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Housing For Homeless Veterans Nearing Completion At 4011 Delmar

I February 2010 I posted I would live at 4005 Delmar, then a vacant & boarded building, I was dreaming of it being renovated.

Boarded storefronts at sidewalk level
Boarded storefronts at sidewalk level, February 2010

The building at 4005-4011 Delmar has since attracted the attention of a developer, who also dreams:

We believe being a dreamer is every bit as important as being a do’er. In our personal and our professional lives, the members of The Vecino Group are dedicated to imagining a better world and then working to make it happen. 

I too agree it is important to dream, I’ve shared mine here for over 9 years.

Last year:

A housing developer from Springfield, Mo., has embarked on a $12.7 million project to renovate the building as 68 affordable apartments for homeless vets. The five-story building, at 4011 Delmar Boulevard, is in the city’s Vandeventer neighborhood, about three blocks from the John Cochran VA Medical Center.

Plans call for the building, named Freedom Place by the developer, to be redone as 20 studio apartments, 24 one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. Monthly rents are scheduled to range from $369 to $640. (stltoday)

According to city records, the building had 100 one-bedroom apartments and three “other” units. Hopefully the new mix of units will work well.

I pass by this project on the #97 MetroBus, but recently I was in the area photographing for my post on the North Sarah Apartments so I got a closer look at the progress.

New windows greatly improve the appearance
New windows greatly improve the appearance

I’m curious to see how the ground-level will be used. Will a neighborhood coffeehouse be able to open?  A small local market perhaps? The area desperately needs economic activity to create jobs for the veterans that will live here, as well as others.

Directly across the street a 1945 commercial building is vacant. With its side parking lot this could be a good market.
Directly across the street a 1945 commercial building is vacant. With its side parking lot this could be a good market for the area.
At 4035 the later commercial store front in from of a 19th century house has collapsed.
At 4035 a commercial storefront  addition in from of a 19th century house has collapsed.

Housing for these vets is huge, but we must also finds ways to rebuild the local economic base to create jobs. One local effort is Bridge Bread:

Bridge Bread is a social entrepreneurship initiative designed to provide job opportunities for guests of The Bridge. The goal of the initiative is to help disadvantaged guests engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity and enables the guests to help themselves.

It takes much more than a shelter cot to rebuild the lives of the homeless. Kudos to the people behind The Vecino Group!

— Steve Patterson

 

Each Generation Builds on the Previous

The August day my college friend Mary Ann and I drove into St. Louis is permanently etched in my memory like it was last year, but it was 23+ years ago! The plan: be roommates in Washington DC. We were young and ready to conquer the world. Unemployment was also high and after seeing her mom’s townhouse in Benton Park, touring St. Louis with her and her friends the next day, I decided St. Louis would be my new home — there was just so much untapped potential.

I thought I was part of a first wave of 20-somethings to discover the urban core but as I met people 10-20 years older they quickly reminded me when they were my age places I thought were cool like the Central West End (CWE), Lafayette Square, and Soulard were the unrealized potential they saw the 1970s/80s.

Let’s start much earlier with young folks who moved to a booming city:

  • Henry Shaw (1800-1889) came to St. Louis two months before his 19th birthday had a huge impact on the development of his new city.
  • Adolphus Busch (1839-1913) moved to St. Louis at age 18. At 21 he married the daughter of candle maker and brewery investor Eberhard Anheuser. Anheuser was 37 when he moved to St. Louis.
  • Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) came to St. Louis by boxcar at around age 20, completely broke. By age 32 he bought bought two newspapers which he combined to form the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Scott Joplin (1867/68-1917) grew up in Texas but moved to Sedalia after attending the Chicago World’s Fair (1893) and in his early 30s moved to St. Louis.  Around age 40 Joplin moved on to NYC to further his musical career.
  • Luther Ely Smith (1873-1951) moved to St. Louis at age 21 to attend Washington University’s School of Law. Later Smith was the driving force behind the effort to rebuild our riverfront. In his early 40s Smith recruited a 20-something to come to St. Louis to be the first full-time municipal city planner in the nation.
  • Harland Bartholomew (1889-1989), St. Louis’ first planner (roughly from 1915-1950), sought to reorder the older areas through large-scale demolition, he was 25-26 when he arrived in St. Louis from the east coast.

