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Temporary Dog Park On Former Cupples 7 Site Would Be Too Costly

March 31, 2015 Downtown, Featured, Planning & Design 45 Comments

When an urban building is razed, replaced by grass, it’a no surprise that nearby residents will soon walk their dogs there — that’s just common sense. Now some residents, adjacent to the vacant Cupples 7 site, aren’t happy walking their dogs on grass — they want a large fenced dog park where their dog can play off-leash. They’ve cited SLU’s Ellen Clark Sculpture/Dog Park as the model to emulate — brick posts to support the fencing, sculpture inside.

The eastern half of Cupples 7 is rubble but the western half is in better shape
The Cupples 7 warehouse being razed in August 2013
bbb
The site today, ready for a new building
Looking into the site, the 11th Street exit from I-64 ids on the right
Looking into the site, the 11th Street exit from I-64 ids on the right, the garage is city-owned
A resident walking her dog on a leash
A resident walking her dog on a leash

Everyone seems in agreement a new building should go up on this site within 10 years — one area developer is working to make it happen. Thus, any Cupples dog/sculpture park would be temporary.

Downtown’s Lucas Park dog run, opened 5 years ago, is about 3,600 sq ft — with roughly 260 lineal feet of fencing — the project cost $125,000.  A lot of money but it’s a permanent improvement in public park space.

While not an apples-to-apples comparison, if we take the total cost of the Lucas Park dog run and divide by the lineal feet and square footage we get $480.77/ln ft and $34.72/sq ft, respectively. Multiply these by the Cupples 7’s 720.24 lineal feet and 31,233 sq ft and we get total costs of $346,269.78 and $1,084,409.70, respectively. This is just back of the napkin calculations — we’d need to have serious estimates based on a specific design. I do think the final cost would be between these amounts.

Seems too much to spend for a decade of use by maybe 20-50 people. The question is: how much, if anything, should be spend on temporary improvements?

Here’s what I would do:

  • Keep the center open for kickball, frisbee, etc.
  • Add 3-5 park benches around the perimeter.
  • Add doggie bag dispensers and trash cans.
  • Create a planter at the far corner — 11th & Spruce — to improve the appearance to those exiting I-64. Use drought-tolerant native plants/grasses to create a low-maintenance display.
  • Maximum budget of $10,000 — with no more than half from public funds (community district, ward and/or Treasurer). The balance from private sources.

Put all efforts into getting a new building on this site, connecting Busch Stadium & Ballpark Village to Civic Center (transit), Scottrade Center, and Union Station along Spruce & Clark. Make the Cupples District a place. Find a spot downtown  — East of Tucker — where a permanent dog park can be built.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "45 comments" on this Article:

  1. dick says:

    The 11th st off ramp is a tragedy. Some tourists from the Westin will get killed there eventually. There is a no cross walk or walk sign, no time for pedestrians to cross. When the light on spruce is red, the offramp light is green (which pedestrians have no way of knowing, they try to cross and cars from the off ramp get pissed). Keep in mind this is a block from Busch stadium and adjacent to a 400+ room hotel. I hate this city.

     
    • Reasons why Spruce & Clark both need to be improved.

       
    • Kim says:

      What you say is true. Safety on the corridor, especially at this corner is an issue. A number of us want speed bumps put in and the crosswalks painted. Because Wheelhouse is now at this corridor with a 3:00 liquor license, the issue of safety is even more important, not just for tourists but tons of people cross from the parking garage to go to work. With all the trucks now and traffic in general coming down Spruce, it has become a nightmare. There are no lights on Spruce, just at Busch Stadium and one at Tucker. The rest are stop lights.

      When Ball Park Village went in, they got the cross walks over there painted. And their signage seemed to help with slowing down traffic. All along Spruce and Clark (as Steve said) need the same improvements.

       
      • Kim says:

        Sorry, meant Stop signs. Spruce is a two way street comprised mostly of stop signs and pedestrian traffic is heavy along with cars/trucks/deliveries/parking and horse carriages. Now dogs, lots of dogs from all buildings in the surrounding area.

