Two years ago I sold the 2004 Toyota Corolla I bought after my stroke, switching to transit for all my trips. I’ve saved tons of money, reduced my carbon footprint, learned how to get around the city by public transit, and had fun doing it. In February last year my …
Local grocery store chain Schnucks made a big announcement on Monday regarding a store they acquired in their 1995 purchase of the National chain: Next month, the region’s leading grocer will have only one store in the city north of Delmar Boulevard. The Maryland Heights-based company announced Monday it is …
Last week readers at least 135 readers took the poll, indicating what they’d like to see as priorities at Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration project. Here are the results in the order the software listed, two answers tied for the the top spot. Q: Paul McKee’s “Northside Regeneration” project is slowly moving …
Decades ago traffic engineers converted many downtown St. Louis streets from two-way traffic to one-way traffic, 9th & 10th going north & south, respectively. The 9th/10th couplet extended north to I-70, basically serving as very long on/off ramps, cutting through the Columbus Square neighborhood. Today the former Cochran Gardens high-rise …
Two years ago I sold the 2004 Toyota Corolla I bought after my stroke, switching to transit for all my trips. I’ve saved tons of money, reduced my carbon footprint, learned how to get around the city by public transit, and had fun doing it.
In February last year my then boyfriend, now fiancé, moved in with me. We became a one-car couple, sort of. We never added me to his insurance policy, so I haven’t driven his car. Though I still take public transit, mostly MetroBus, there are many times he’d drive us places (store, dinner, etc). This week we bought a newer car together; we’re both on the loan, the registration, and insurance. He’ll be the primary driver since he works 5-7 days per week, but I’ll likely drive when we go places together.
Finding a car we liked that was eligible for a loan through our credit union wasn’t easy, they required it to be 2007 or newer or the interest rate would be substantially higher. They also wouldn’t lend on a car with more than 100,000 miles. We wanted a Honda or Toyota, but didn’t want to spend more than $9,000. With 90,000 miles, our Honda Civic EX met everyone’s criteria.
You’ll still see me riding MetroBus, but not as often.
ST. LOUIS – Leaders of Schnuck Markets, Inc. today announced they will not renew the lease on the Grand and Kossuth Store (4127 N. Grand, 63107) in north St. Louis. The store will close permanently at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. No jobs will be lost; all 65 teammates will be transferred to nearby Schnucks stores.
According to Schnucks President and CEO Todd Schnuck, the 28,000-square-foot store has consistently operated in the red since it was purchased as part of the 1995 National acquisition. “Closing any store is a difficult decision particularly when we have invested so substantially in the 45-year-old facility including a $200,000 Pharmacy remodel just one year ago. Nothing we’ve done has helped improve the store’s performance.”
“Store Manager Roger Hines and Co-Manager Sharon Evans lead an experienced and dedicated team. Yet despite their best efforts and strong rapport with customers, the store continues to lose money,” Schnuck said. “While customers appreciate the offering we bring to the neighborhood, sales at this store will not offset needed repairs, escalating labor, utility and insurance costs.”
Currently, operating a total of nine stores within the city limits (including Grand and Kossuth), Schnucks continues to demonstrate its commitment to city residents. “In this particular location, we are challenged by lack of population growth and the opportunity to attract new customers,” said Schnuck. “We thank our customers and community partners for their support over the years and we will continue to look for more ways in which to deliver needed services to our customers in St. Louis City.”
Schnuck says that should the landlord entice another grocer to the site, Schnucks would leave the majority of the store’s fixtures in place. In the meantime, the company will start a sell down of goods prior to the May 10 close.
Pharmacy customers may continue to have their prescriptions filled through May 10. Additional information will be provided prior to the close.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 101 stores (including Grand and Kossuth) and 95 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
# # #
I’d been by this store numerous times, when it was a National I lived not far away in Old North St. Louis, but I’d never been inside. So the day after the announcement I boarded the #41 MetroBus, which stops on Kossuth right next to the store property. Between downtown (14th & Washington) and the Schnucks a couple of passengers boarded the bus that got off at the Kossuth & Grand stop to do their grocery shopping. Let’s take a critical look at this store to see why they couldn’t attract new customers.
Now you’ve seen the store, inside and out. Think anyone goes out of their way to shop here? Nope! Anyone pass other grocery stores on the way home from work shop here? Nope! Those who live near this Schnucks likely shop elsewhere if they have a car or access to another bus route.