And some who moved to, stayed in, or returned to a now-aging city:

  • Stan Musial (1920-2013) was just 17 years old when he came to St. Louis from his home state of Pennsylvania to play baseball. Except during WWII Musial called St. Louis home the rest of his life. He was 42 when he retired from playing baseball. He had money and fame but stayed. Musial was a VP of the Cardinals when the team moved from North Grand to a new stadium downtown in 1966.
  • Gyo Obata (1923-) was born in San Francisco but moved to St. Louis around age 18-19 to attend Washington University, and to avoid being internment during WWII. Obata got his masters at Cranbrook, served a year in the Army and worked for SOM in Chicago for 4 years, returning to St. Louis at age 28.  At 32 he joined “he joined architects George Hellmuth and George Kassabaum in establishing the St. Louis-based architecture firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.”
  • Jack C. Taylor (1923-) returned to St. Louis after serving in World War II. At 25 he started working at Lindberg Cadillac, located within the city, and by 34 started Executive Leasing with seven cars. Later the name was changed to Enterprise, after the USS Enterprise.
  • Tina Turner (1939-) moved to St. Louis at 16, where she and husband Ike were discovered.

A quiet bohemian area of the 1950s became Gaslight Square after a 1959 tornado brought new attention:

By summer 1960, it was the place to be for beats, preppies, well-dressed adults, street troubadours and tourists. Olive pulsed with a happy cacophony wafting from places called the Crystal Palace, Left Bank, Laughing Buddha, and Dark Side. Jack Carl dished pastrami and genial abuse at 2 Cents Plain. A row of columns outside Smokey Joe’s Grecian Terrace anchored the landscape.

On March 24, 1961, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen anointed the obvious by renaming two blocks of Olive as Gaslight Square. Laclede Gas Co. later installed 121 gas streetlights, adding flicker to the buzz.

By summer 1961, Gaslight was noisier with more restaurants, taverns, nightclubs and shops. Some of the antiques dealers were squeezed out by rising rents. “The old gang doesn’t come around anymore, but perhaps it is a necessary evil of growing,” Massucci said as cash registers jingled.

Big and future names in show biz played the square. An 18-year-old singer named Barbra Streisand was warm-up for the Smothers Brothers. Allen Ginsberg recited poetry to mellow jazz. Miles Davis and Singleton Palmer were regulars. Earnest ministers opened the Exit, a coffee shop promising meaningful discussion and “jazz liturgy.” (A Look Back • Gaslight Square in St. Louis burned brightly but briefly in the 1960s)

The popular show Route 66

The familiar Corvette from the Route 66 television series  parked on Olive in Gaslight Square, Click image for IMDB page on this episode
The familiar Corvette from the Route 66 television series parked on Olive in Gaslight Square, Click image for IMDB page on this episode

The two handsome young stars are walking in Gaslight Square at night:

Tod: “Buz if you still don’t like it here we can always move into the country and get a little closer to the quarry.”

 Buz: I didn’t say that, I said living in Gaslight Square was like living inside a drum, I haven’t had a good nights sleep since we got here. It’s not that I don’t like  it, it’s I just don’t know how long I can last.”

They were working at the Rock Hill Quarry.

After I first moved to St. Louis the neighbor across the street from my parents in Oklahoma told me about visiting Gaslight Square in the 60s — he would’ve been in his 20s or 30s at the time.  By 1972 O’Connells Pub was the last business to leave Gaslight Square.