         
    • CallieJean1947 says:

      move

       
  2. Kim says:

    Thank you for the article, Steve. It was good to have your input at the charrette as well. Please note that this is why we asked people to come, was for community wide input. Also, please note that the city isn’t paying for anything having to do with this lot. As I’d mentioned at the meeting, if we do anything it will be through private funds/fundraising.

    And I’ll be presenting another plan that places a dog park on the lot using about 1/3 of the lot. Please come to the May St. Louis DNA meeting at the library and you can see it. I’m intentionally leaving the other 2/3 free for others to create what they want.

    While logistics have not been figured out, Westin may want to use the park for their guests as well. Their hotel is pet friendly. The Arcade building opening at Olive and 8th Street is also pet friendly and will be housing a ton of new people with dogs….What’s nice about working on this at this location is pet people are passionate and will see to it something gets put in whereas the lot and what’s to be done about it otherwise is nothing to date. Downtown STL, Inc. and Komen Group are working on streetscape improvements however, recognizing that Spruce St. is indeed becoming an important corridor.

    Most people seemed warm to the idea of a dog park in the space, but it seemed no one wanted it to use the lot in its entirety for an enclosed dog park. So I listened. People will congregate around their pets, around food, and around art. We also want to give the Cardinals fans that stream down that street something to paws about as they rush madcap to the ball park or otherwise Blues fans heading to ScottTrade. Spruce Street is becoming a strip. Using this space as a community space will be fun.

    Also, with giving the space focus for a dog & sculpture park, the need for more pedestrian safety has been brought up, so already we have improvements coming. And that is just what pets do. They help open people up.

    I like the idea of tapping PetSmart for a temporary fence solution and we can look into that as well. Good idea. Thank you, Ben. If we have trouble raising the money for this even better!

     
    • dick says:

      Can you please put some pressure on the City to improve pededtrian access and saftey around there. It is deplorable, how can the City let thousands of tourists, office workers and residents be exposed to those kind of pedestrian conditions? Or do you just drive in and out and prefer it that way?

       
    • I’ve organized and participated in numerous charettes over the years. The other night wasn’t even remotely close to a charrettte.

      I fully agree a 2nd dog park downtown makes sense — a permanent one — not temporary. We need to put all the residential buildings on a map to figure out where to locate the next one. Spending $300k plus for 10 years of use would be a colossal waste of resources — public or private.

       
      • Kim says:

        Agreed that this charrette was not well run. I’d invited Cannon Design to come and one of the people there said they’d wanted to do a charrette for the lot last year, so I said he could lead the discussion. While the results were definitely mixed, the support for the dog park was there but so also was for it to be mixed use and we got good feedback when all was said and done. Still am, given this article and what others have said to me after the fact. So the May presentation, with someone else leading the discussion, will reflect all of that.

         
        • Again, it wasn’t a charrette — it was a sales pitch. A charrette doesn’t pitch an idea — it gets participants to imagine the possibilities for what it could be. Brainstorm.

           
  3. Greg says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t buy the estimates of what a dog park would cost.

    From what I recall (and have quickly re-read from the links in this post), the Lucas Park project included far more than the basics necessary to convert the Cupples 7 site into a dog park. Per the Stl Mag article: “The cost of Lucas Park Dog Park was $125,000, and included improvements along Locust street (one block north of Washington) as well.”

    To create something like the SLU Dog Park (minus the statues), the only cost would be for fencing — which while not cheap, will not run into high six or low seven figures.

     
    • I was closely involved with the Lucas Park dog run, I don’t recall any Locust-related improvements. The fencing is very simple compared to the idea of brick posts. A water source was also close by — plumbing would be higher at the Cupples site.

       
      • Greg says:

        For a temporary dog park, you don’t need to provide a water source in my opinion. The SLU dog park does not have a regular water source — people who visit with their dogs bring their own.

        Additionally, the Lucas Park work had crushed granite (or some type of stone) down as a surface. The grass which is already there will fully suffice for a temporary dog park.

