Convention Center: Hopes and Dreams

Downtown construction activity, including hotel projects, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc.
stlien wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 pm
aprice wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:55 pm
On the closure of 9th street:
Obviously, an expansion to the east would have been highly preferable, removing the garage and the lot behind The Laurel. Fortunately this is always a possibility in the future.

I understand that this was pretty unavoidable. I prefer this over the expansion north of the dome that they proposed several years ago. But if they're going to close 9th, I'd really like to see 10th street become 2-way. Preferably 11th as well and preferably as far south as Market. South of Market, the entrances to 40 work pretty well with 1-ways and frankly don't have the pedestrian numbers to make a reversion necessary.
With 9th street proposed to close, wouldn't that alter the newly presented plans for the N/S metrolink route?
It does appear that way...N/S should just move down to Washington and over to 14th.
stlien wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 pm
With 9th street proposed to close, wouldn't that alter the newly presented plans for the N/S metrolink route?
It thought so too at first but no, the plan has always been to start going west at Convention Plaza (Delmar). Which the streets dept and the Aldermen will use as an excuse should 2-way reversion ever be proposed.
Speaking of which, I'm upset that none of the renderings did include N/S MetroLink. Usually they love putting that stuff in there.
Is the state going to help some?
aprice wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:34 am
stlien wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:24 pm
With 9th street proposed to close, wouldn't that alter the newly presented plans for the N/S metrolink route?
It thought so too at first but no, the plan has always been to start going west at Convention Plaza (Delmar). Which the streets dept and the Aldermen will use as an excuse should 2-way reversion ever be proposed.
Speaking of which, I'm upset that none of the renderings did include N/S MetroLink. Usually they love putting that stuff in there.
While you're correct about where Metro is supposed to start heading west, Convention/Delmar is just north of the proposed new ballroom entrance and outdoor plaza. I looked up the route map for downtown and it has it running up 9th and then turning left on Convention/Delmar. That would put Metro right at the door step of the new ballroom opposite the new outdoor plaza, which isn't a bad thing. Would be curious to hear what Metro and EWG think about that.
BellaVilla wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:14 am
Is the state going to help some?
If they're going to refinance and extend the Dome bonds to pay for this I assume the State of Missouri will be involved still. Currently the City and County each pay $6 million per year and the State pays $12 million per year. I would think this remains the case under the contemplated scenario.
There definitely is a conflict between this plan and NS Metrolink but few people have said that Explore St.Louis just doesn't care and that if NS happens, NS planners will just have to engineer around the conflict somehow.
^ JFC the tribalism in this city is ludicrous. we deserve our endless failure.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:23 am
There definitely is a conflict between this plan and NS Metrolink but few people have said that Explore St.Louis just doesn't care and that if NS happens, NS planners will just have to engineer around the conflict somehow.
I don't think this really a bad outcome. The reality is the Convention Center plan is pretty solid, can happen in near term and needs to happen if the region wants to be relevant in the convention business that brings in a lot of foot traffic to downtown and sells a lot of hotel rooms.

N-S is still a decade away at best even if only the city portion is built to begin with and the routing through downtown whether it goes this way or that way a block is easy to engineer nor can I see how it would impact any studies, ridership projections. The bigger issue for N-S IMO is routing going to Old North St. Louis or will it jive to the east for NGA before heading north to north east again to accomodate the Feds, the biggest employer that will be in N. St Louis by far.
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:23 am
There definitely is a conflict between this plan and NS Metrolink but few people have said that Explore St.Louis just doesn't care and that if NS happens, NS planners will just have to engineer around the conflict somehow.
I see no real problem with this. I don't see any reason to have N/S run all the way up 9th to Convention/Delmar anyway. It should be on Washington fronting all the lofts and other businesses. Not two blocks north in an area which is basically a sea of surface parking and suburban style office buildings. I'd also like to see a bit of corroboration of that Explore St. Louis (CVC) statement. I find it hard to believe they'd just say we don't give a sh*t. But who knows.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:48 pm
^ JFC the tribalism in this city is ludicrous. we deserve our endless failure.
This seems like a bit of an overreaction. N/S is at best 8 years away, probably many more, especially with the way the political winds are currently blowing. Funding is being restricted and held on already approved transit projects around the country right now. To the convention center, the CVC plans to have the convention upgrades completed within the next three years, maybe a bit optimistic but as long as the BoA and County Council approve, these upgrades will be done before federal funding will likely even be considered for N/S. It really wouldn't be that difficult to make changes, or even find a way to work it into the convention upgrades in the future. Like I said above, I think it should run on Washington anyway, but having a MetroLink train roll up in between that new plaza and glass walled entrance to the new ball room would look pretty cool.
dredger wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:16 pm
dbInSouthCity wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:23 am
There definitely is a conflict between this plan and NS Metrolink but few people have said that Explore St.Louis just doesn't care and that if NS happens, NS planners will just have to engineer around the conflict somehow.
I don't think this really a bad outcome. The reality is the Convention Center plan is pretty solid, can happen in near term and needs to happen if the region wants to be relevant in the convention business that brings in a lot of foot traffic to downtown and sells a lot of hotel rooms.