That same year a 42-year old Herbie Balaban opened Cafe Balaban on Euclid Ave. Duff’s opened as well in 1972. Left Bank Books had already been open 3 years. Rothschild Antiques also opened in 1969.  If you were a 20/30-something Euclid Ave was the in place to be.

I have numerous friends who saw a future is the area around Lafayette Park, rehabbing run down mansions that had been chopped up into rooming houses. Others began renovating buildings in the Soulard neighborhood, designed as an urban renewal clearance area just 25+ years earlier.

Plate Number 16 is a plan for the reconstruction of the Soulard Neighborhood. Some of the more important features of the plan are: the extension of Gravois Avenue from Twelfth Street to the proposed Third Street Interstate Highway, providing a direct route to the central business district; the widening of 18th Street, the widening and extension of 14th Street, the widening of Park and Lafayette Avenues; underground garages in the multi-storied apartment area between 12th and 14th; a neighborhood part of 10 acres or more complete with spray pool, community facilities and game courts; the extension of Lafayette Park to serve this as well as other neighborhoods; landscaped areas throughout the community for passive recreation; enlargement of the City Hospital area; grouping of commercial areas into orderly shopping centers and the complete reconstruction of the neighborhood into super residential blocks with a new street pattern to serve these blocks and to discourage through traffic. (1947 Comprehensive Plan)

In the late 1970s a group of idealistic 20/30-somethings moved to the declining Murphy-Blair neighborhood, buying buildings to rehab.  Never heard of Murphy-Blair? That’s because they changed the name to Old North St. Louis.  Some from that original group remain.

There are many more examples but hopefully you get the drift. We’ve had no trouble attracting the 20/30-sometyhing crowd over the years. Our problem has been one of retention. On that topic I’ve had friends, fellow Gen Xers, move out to the suburbs once they had kids, but I know one family that returned to the city  and another to Clayton,  both within 5 years of leaving. Neighbors in my loft building moved to the suburbs with their young daughter but they kept the loft for when they move back. Other neighbors are Baby Boomers visited by their grandkids.

Yes, millennials are moving to the core — just like every generation prior. But…but…the numbers, it’s bigger now! Well, sorta:

THE MILLENNIALS — sometimes called Generation Y, and defined by many demographers as ranging from ages 18 to 37 — make up the largest population cohort the U.S. has ever seen. Eighty-six million strong, it is 7% larger than the baby-boom generation, which came of age in the 1970s and ’80s. And the Millennial population could keep growing to 88.5 million people by 2020, owing to immigration, says demographer Peter Francese, an analyst at the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

This echo-boom generation totals 27% of the U.S. population, less than the 35% the boomers represented at their peak in 1980. When the baby-boom generation drove the economy in the 1990s, growth in gross domestic product averaged 3.4% a year. As the Millennials hit their stride, they could help lift GDP growth to 3% or more, at least a percentage point higher than current levels.

The Millennials already account for an annual $1.3 trillion of consumer spending, or 21% of the total, says Christine Barton, a partner at the Boston Consulting Group, which defines this cohort as ages 18 to 34. As the economy pulls out of an extended period of sluggish growth, helped in part by this rising generation, annual growth in consumer spending is likely to revert to its long-term average of 3.5% to 4% from about 2% now. Likewise, consumer spending on durable goods could rise sharply. (Barron’s)

It’s not that Millennials are moving to the city in greater percentages, there’s just so many of them. Because of the efforts of prior generations, they get to build upon and expand the opportunities for the next generations. It’s a cycle I don’t see stopping. When kids born today are 20 they’ll do the same.

In a few week I’ll turn 47 and I’ll have spent half my life in St. Louis, I’m very glad I stuck around. Now I get to see all the exciting things the Millennials are doing. I’ll enjoy them with my finance, a member of the Millennial generation.