        Aside from that, if you think it’s going to cost $350k-$1 million just to fence in the Cupples 7 lot… I think your cost estimates are way out of whack.

         
        • Kim says:

          Greg is correct. We’ve priced out the fenced dog park with an ungodly amount of brick posts all the way around the lot and that was $400,000 with a quad like sidewalk put inside.

          That quote is easy to reduce b/c we don’t need as many posts for one thing. Or the back side on the garage side of the building doesn’t need posts at all. Also once we reduce the dog park to 1/3 the size of the lot, again, fewer posts.

          Water is already on the lot. They’ve got a full blown sprinkling system already built in which is why the grassy lot usually looks pretty good. So, water, is a non issue for this lot.

          We can just do an iron fence with a few posts in here an there and really scale it back if the $250K plus cost is something no one can live with…..also, I’m not interested in bothering building a dog park if its a run. The dog run, as Steve so aptly called it, is simply too small to encompass all of the downtown humans and their dogs.

          Hello! Freakin’ Shaw Dog park is famous. This is a dog friendly community/city, home of Purina which looms large and loud downtown almost overseeing it.

          And for a statue, I want to put a very large dog in the middle of it to guard the city…..

           
          • Fencing would be needed for 4 sides — there’s a public sidewalk between the grass and the garage.

            The water needed for the dog park can’t connect to the sprinklers — it needs to connect directly. This dictates where the water is located within the fenced area or costs to run the water elsewhere. The sprinkler system is a liability.

             
  4. JZ71 says:

    Fenced yard equals suburbs. If one wants to live an urban lifestyle, it seems like people now expect “someone else” to provide the transportation (public transit) and the fenced yard (dog park) that suburbanites apparently willingly pay for directly and individually. Perhaps having a dog is just not very compatible with urban living?

     
    • Not sure why you injected public transportation — likely as bait.

      Pets are beneficial to humans, they help lower blood pressure and relieve stress. Walking dogs in urban areas Is one way neighbors get to know each other. By living in higher density they can use a shared dog park rather than everyone spreading out with their own backyard — requiring massive amounts of subsidized roads & utilities as a result.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        I agree, pets are a good thing. My point was that not every potential pet is a good fit for a dense, urban, living situation Many dogs, especially large dogs and active dogs, like border collies, greyhounds, great danes and St. Bernards (for example), all do better with more space to roam and run. And all dogs are social creatures, pack animals, as well, and leaving them, of any size, alone for 8-10 hours a day can cause social problems, like separation anxiety.

        The other challenge with dog parks is simple distance – if they’re walkable they function way better than when one has to drive to them. For that reason, I’m confused about why you would object to a dog park as a temporary use, here? Since they’re generally funded by user fees, I would assume the more the merrier. As Kim details things, moving it across Tucker would create challenges for a large number of the users that she’s identified.

        And yes, throwing in transporation was (sort of) bait – part of urban living is figuring out how to pay for all the amenities that make urban living either doable or attractive. In general, multi-story urban housing costs more per square foot than suburban tract housing, parking is expensive (not “free”), so people use transit more intensively. Unfortunately, transit is heavily subsidized by taxpayers who rarely, if ever, set foot on Metrolink, much less a Metro bus. And public spaces – sidewalks, parks, plazas and, yes, dog parks – all get used more intensively, requiring more maintenance.

        All of these expenses have to come out of either general revenues or special assessments, and my point was that a better argument for funding these expenditures needs to be made than we’re better, more special or right(er) than the majority of taxpayers who live in the suburbs and the more-suburban-feeling parts of the city. And if I remember correctly, the city now owns this land, so the first priority should not be “make it a park”, for dogs or for humans, either temporarily or permanently, the first priority should be to sell it to a dveloper who has the resources to do something constructive, and hopefully appropriate, with a full block close to the herat of downtown!

         
        • Kim says:

          The developer who was at the charrette was from Koman Group who developed the loft building where Flying Saucer is and they do not think building there is justified. So out of the horses mouth….no one wants to put a building there. Why keep pushing that.