N-S is still a decade away at best even if only the city portion is built to begin with and the routing through downtown whether it goes this way or that way a block is easy to engineer nor can I see how it would impact any studies, ridership projections. The bigger issue for N-S IMO is routing going to Old North St. Louis or will it jive to the east for NGA before heading north to north east again to accomodate the Feds, the biggest employer that will be in N. St Louis by far.
Must have clicked reply just as you were posting lol. Bright minds think alike eh?
I personally have a hard time seeing N/S fitting well with Wash Ave. Considering the higher speed nature of the project, it would end up cutting off one side of the street from the other and probably only have a few stops at most between 8th and Jefferson. I've always thought Wash Ave would be better suited with a slower streetcar similar to the KC line. Make it free and development/business activity in the area would pay for itself.
The Mayor wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:28 pm
urban_dilettante wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:48 pm
^ JFC the tribalism in this city is ludicrous. we deserve our endless failure.
This seems like a bit of an overreaction. N/S is at best 8 years away, probably many more, especially with the way the political winds are currently blowing. Funding is being restricted and held on already approved transit projects around the country right now. To the convention center, the CVC plans to have the convention upgrades completed within the next three years, maybe a bit optimistic but as long as the BoA and County Council approve, these upgrades will be done before federal funding will likely even be considered for N/S. It really wouldn't be that difficult to make changes, or even find a way to work it into the convention upgrades in the future. Like I said above, I think it should run on Washington anyway, but having a MetroLink train roll up in between that new plaza and glass walled entrance to the new ball room would look pretty cool.
Not really. How many millions have we spent now on studying/selecting the route? It's a light rail line. They take years to build even under the best circumstances. How is it that other cities manage the logistics of complex, long-term projects? St. Louis can't even manage to plan for garbage truck replacement. A big part of the problem is that many of our civic "leaders" are more interested in promoting their own careers/implementing their own "visions" than creating a functional city.

Light rail isn't going to run down Washington Ave--not unless the street is closed to auto traffic. It's not wide enough. Route selection for light rail is highly constrained by street widths, utilities, right-of-ways, etc--especially when you're working with a tight budget. I think you're underestimating how difficult it will be to just "work it in to the convention upgrades."
urban_dilettante wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:29 pm
The Mayor wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:28 pm
urban_dilettante wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:48 pm
^ JFC the tribalism in this city is ludicrous. we deserve our endless failure.
This seems like a bit of an overreaction. N/S is at best 8 years away, probably many more, especially with the way the political winds are currently blowing. Funding is being restricted and held on already approved transit projects around the country right now. To the convention center, the CVC plans to have the convention upgrades completed within the next three years, maybe a bit optimistic but as long as the BoA and County Council approve, these upgrades will be done before federal funding will likely even be considered for N/S. It really wouldn't be that difficult to make changes, or even find a way to work it into the convention upgrades in the future. Like I said above, I think it should run on Washington anyway, but having a MetroLink train roll up in between that new plaza and glass walled entrance to the new ball room would look pretty cool.
Not really. How many millions have we spent now on studying/selecting the route? It's a light rail line. They take years to build even under the best circumstances. How is it that other cities manage the logistics of complex, long-term projects? St. Louis can't even manage to plan for garbage truck replacement. A big part of the problem is that many of our civic "leaders" are more interested in promoting their own careers/implementing their own "visions" than creating a functional city.