— Steve Patterson

 

Another Parking Meter Test Starts Monday

The previous St. Louis Treasurer, Larry Williams, conducted limited testing of modern parking collection technology on South Grand in 2006. There were a couple of blocks of pay-per-space and a few pay-n-display. (FYI: In St. Louis the treasurer is responsible for parking revenue.)

What’s the difference between the two types?

  • With pay-per-space each fixed-length parking space is assigned a number. After parking you walk to a nearby pay station, enter the space number where you  parked, and pay.
  • With pay-n-display you park, walk to a nearby pay station, buy time, return to your vehicle and display  the receipt on the inside of the windshield.

Each has pros & cons compared to each other and against individual meters. In 2006 it was concluded neither pay-per-space or pay-n-display were right for St. Louis. I say the design of the test was flawed — only 2-3 blocks of each and they were next to each other. Someone might park in front of a store and use pay-per-space and a few days later park a block away and use pay-n-display.

A pay=per-space station on South Grand, November 10, 2006
A pay-per-space station on South Grand, November 10, 2006
A pay-n-display machine on South Grand in April 2006
A pay-n-display station on South Grand, November 10 2006

Monday St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones will announce new pilot programs testing new parking technology. The treasurer’s office director of communications, Deborah Johnson, told me via email:

The city has previously tested “pay-n-display” units, where the customer must walk to the unit, print a ticket, and walk back to their car to display the ticket. The multi-space units this pilot is testing will use the “pay by space” method, where the customer types in the 4 digit space number they are parked in and does not have to return to their vehicle to place a ticket. Instead, the system automatically monitors and communicates with enforcement officers.

I reminded her both pay-per-space & pay-n-display were tested simultaneously.

In response to another question she said:

The pilots are in four locations in the city: 10th Street between Chestnut and Washington; Broadway and Pine; Euclid and Laclede; and Euclid and Maryland. The pilot will be in place for six months.

The new equipment is already installed on 10th Street, I posted the following picture to Twitter & Facebook yesterday:

Pay-per-space meter installed on 10th, will be functional starting Monday
Pay-per-space stations on 10th will be functional starting Monday

Of note is the stations on 10th accept coins, bills, and credit cards. You’ll even be able to extend the amount of time via phone!

Instructions to extend time, click image to view website.
Instructions to extend time, click image to view the mobile-optimized website.

From the site:

Extend-by-Phone is an innovative service that enables the parking meter to send you a text message reminder when your parking is about to expire, and allows you to add time to your parking by simply replying to the reminder message with the amount of additional minutes you need.

The FAQ answers common questions, such as fees.  Of course this could mean even more people stay parked longer than the 2-hour limit, see St. Louis Not Enforcing Short-Term Parking Limits.

Small signs with numbers replaced the meters on 10th
Small signs with numbers replaced the meters on 10th

I’m glad to see recent testing isn’t limited to a very tiny test area as in 2006. I also appreciate the caution given the infrastructure costs to change, but I’d hoped for something more modern years ago. Treasurer Jones has only been in office a little over a year and for someone who campaigned on not wanting to be a “parking czar” she and her staff are making changes at a record pace compared to her predecessor.

I look foreword to hearing the official details on Monday.

— Steve Patterson

 

CORTEX TOD Study From October 2012 Now Online

Last month I wrote Cortex District Needs A Pedestrian Circulation Plan Before IKEA Is Built knowing a master plan was in the works, or had already been approved.  Still, I couldn’t find a copy online. I began emailing CORTEX directly, and then others, until January 10th when I got the response I was looking for:

Good morning, Steve:

John Hoal forwarded me your query about the Cortex Station Area Plan report. I spoke with SLDC, who confirmed that the report was not, in fact, posted on-line. The report has since been posted to SLDC’s website, and the link to the report materials is included below.

http://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/sldc/documents/CORTEX-Transit-Oriented-Development-Study.cfm

Thanks, Steve. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or require further information.