An ALDI is located just the other side of Fairgrounds Park, it was built in 1999, the Schnucks was built in 1968. Those who use the #70 route can just as easily go to the much nicer ALDI. Those who drive likely pass other grocery stores on the drive home from work, so they have nicer options. I worked at Union near I-70 when the Schnucks at Union & Natural Bridge opened in 1998, I’d go by sometimes at lunch to get a salad.
The Kossuth Schnucks lacks profitable departments like salad/olive bars, deli, prepared foods, floral, etc. The store is only 28,000 sq ft, about half of most newer Schnucks, but larger than the 21,000 sq ft Culinaria store downtown that has all those departments. A ALDIs doesn’t have prepared foods, floral, etc and manage with 17,000 sq ft stores, but their model is very different from Schnucks.
And hours is another big difference. The Schnucks at Union & Natural Bridge is open, like many Schnucks, from 6am-midnight every day. This allows customers to shop before or after work. The Kossuth store hours have been ”Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 8am-8pm” which means many can’t shop there even if they wanted to.
Is Schnucks the bad guy here? For the most part, no. Schnucks doesn’t own the property, they’re a tenant.
The North Grand building is owned by Marvin Holdings LLC, which lists Mishaal Taqui as its organizer. It acquired the building in the fourth quarter of 2013 and offered to do about $100,000 in roof repairs, said Taqui’s spokesman, Glenn Jamboretz.
Taqui wanted a multiyear lease from the retailer and a small rent increase to offset the cost of the repairs. It had been renting the building year-to-year for about $6,100 a month, Jamboretz said. A sales incentive clause sometimes bumped that monthly payment up to around $6,500.
Schnucks said no thanks to the multiyear lease, and soon after, announced it would close. (stltoday)
The closure of this store will leave a void on the market, the Schnucks carries products the nearby ALDI simply doesn’t stock. Those who get their prescriptions here will need to find another pharmacy, perhaps the Schnucks at Union & Natural Bridge. I can imagine some who are transit-dependant moving closer to another grocery store or a different bus line. The landlord will need to do lots of work to attract a quality store, even then it doesn’t seem likely.
The site is ideal for a 3-5 story urban building with 100,000 sq ft of ground floor retail, much of which could be a grocery store. I’d like to see local upstart Fields Foods consider such a store.
Last week readers at least 135 readers took the poll, indicating what they’d like to see as priorities at Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration project. Here are the results in the order the software listed, two answers tied for the the top spot.
Q: Paul McKee’s “Northside Regeneration” project is slowly moving foreword, pick your top 5 priorities from the following:
Good walkability 76 [11.33% - TIE]
Jobs for locals: long-term work at various pay levels 76 [11.33% - TIE]
Rail transit connected to downtown 64 [9.54%]
Urban form with adequate parking behind buildings 60 [8.94%]
Safety 59 [8.79%]
Mixed uses, incomes 52 [7.75%]
Good street grid with short blocks 48 [7.15%]
Architecture that IS historic looking 43 [6.41%]
Hoodlum-free zone 39 [5.81%]
Renovation of the Clemens Mansion 35 [5.22%]
Many builders/developers, not just a few 33 [4.92%]
Good bikeability 24 [3.58%]
Something…anything ASAP 21 [3.13%]
Jobs for locals: short-term construction work 17 [2.53%]
Architecture that is NOT historic looking 11 [1.64%]
Easy access to highways 8 [1.19%]
Plenty of free parking 3 [0.45%]
Suburban planning, big blocks and cul-de-sacs 2 [0.3%]
I agree with most of the items in the top 10, very glad to see “Good Walkability” tie with “Jobs for locals: long-term work at various pay levels” at the top, followed closely by rail transit to downtown and urban form. I do take exception with one item: architecture.
I was disappointed “Architecture that IS historic looking” got 43 votes, but “Architecture that is NOT historic looking” only got 11 votes. Buildings in 2014 trying to look like they’re from 1914 end up looking cheesy. Other cities do a great job building new urban buildings that relate to the sidewalk and neighboring buildings without being faux historic. We need to drop the expectation that every new building be given a bit of red brick on the front and a fake mansard roof on top.
Decades ago traffic engineers converted many downtown St. Louis streets from two-way traffic to one-way traffic, 9th & 10th going north & south, respectively. The 9th/10th couplet extended north to I-70, basically serving as very long on/off ramps, cutting through the Columbus Square neighborhood. Today the former Cochran Gardens high-rise public housing project is gone, replaced with mixed income apartments. The 1980s Columbus Square condos and townhouses are still nice, the neighborhood is generally pleasant and safe. Despite the fact that 9th & 10th are no longer connected to I-70, they remain very wide one-way streets, undermining the positive investment in the area.