          And until I raised the issue of a dog park, nothing with the lot was/is being done. One plan was created last year that was shot down because was expensive while not necessarily useful. And, once it was brought up to the city to have a contest for plans for the lot (that was 2 years ago) and nothing was done.

          So, no. When something outrageous like Ball Park Village gets created with taxpayer money and now looking at another stadium to get built downtown with taxpayer and private funding to the tune of nearly a billion dollars, seems like putting a dog park downtown where tons of people own dogs makes a lot of sense.

          The brick posts are the more costly part of the fence, yes. Can be done so not so costly, but they do mirror what is going on with Spruce Street otherwise so aesthetically is spot on.

          And, FYI, I’m also currently working with OpenDataSTL and the Bridge and St. Patrick Center to help create a program for a more efficient method to rapid rehouse the homeless. This is volunteer mostly, at least at the start, and minimal funding required to put it on, i.e., under a $1,000.00.

          I can put a ratty stupid dog park up that costs nothing and looks terrible to all the county folk streaming down my street all season long, but nobody wants that. Capish?

           
          • I heard the developer agree density is needed. The garage isn’t full. This site must remain available for s new building.

            It won’t happen this year..or even in 5. But if we do the right things today we’ll see a new building in 10-15 years.

            Build a permanent dog park on a site that has little to no development potential.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            Kim – to put it poorly, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, I’m just asking questions. One, since a building was there before, I see no reason why another building or buildings should not go back in – downtown is all about density – if you want less density, downtown is probably not the place to make that stand. Two, few things are “forever”, be it a building, a vacant lot, a ballfield or a dog park. Three, we all have our pet projects (another bad pun, I know) that we want the government to fund – getting anything done takes two things, consensus and dollars. Four, I agree, dog parks should be close to the people and the animals who will use them. Five, what’s all this talk about brick posts? Are they a deal breaker? Critical to the success of a “park”, of any sort? A fence can be built out of steel, aluminum and/or wood for less money. Six, what do OpenDataSTL, the Bridge and/or St. Patrick Center have to do with a dog park? And seven, what do “county folk” have to do with a dog park in the city and what it may look like?

            I’ll clarify my position. One, if the city owns the land, it should sell it, not “make it a park” – we already have plenty of parks and plazas in and near downtown. Two, I support dog parks, especially those that are privately funded and operated. Three, I have no objection to the city granting temporary uses to any land that it owns, as long as everyone acknowledges that the temporary use can and will be removed when some other (better?) use is identified. Four, if the land is privately owned, this is a discussion that needs to be between the landowner and the dog park “club” – the city should only be involved as it relates to zoning and permits, the city should not be funding a dog park on private property (any more than they should be funding private parking for loft dwellers on private property). And five, we live in a city of many neighborhoods, many needs, desires and priorities, and, unfortunately, limited funding. I can come up with a list of priorities, for me, that are just as vaild and important as any list you can create. I’m not saying that your priorities are bad, I’m just saying that any expenditures need to be done fairly and equitably, citywide, and not concentrated in just a few, vocal, neighborhoods.

             
          • Kim says:

            I’m not going to discuss the dog park any further as at this point, it’s a moot point. I’m posting things people aren’t reading or are selective about reading….so let’s just go at it from a city dweller’s point of view. I want neighborhood. I want Spruce Street (have lived on it for 8 years now) to have more of an identity than ball parks & booze. I’ve lived through a building collapsing and a building being demolished and a street being closed off, close to a year before demolition began. I’m now living through the absurdity of having a bar with a 3:00 liquor license. Whereas I used to be able to walk my dog to the Arch grounds and get a good work out, I no longer can with whatever god knows what is getting built there. City Garden is wonderful and yet is too full of people for me to take a stroll in with my dog.

            County people invade my backyard with regularity and don’t give a crap that I have a life here but somehow wish to opine about using tax dollars when that isn’t happening or even complain about private money being used for public land (again costing you nothing) but they still look the other way when it comes to creating non stop ball games & further drunkenness and disorderliness for their amusement.