Best regards,

Timothy Breihan

H3 Studio

Turns out the report was finalized in October 2012! Fifteen months later, after my inquiries, it was made available online.  This work was funded by tax payers and should’ve been made available when finalized:

The work that provided the basis of this publication was supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through East-West Gateway Council of Governments. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government or the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. (Page 2)

Ok, it’s online now so let’s take a look:

Cover of the TOD study for CORTEX. Click cover to view on Scribd.
Cover of the TOD study for CORTEX. Click cover to view on Scribd.

From the objective at the start:

Originally developed as a light-industrial enclave, the CORTEX district faces major challenges moving forward to make itself feel welcoming, pedestrian-friendly, and fundamentally connected to its surrounding neighborhoods and amenities. (Page 6)

[snip]

The Transit Oriented Development Study (TOD) for the CORTEX District (the Study) seeks to establish projections for net new riders on the MetroLink light rail system over a 20-year planning horizon resulting from the construction of a new MetroLink station in the CORTEX District. This Study is focused on proposed ridership projections based on planned investments in CORTEX and the surrounding areas. Metro Saint Louis Transit and the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro), owners and operators of the MetroLink and MetroBus transit systems, have established target thresholds as goals for proposed stations.

This station will be an invaluable asset in the future development potential of both the CORTEX district and the region-wide MetroLink system. The proposed station has the potential to function both as a transit option for current and future area residents and employees, as well as a major amenity and connective element for the surrounding neighborhoods and residents. In order to capitalize on years of public and private investment and attract and retain the best and the brightest, it is imperative that development in the CORTEX district unlocks the latent potential present in the district’s enviable location in the heart of Saint Louis. The City of Saint Louis, Metro, and CORTEX possess a significant opportunity to recreate the district as a key link between surrounding neighborhoods, with the ability to tie these neighborhoods together with public spaces, great pedestrian streets, mixed-use development, and multi-modal transit access. (Page 6-7)

The first “consensus issue” surrounding CORTEX is listed as:

1. Forest Park Avenue is perceived as unfriendly to bikes and pedestrians for east-west travel and crossing. (Page 11)

Really? The planning process gets into trouble when too much weight is given to public input. Forest Park Avenue has what they want to create one block south on Duncan Ave.; on-street parking which separates traffic from pedestrians, tree lawns with mature trees, etc. But a few neighbors that probably don’t walk indicated they don’t like Forest Park Ave., possibly because they were steered that way, so it’s dismissed as an east-west pedestrian route.  The crossings do need to be improved to get people into the CORTEX District and to/from the proposed MetroLink station.

Under “scenerio 1” to increase transit ridership they list:

Focus TOD residential and mixed-use development between Sarah Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue and extend planned Duncan Avenue streetscape improvements east to Vandeventer. (Page 14)

But the proposed IKEA will prevent the new pedestrian-friendly Duncan Ave from reaching Vandeventer Ave, occupying most of the residential/mixed-use development area. Will this plan be amended to deal with that new reality? This is why major streets (Forest Park Ave.) shouldn’t be ignored in favor of expendable streets (Duncan Ave). Are ridership projections still valid with a large mixed-use area on the east side of the proposed station?

Let’s continue:

4. ENSURE PEDESTRIAN AND BIKE CONNECTIVITY, SAFETY, AND COMFORT

The photo on Page 119 labeled as "ADA-Accesible Crosswalk" shows a non-ADA compliant ramp.
The photo on Page 119 labeled as “ADA-Accesible Crosswalk” shows a non-ADA compliant ramp. No diagrams are included on how to make ramps & crosswalks ADA-compliant.