I’d like to see 9th & 10th be two-way all the way through downtown, but that’s more complicated with garage entrances/exits. signals, etc. But from Cole St. to Cass Ave it would be very simple, just some changes to the signals at Cole & Cass, the rest is signs and paint.
We ran these long on/off ramps through this neighborhood for decades, now we need to do the right thing and make 9th & 10th neighborhood streets again!
In 2009 I was part of a Partnership for Downtown St. Louis committee looking at parking downtown, including areas where on-street would be beneficial for helping retail businesses and their customers. On November 12, 2009 @ 6:34am I emailed the following to Director of Streets Todd Waelterman, copied to 7th ward alderman Phyllis Young:
Todd, I was delighted to see the addition of on-street parking on 10th & Olive recently. I emailed Patrice but I haven’t heard back from her yet.
Another area where there is an immediate need for on-street parking is the North side of Washington Ave between 11th and Tucker. The curb lane is hardly used for traffic. In this block there are now more businesses than ever. Copia is expected to reopen so when they resume valet that will take away spaces used by the general public.
The East side of Tucker between St. Charles and Wash Ave is very wide. There is room for on street parking here as well.
On 11th at Wash Ave there are two polls from what used to be metered spaces. For some reason they are no parking now. I see no logistical reason for these not to have parking.
These three spots could add 12-15 more spots in this area. The parking would help all the businesses in the area and have no real impact on traffic flow.
Please ask your staff to look into allowing meters to be added to these areas.
To my surprise he replied less than an hour later @ 7:18am:
Thanks for your ideas. These areas will be utilized for turn movements when tucker is complete.
Todd Waelterman City of St Louis Director of Streets 314-647-3111
Young never replied. I dropped the subject, waiting for the rebuild of Tucker to be completed and the new I-70 bridge to open. Since the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened to traffic on February 9th, 2014 I think it’s time to revisit these areas as candidates for on-street parking. Let’s take a look at these three separate areas, all located within a block of each other:
A) North Side of Washington Ave from 11th to Tucker (12th)
This block of westbound traffic is very odd. Both of the blocks before and after have one westbound travel lane and one parking lane. Yes, city staff seem to think the entire right lane for the full length of the block needs to be a right turn only lane.
Sure, leave room before the crosswalk for a couple of cars to get into the right lane to turn northbound on Tucker, but park cars from the Flamingo Bowl to Empire Deli.
B) East Side of Tucker from St. Charles to Washington Ave
The short distance from St. Charles (a named alley) to Washington Ave is far more complicated, not easily resolved.
What’s complicated about this block is northbound Tucker traffic goes from three through lanes down to just two on the new section north of Washington Ave. As I’ve said last August, the new Tucker Blvd streetscape needs to be continued from Washington Avenue to Spruce Street. In the meantime Tucker could get a restripe road diet. But a left turn lane is needed onto Washington Ave., the current concrete median is getting in the way of aligning lanes better. The easy short-term solution is to remove the median from Locust to Washington Ave.
C) 11th Street at Washington Ave
This is the easiest of all three, just put meters back on the two poles where they once were.
As you can see the left lane is a left-turn lane. I can’t think of any reason why these two spots should not be returned to use as on-street parking.
I’ll be emailing this post to various official in the hope of getting some quick action on two out of three of these (A & C).
See her February 27, 2014 email here. On Friday we learned some of the consequences she’ll face as a result of her actions and admissions:
A once-rising star in city politics avoids possible jail time but agrees to a stiff fine in a deal with the circuit attorney’s office.
The deal between Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and Kacie Starr Triplett was signed on March 6th, but announced Friday only after Triplett made good on several payments.
In total Triplett has agreed to pay $22,000 in restitution, which that money will go to the St. Louis city public schools. (Fox2)
Jennifer Joyce, in an email reply, indicated the agreement is for 3 years, saying: “March of 2017 is when it will conclude.” Apparently she could also face a $100,000 fine from the Missouri Ethics Commission.
For the poll this week I want to know your reaction to her illegal use of campaign funds and the consequences, I’ve provided numerous answers but you can also add your own. Pick up to two.
According to the calendar it has been Spring for three weeks now, but it sure hasn’t felt like it. Finally, on Wednesday we began to warm up. That day I met friends for lunch…al fresco. They’re from Springfield IL, they came in the day before for the Cardinals game, we met at Pi downtown, as it was near their hotel and they have a nice outdoor patio.
After lunch I had grocery shopping to do but they had two hours to sight see until they needed to be back at the Amtrak station. They hadn’t seen Citygarden yet, so I showed them. Culinaria was next, I stayed to shop while they continued on. I’d suggested places a few places for them to see:
Big Shark bike shop & adjacent bike station
I’m just very glad we’re above freezing. Now if we can get rain at night, but dry clear days.