            What does it take to make community? In an urban area? Spruce St. is in uncharted territory. Then again I can just move to Tower Grove area and this is a non issue. Or to Soulard where they do understand both ecosystem and density and neighborhood and culture beyond booze and ballgames.

            What I am trying to say is, unless this is your neighborhood, it isn’t. My guess is that you don’t understand how much of a positive difference a dog park will make to this particular neighborhood around the clock vs another dead office building. As nice as the area is, we are beginning to look like something out of the dystopia created in the cult classic “Equilibirum” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equilibrium_(film).

             
          • No matter where one lives they must tolerate inconveniences — Soulard has this thing called Mardi Gras — perhaps you’ve heard of it?

            All of us living downtown have to deal with outsiders — those near the EJD have had to deal with football fans. Those at 13th & Washington weekend mobs and noise. West of the library we have homeless and massive crowds often for events, parades, runs, etc.

            You’ve got much more grassy areas near you than we do at 16th & Locust. We have too many acres of park space downtown already — politically it can’t be developed. No way will I sit by and allow more to become unbuildable space.

             
          • Kim says:

            Thing is, Steve, the die is cast, a dog park it is with other multi-use amenities. My future quest would be for the electric sub station to get buried. Talk about an eye sore and valuable land. Something must be done about that. Building something that no one can use or will use right now is a bit tilting at windmills. I’m sure the city would be thrilled if someone wanted to buy that land from them though and build there. It’s just so far that isn’t happening.

            Re green space. It’s unfortunate that the parks west of Tucker aren’t utilized better on a daily basis. It would clean things up and help with the development west of here which is sorely needed. But as I’d mentioned to the other chap, I am working with a number of people to help get the homeless off the street as well which will help eventually with the park areas as well as the homeless people themselves. Same with the park across from Union Station. It is going to get some much needed TLC pretty soon along with Union Station’s build out.

            All of that said, what comes first, development that creates neighborhood or neighborhood and residents which create demand for development?

             
          • Until the Treasurer issues a Request for Proposals RFP) for the site we don’t know what interest does or doesn’t exist.

            Ameren will eventually decommission that substation as they did the one at 13th & Cole.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            I’ll repeat, I agree, dog parks are a good thing – I “understand”. My question is one of priorities, both those of the local residents and those of the larger city. First, the city’s – we need to balance special-interest desires, plans and ideas, like yours, throughout the city, with the reality of limited financial resources and major problems with crime, our schools and our aging, basic infrastructure. And while I respect your passion for building a neighborhood, your expectations of no more buildings, less traffic and no outsiders smacks me of living in a fantasy world. You willingly chose to live in a mixed-use, urban area, yet as you grow older, you expect the neighborhood to become quieter and more residential, not busier or more dense. You sound like a “got-mine-er” – you scored your piece of urban paradise, but you want to “close the door” and not let anyone else into your little piece of the city. As Steve points out, urban living is messy, we’re all impacted by “outsiders”. Change is (or should be) a constant. Yes, you should have a voice in steering which directions it should take. No, you just can’t say “no more” . . .

             
          • dick says:

            There is a bar with a 3am license there because it can make money. Thats how the world works. Booze and ballgames make money downtown, it works and its been that way for years, SINCE BEFORE YOU MOVED THERE. Downtown is full of 3am bars, highest concentration in the City (and has been that way for years, if you don’t like it, why did you move there?). Bars can make rent, 3am license helps that happen, thats the reality of the downtown market.

             
          • Kim says:

            Again, lots of selective reading/hearing from all of you. I chose a place to live downtown where there were no 3 a.m. bars or bars period. Our building and J. Bucks (who I’ve lived in harmony with the whole time) were the only buildings rehabbed and in operation when I moved in, 8 years ago. Also I’ve lived in mid town Manhattan, Chicago and New Jersey as well as suburban St. Louis and now downtown STL. I’ve seen what works and where and plenty that goes by the wayside.

            Y’all aren’t hearing me. But how can you above the den of 3 a.m. liquor licenses, stopped up traffic on Spruce St. from drunken disorderly conduct and the constant streaming of game night fans, from everywhere?