Transit-oriented developments and districts rely on safe, comfortable, walk-able and bike-able streets and public spaces to provide access to transit. In the CORTEX district, streets are currently designed to give preference to vehicular traffic; most streets have only a 36-foot curb-to-curb width, which accommodates only two travel lanes and two parallel parking lanes. In addition, sidewalks are only 4- to 5-feet wide, pedestrian right-of-ways are often obstructed by utility poles and other infrastructure, and there are few street trees or other pedestrian amenities. Given limited right-of-way width and vehicular traffic restrictions, enhancing bike and pedestrian connectivity, safety, and comfort will need to occur on some streets while vehicular service requirements are accommodated on others. Actions to achieve this strategy include:

  • Create “pedestrian first” streets and vehicular-centric streets through the district.
  • Repair all sidewalks and maximize sidewalk width in all locations.
  • Provide planting strips and/or tree lawns on all streets.
  • Relocate utility poles and other infrastructure out of pedestrian right-of-ways.
  • Provide lane-width, shared lane markings (“Super Sharrows”) on all streets.
  • Provide parallel parking on all streets.
  • Provide street trees on all streets with a maximum spacing of 40-feet on-center.
  • Provide pedestrian-scaled street lights with a maximum spacing of 80-feet on center.
  • Provide trash receptacles, benches, bike racks, safety call boxes, and other street furniture.
  • Provide ADA-accessible curb cuts, oriented perpendicular to the street, at all intersections and crosswalks.
  • Provide pavement changes at all crosswalks. (Page 22)

Well “pedestrian first” is mentioned earlier (p13) and later on pages 69 & 119, yet nowhere does the report define “pedestrian first”.  To be fair, “vehicular-centric streets” isn’t defined either,  but I think St. Louis has that one down.

The big pedestrian push is Duncan Ave., which will terminate unceremoniously into the side of the IKEA:

A potential major east-west corridor within the CORTEX District is Duncan Avenue, which runs from Sarah Street and Vandeventer Avenue to the east and the Central West End MetroLink Station and Barnes Jewish/Washington University Medical Campuses to the west. Where Duncan Avenue intersects with Boyle Avenue is the heart of the CORTEX District with the CORTEX building to the north and the Solae building to the south. (Page 78)

It does include a list of existing conditions.

ASSESSMENT OF EXISTING SIDEWALK AND STREET PAVEMENT CONDITIONS

BOYLE AVENUE CORRIDOR

  • Overall, the street pavement is in poor to fair condition with alligator cracking, sections where base pavement is exposed, and numerous patches of pavement.
  • Curb material varies with either granite or concrete curb. Concrete curb is usually in sections where sidewalk has been replaced.
  • The standard curb height of six inches occurs mainly in sections where sidewalk has been replaced. Remaining sections of curb are less than six inches due to overlaying of street pavement.
  • The sidewalks are mainly in poor to fair condition with broken and uneven pavement. Numerous patches occur in the sidewalk pavement due to underground utility improvements. In areas where new construction or street improvements have occurred at street intersections, the sidewalks are in good condition.

TOWER GROVE AVENUE CORRIDOR

  • Some sections of Tower Grove Avenue have been newly overlaid with asphalt leaving them in good condition. Most other areas of the street pavement have alligator cracking, sections where base pavement is exposed and numerous patches of pavement and should be considered in fair to poor condition.
  • Overall the sidewalks are in poor to fair condition with prevalent pavement cracking and uneven areas. Some sections of sidewalk have been replaced at intersections with road improvements. Where new building has occurred, new sidewalk has been installed.
  • Curbing in this section of Tower Grove Avenue is mainly granite curb with concrete curb occurring at street intersections. Overlaying of the street pavement has reduced the height of the curb to less than six inches.

NEWSTEAD AVENUE CORRIDOR: FOREST PARK PARKWAY TO CLAYTON AVENUE

  • The street pavement is in fair to poor condition with numerous patches, large amounts of alligator cracking, and sections of exposed base pavement.
  • The sidewalks are in fair to good condition. Decorative medallions have been added to the sidewalk. A short section north of the MetroLink tracks has uneven and cracked pavement, and the east sidewalk from Forest Park Parkway to Duncan Avenue has some remnants of a sidewalk in places.
  • Curbing material overall is composed of granite, but some areas closer to Forest Park Parkway are concrete.

