about rats/trash issues at Citygarden but KMOV had a segment on the problem at Keiner.
^ I feel like this is an indictment of the current administration. Seems to be a recurring theme throughout the City. While the budget is always strained, there is no excuse for not making sure our City's front lawn is not in order for the countless tourists that visit each year. Inexcusable how bad Kiener looked yesterday!

With the lack of landscaping, bad roads, slow trash pick-up (in dumpsters and litter off the streets) and crime, clearly City Hall needs a shake-up!
People are coming down and throwing their own mini party in the parking spaces surrounding Kiener and CG. Drinking, smoking, loud boom boxes, etc. It’s not a good look.


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