            A lot of the 3 a.m. licenses have been shut down as problem properties. If you were a downtown resident you would know that. And Ball Park Village has taken money from Washington Avenue. The dollars are just moving around, not increasing, because we aren’t adding new dollars because the sort of thinking that is being promoted here doesn’t drive economies. The same ole same ole way we’ve done it it doesn’t work anymore. Because I’m promoting something of interest to one and all that is different doesn’t make it bad because it is different. It just may be the thing that starts driving neighborhood redevelopment, and thus downtown residency and thus further biz development. We have a chicken or the egg mentality down here. What drives density is having a culture beyond booze and ball games. Soulard comes to mind with its Farmer’s Market and lovely housing opportunities as well as services and restaurants and bars. There’s a culture there. Yes I can move there, but I’m here trying to improve downtown’s neighborhood. Someone else wants an office park….because we have offices? Someone else thinks another building, because there is demand? Someone else thinks bars and 3 a.m. liquor licenses because it means traffic where there is none. Someone else thinks community gardens (vegetable gardens) where there are people who aren’t going to tend them? Someone else thinks playground set where there are not families or children who will play on them?

            I could go on, but why. To me these things are obvious but maybe not. Playsets are at Lucas Park and will be going into the new grounds at Kiener Plaza and perhaps the park across from Union Station. Other buildings have been sited by Komen Group along Spruce Street to develop as they make more economic sense to them. Community Gardens are on roofs downtown, not at street level. And there’s a perfectly lovely office park across from the Federal Building on Clark (that no one uses) and City Garden draws an inordinate number of people from all over (no 3 a.m. liquor license, no community garden, no booze, no bars) because of the uniqueness of the space. If Steve had his say, would he say another building needed to be put there because we didn’t need another green space? If Dick you had your say would you have put in more restaurants on top of the restaurants that aren’t making money now (like Ball Park Village decided to do?).

            You have to look at how traffic (cars & people flow) to understand what is necessary. Then once you hit a certain critical mean, you have to see what and who makes up that traffic and why to determine what to put there. Then you have to look at countertrends depending upon the unintended consequences of what has already been done.

            Takes a lot to figure it out.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            And you’re not hearing what I and others are saying, either. We don’t object to a dog park, per se, we’re questioning the wisdom of creating / making permanent any more open space in what once was, and what many of us want to seesee as, again, a thriving, dense, urban area. Yes, we can make downtown more residential, with fewer bars, fewer tourists, more parks and more schools, like they’re doing in Vancouver, but that should be the subject of a much larger discussion, not just those of recent residents and developers looking to make a living supporting that market. Bottom line, as many suburban cities have figured out, residential taxes don’t generate enough in taxes – it takes businesses to pay the freight of providing the services most residents want!

             
          • Kim says:

            Back to the chicken or the egg conundrum. Currently my focus is on helping those who can’t help themselves, i.e., our pets and the homeless. In the process I’ll be helping to solve some of the overarching problems preventing both residents and business/services from locating downtown.

            Recently I went to bat for the residents of my street to help get a business shut down that had a 3:00 liquor license that was resulting in fights on the street where guns went off. With their license now gone, they are looking to add a coffeeshop/donut/deli on the street, something sorely needed and they have a ready made market coming to their door, they don’t have to work to attract it. But I had to fight it to make this happen, and this is what I am doing wrt the dog park. It won’t just service the residents on this street, it’ll pull from all over downtown if it is big enough and to outsiders (Westin guests), bringing many to the Spruce Street area and creating more demand for services here. We intend to have food trucks come in for lunch time which will provide a more interesting menu of choices for the office workers and residents and visitors which will in turn create greater demand for living space. More residents can support more services. More services bring in more of everything, including larger businesses and more demand for say, public transportation. But you have to start somewhere. The stadium is going to cost the taxpayer some $400M that will take 40 years to pay off since the football games only bring $10M to the city for goods and services per year. In fact, they probably create more wear and tear in infrastructure than if we didn’t have them. Sometimes the solution is not the most obvious since we are talking about priorities.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            I appreciate your passion and your focus on neighborhood. Bars, especially ones with “boisterous” patrons, can be a real challenge, especially if they have neighbors who just want/need to sleep after midnight – been there, done that. I also support newer, “specialized” uses in parks, including dog parks, skate parks and frisbee golf, to supplement more traditional uses, like tennis courts, ballfields and picnic shelters. (I’m also opposed to any new stadium, but that’s a different discussion.) Where we’re parting company is in the take-the-vacant-land-and-make-it-a-park argument. It doesn’t matter if it’s here or in the suburbs, not everything should be made into a “park”. The city, in general, is not lacking in parkland. What we are lacking is both the funding to maintain what we already have and an equitable distribution of, and access to, specific amenities and park services. The Lucas Garden Dog Park is less than a mile from where you live. There are many, many city residents who live a lot further away from ANY dog park, making it hard to justify investing in one, here, when many other residents could argue, rightfully, that they’re being underserved!