RSS allows subscribers to be notified of new content. But with only four feeds another way is needed to let people know, enter Twitter & Facebook. The subscription page the Twitter profiles and Facebook pages of numerous city departments/officials, including the Treasurer’s office, below the four RSS feeds are. No RSS, follow on Twitter &/or Facebook. The Treasurer’s twitter account currently has 782 followers, the Facebook page has 125 likes. The Facebook page is updated via Twitter.
The city relies on Twitter & Facebook instead of having hundreds of RSS feed, but the departments need to use these tools for them to effectively keep the public informed. It’s one thing to not tweet about a meeting being held a day later than usual, but it’s very important when moving up the meeting a day. Not using social media in this instance makes me suspicious of the goings on. The agenda listed only two items, but potentially controversial ones:
ICM/Summer Rocks Parking Agreement
Review and Approval of FY 2015 Budget
I usually attend meetings, tweeting discussions during. It appears the meeting was moved up a day so I wouldn’t be present. There may well be another reason for the change, but the appearance remains the same in my eyes. Since the prepared minutes aren’t shared online I’ll only know what took place if I make it to the next meeting on May 8th when I can get a copy. I’ll have to make a note to start checking the website starting on May 1st in case it’s decided to move the date again. So much for transparency….
Two days ago many voters in the region went to the polls to vote on local measures, such as bond issues. Those of us in the City of St. Louis didn’t have an election, our next time voting will be the Missouri primary on Tuesday August 5, 2014. However, voters in the 13th ward will vote at a special election on April 29th. Fred Wessels resigned as alderman on December 31st to become the head of the Community Development Administration (CDA):
The CDA, among other things, administers federal funds for housing, community and economic development programs. It’s also responsible for administering the city’s share of federal community development block grants.
Wessels will replace Jill Claybour, who is retiring. (Beacon)
The 13th ward candidates are Beth Murphy (D) and Conan Predergast (R), see official list here. Phyllis Young of the 7th ward is now the most senior alderman, her and Wessels were both sworn into office in April 1985.
IMPORTANT PRIMARY DATES:
Absentee balloting begins: Tuesday June 24, 2014
Last Day to Register to Vote: Wednesday July 9, 2014
Primary Election Day: Tuesday August 5, 2014
In the city the primary will include three county-level offices: Collector of Revenue, License Collector, and Recorder of Deeds. Let’s take a look at the candidates seeking the nomination of their party:
Collector of Revenue
Gregory F.X. Daly (Incumbent)
John P. Parhomski
Dylan M. Farrell
Mavis “Tesssa” Thompson (Incumbent)
Jeffrey L. Boyd
Recorder of Deeds
Sharon Quigley Carpenter (Incumbent)
What do we know from this list? All three incumbents are Democrats, no surprise. What’s surprising and refreshing is all three are being challenged in the primary. We also know the two Republicans, and the one Green, will represent their respective parties in the November general election.
The most interesting of the races is the Democratic primary for License Collector. Thompson was appointed by Gov. Nixon last year to replace Michael McMillan, who became President of the Urban League of St. Louis. Alderman Jeffrey Boyd ran unsuccessfully for Treasurer in 2012, coming in 3rd in the 4-way Democratic primary, just after Fred Wessels.
Slightly more than half the readers who voted in the poll last week selected answers supportive on the dress codes at Ballpark Village venues, conversely just under half selected answers unsupportive.
Here are the results:
Q: The Dress Code at Ballpark Village Is…
a good thing 45 [28.85%]
no big deal 37 [23.72%]
a way to say “whites only” 27 [17.31%]
par for the Cordish course 15 [9.62%]
pointless 8 [5.13%]
offensive 7 [4.49%]
confusing 7 [4.49%]
Other: 7 [4.49%]
A dress code is needed, but this one goes too far, after all it is called ballpa
a way to filter who is allowed in
The same as most clubs on Wash Ave.
The dress code at Ballpark village is a clear example sexism.
all the dress codes seem to apply to men.
Unsure/no opinion 3 [1.92%]
The various dress codes are outlined in the original post. In short, TV’s Daisy Duke would be admitted, but St. Louis native Nelly, dressed as he was in the Hot in Herre video, would be turned away. On Washington Ave I’ve seen young women wearing skirts so short any shorter they’d be flashing everyone. Presumably, that’s ok. We’ll probably check out a few of the venues but I don’t see any becoming a regular hangout.
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