Light rail isn't going to run down Washington Ave--not unless the street is closed to auto traffic. It's not wide enough. Route selection for light rail is highly constrained by street widths, utilities, right-of-ways, etc--especially when you're working with a tight budget. I think you're underestimating how difficult it will be to just "work it in to the convention upgrades."
St. Louis struggles to manage those things because of it's fragmented structure. It's not really that easy for a small, landlocked city with a declining population and tax base to fund massive infrastructure projects, in addition to all the other services, like garbage, that must be provided. In nearly every other city, these types of generational projects are carried out at the regional level.

I will concede your point about Washington though. After a few quick Google measurements it only clocks in at about 45ft wide. I think I remember seeing that 36ft or so would be needed for an LRT right of way. So that's a no go. Since the 9th and 10th portions are single track they'll probably just have to move it back to 10th and 11th.

If STL can ever pull all the money together to make N/S work I think they'll figure it out. Like someone else said above, the Convention Center is a good plan and can be completed in the near term, and probably should be. Light-rail is a long, long way off.
^ absolutely it's difficult. but our fragmentation persists in large part due to competing egos. instead of leaders promoting unification we have the mayors of Fenton, Chesterfield, and St. Charles, for example, working under the delusion that they're going to replace St. Louis City as the center of the region. regions that cooperate manage to plan for/implement long term projects (e.g. Denver). hence my comments above. and in this instance Explore St. Louis are being a bunch of a**holes by refusing to work with E-W Gateway for the betterment of the region. It would be 1000x easier for them to make allowances now, prior to convention center construction, than it will be for E-W Gateway to waste millions more dollars having to redesign/reevaluate/refinance the N-S line around the convention center.
I agree that a slower streetcar line would be fantastic for Wash Ave. Especially if it were able at some point to connect up with the Loop Trolley line, though, undoubtedly, would raise concerns about compatibility. Just an at grade car that went from Wash & Memorial to Jefferson or beyond would be fantastic. Could have the turnaround where it used to be at the foot of the Eads.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:56 pm
^ absolutely it's difficult. but our fragmentation persists in large part due to competing egos. instead of leaders promoting unification we have the mayors of Fenton, Chesterfield, and St. Charles, for example, working under the delusion that they're going to replace St. Louis City as the center of the region. regions that cooperate manage to plan for/implement long term projects (e.g. Denver). hence my comments above. and in this instance Explore St. Louis are being a bunch of a**holes by refusing to work with E-W Gateway for the betterment of the region. It would be 1000x easier for them to make allowances now, prior to convention center construction, than it will be for E-W Gateway to waste millions more dollars having to redesign/reevaluate/refinance the N-S line around the convention center.
100% agree about fragmentation and the silos all the municipalities operate in.

I'm not totally convinced that Explore St. Louis told EWG to get bent though. With a year or so until construction begins there's still a lot of work to be done as far as design and engineering. Hopefully they'll get together. Maybe a PD reporter needs to get in touch with Metro and see what they think.
^ i hope you're right.
^ I've sent a few emails to some reporters in town. Hopefully they'll draw some attention to it.
I like this plan. I really do. I just can't help but think that with everything they proposed, they could have done just a bit more and our convention center would really be set up for the long term. As it is now, I can't help but think at some point in the near future they are going to wish they had even more exhibit space. I've always bemoaned how events such as our car show were second tier to other cities mainly due to the lack of space to put on a full on exhibit of all manufacturers. So with this expansion you basically break even on exhibit floor space with the conversion of existing hall space into the new 64,000 sf ballroom replaced with the addition of the 92,000 sf hall at the rear. For years I've looked at that Holiday Inn and wondered why they didn't acquire that land, either by purchase, partnership or if need be, hook or crook. That way they could have still done the same expansion as it's planned now but add an additional 100,000 sf of exhibit space where the hotel stands now. As for the hotel, they could have easily built a modern interpretation on the newly acquired lot that will be directly west of the new entry plaza. I'm not sure how feasible that would be now since the Holiday Inn was recently renovated but surely someone could have made that a point of contingency years ago. It's not like they just decided to expand this place. They've been wanting to do it for decades. Seems like it would have been a win/win for everyone. Idk, maybe that is still something that could happen in the future. I'm not sure how built up the portion of the convention center adjacent to the ballroom and directly fronting the hotel will be but I'm sure the cost could be made negligible especially if the thought going in is that they may one day still acquire the hotel.