             
    • boner says:

      You equal shit

       
  5. John R says:

    I’d like to see a testing out of different concepts to see what might work for this area…. part dog park but also room for a regular schedule of food and retail trucks. If this gained enough traction, adding on a container store concept like the small spaces project on a portion of surface lot in downtown Cleveland… something that is impermanent and could be moved elsewhere if development pressures/neighborhood dynamics change.

     
    • John R says:

      oops…. the container store project in Cleveland is called smallbox; not small spaces. http://www.smallboxcle.com/

       
      • Kim says:

        GREAT idea! Will propose in some of the empty lot spaces of the quadrant I’ve created (one of which will inhabit a dog park).

         
    • Kim says:

      This is no doubt what will wind up happening. The plan I intend to propose will be thus so, part dog park, part walkthru, part gardens, park kickball, food trucks, places to sit to eat that are informal, some commissioned art. All of which can be temporary and perhaps lead to something more permanent or a more “built” environment.

       
      • JZ71 says:

        Single-story structures and open, no-story, spaces are not “urban” in character, nor would they help downtown return to its past prominence. The Treasurer needs to do an RFP to recoup the costs associated with demolition, and the most appropriate use, here, would be Steve’s go-to answer, a 4-6 story, mixed-use structure (or structures), built up to the sidewalk, with retail on the ground floor and residences or offices on the uppper floors, something like this: http://denverinfill.com/blog/2015/02/new-lower-highland-project-18th-and-central-apartments.html . . or this: http://denverinfill.com/blog/2015/02/new-lower-highland-project-28th-and-vallejo-apartments.html

         
        • If I’m not mistaken, the previous Treasurer had guaranteed the loan to the developer. By helping to get the building rehabbed it would provide users for the garage — which it still needs to fill vacancies.

          Further, a building is needed to shield the north side of the garage from view from Spruce — the bright gray/white concrete sticks out like a sore thumb in the Cupples Distruct.

           
          • Kim says:

            We discussed commissioning an artist to do a painting along that wall to reduce its influence.

            If temporary retail can exist in this space, it won’t be long before someone wants to build on it. Otherwise what you, Steve, and JZ71 continue to ask for won’t happen for another 10 years.
            Come to May’s Saint Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting and you can see the plan I’m proposing based on everyone’s comments.
            Thanks!

             
        • John R says:

          I fully support an RFP… even though it is unlikely to be successful we at least need to try. The vacant lot I’d really like to see developed in SoMa though is the one on the northwest corner of Clark and 9th – the space with the maze pattern walkways directly across the street from the Eagleton federal building is owned by the US but the large greenspace to the east is privately owned. If the good ole USA imposed or purchased development limits on the property something else needs to be done to activate it more than what’s there.

           
          • Kim says:

            Funny….cause that’s the space where I think another building could go. Did not know it wasn’t part of the park. As it is, that patch of land is too wet most of the year to even walk on let alone create temporary retail space. Not sure why it happens but it does.

            The Spruce & 11th Street intersection is a great one for pedestrian traffic in order to get walk in traffic to temporary retail space and/or for events.

             

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