DUNCAN AVENUE CORRIDOR: NEWSTEAD AVENUE TO SARAH STREET

  • The street pavement is in poor condition with numerous patches, large amounts of alligator cracking, and sections of exposed base pavement from raveling top mat of asphalt and potholes.
  • The sidewalks are in fair to poor condition. There are several sections of sidewalk which have been replaced, and those are located on the north and south sides of Duncan Avenue at the CORTEX and Solae Buildings and parking lots as well as the West End Lofts parking lot near the intersection of Sarah Street and Duncan Avenue.
  • Curbing material mainly is composed of granite except in the sections of the CORTEX and Solae buildings. (Page 82-83)

No mention of the problem at Duncan & Newstead.

HIERARCHY OF STREET USAGE BY PEDESTRIANS AND BIKES

From Stakeholder meetings with neighborhood committees and residents, City agencies and other concerned parties a hierarchy of primary pedestrian and bike routes were determined to help aid in the development of a Street-Level Connectivity Plan.

East-West Pedestrian Corridor: Laclede Avenue and Chouteau Avenue (Most Preferred) Forest Park Parkway (Least Preferred)

North-South Pedestrian Corridor: Newstead Avenue and Euclid Avenue (Most Preferred) Boyle Avenue and Taylor Avenue (Least Preferred)

East-West Bike Corridor: Chouteau Avenue (Most Preferred) Duncan Avenue (Least Preferred)

North-South Bike Routes: Newstead Avenue (Most Preferred) Vandeventer Avenue (Least Preferred (Page 85))

Hopefully you’ll be able to find detail I missed.  To me this is a plan filled with buzz words that’s already being ignored a year later, business as usual. I’ll repeat: CORTEX needs a pedestrian plan because this isn’t close.

— Steve Patterson

 

Lindell & Euclid: Worth the Wait

In April 2006 it looked like Opus Development would be moving forward on a high-rise condo tower at the NE corner of Lindell & Euclid. They’d revised the base and been granted a variance to permit the height. However, the project was abandoned even before the economy crashed.

Now Opus is back with a new proposal for the corner, Ald. Lyda Krewson tweeted on December 6th “Lindell Residences proposed for Lindell/Euclid – 217 first class apts.” with this pic attached:

Artist rendering of proposed building at Lindell & Euclid.
Artist rendering of proposed 12-story building at Lindell & Euclid. A later tweet in response to questions Ald. Krewson says they propose 240 parking spaces on three levels –two below grade, one above.
NextSTL then tweeted this image of the retail base.
NextSTL then tweeted this image of the retail base.
Revised proposal in April 2006
April 2006: Opus’ proposal for 26-story building, with a revised base from the Feb/March 2006 proposal.

Back in 2006 the historic code required heights to be relative to other buildings. The language, like many of our historic codes, was poorly written. Today the Central West End’s form-based code isn’t wishy-washy: maximum of 12 stories at this location.

The new form-based code and the mixed-use project one block south with apartments over a Whole Foods likely renewed interest in this conner. Ok, it is apartments instead of $300k condos. No big deal, when I rented an efficiency in The President 2 doors to the east in 1990 an A.G. Edwards VP rented the large apartment next door! Rental apartments aren’t a bad thing at all.

The NE corner of Lindell & Euclid was built in 1968. A high-rise was planned for this site when the economy crashed.
The NE corner of Lindell & Euclid was built in 1968.
The SW corner of Lindell & Euclid has been a parking lot for 20+ years
The SW corner of Lindell & Euclid has been a parking lot for 20+ years, will hopefully draw interest from developers for retail & residential.

While a tall tower makes the skyline more interesting, the latest proposal will have a bigger positive impact. The decision to go underground with most of the parking makes the base more appropriate.

I’m glad the 26-story building proposed in 2006 didn’t happen, the new proposal was worth the wait.

— Steve Patterson

 

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