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Opinion: Downtown Needs More Residential Units — Apartments Are Right for the Times

December 13, 2017 Downtown, Featured Comments Off on Opinion: Downtown Needs More Residential Units — Apartments Are Right for the Times

For my parent’s generation (The Silent Generation) the American dream was a good job, the same job, for life — paying off your mortgage. If you worked the same job for life moving was only necessary when you wanted a bigger place or smaller residence.  The days of people working for the same company for life is pretty much over. We change jobs…and careers frequently now. Along with a change of jobs comes a change of cities.

An apartment m the Arcade

This mobility means many don’t want to get tied to one address for too long. Apartments give people, especially young people, an opportunity to experience urban living with little commitment.

From 2015:

In 2013, the U.S. homeownership rate fell for the ninth straight year, clocking in at just 65.1 percent, the lowest level since 1995, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. First-time homebuyers, young people, and minorities participate less and less in the housing market. The big philosophical debate is when, if ever, they’ll come back and what that will mean for their wealth over the long-run. (The Atlantic)

A mix is good — ownership & rentals, affordable to high-end. The important thing for downtown is warm bodies, getting long-vacant buildings occupied. More than a decade ago leaders promised us a 24/7 downtown — we’re a long way from that, but more residents is a good thing.

The results of the recent Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: Downtown is building too many for-rent apartments, should stay focused on for-sale condos.

  • Strongly agree 0 [0%]
  • Agree 1 [3.45%]
  • Somewhat agree 9 [31.03%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 7 [24.14%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 7 [24.14%]
  • Strongly disagree 5 [17.24%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Apartments will continue throughout the city, but condos will return when the time is right.

— Steve Patterson


Sunday Poll: Condos vs Apartments…Does It Matter?

December 10, 2017 Downtown, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Condos vs Apartments…Does It Matter?
Please vote below

On Friday we learned about a proposed 33-story apartment tower across Broadway from Busch Stadium/Ballpark Village. A 29-story apartment tower is already planned within Ballpark Village.

Other recent new downtown residential projects include the 25-story Tower at OPOP at 411 North Eighth Street, which has one- and two-bedroom apartments that range between $1,295 and $2,700 per month. Two years ago, the rehab of the historic Arcade building added 282 apartments to the downtown market — the biggest single addition to downtown in decades.

In recent years, downtown has been one of the few city neighborhoods where population has been growing, as historic buildings were rehabbed into lofts and apartments amid sluggish demand for office space. Downtown’s population has more than doubled since 2000 to almost 9,000 as of last year. (Post-Dispatch)

A decade ago all the projects being built were condos, not apartments. Does it matter?

Here’s today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson


STL Downtown Multimodal Study Engagement Week Begins Today

September 18, 2017 Downtown, Events/Meetings, Featured, Transportation Comments Off on STL Downtown Multimodal Study Engagement Week Begins Today
Click image to view larger version in Facebook

Today kicks off a week of events, from the Facebook Event page:

You’re invited to join the City of St. Louis as we talk about the future of our Downtown transportation system. Join any of these half-day workshops. We hope you are able to attend and take part in the discussion!

The week includes 8 half-day workshops scheduled around various topics. Please review the engagement week flyer pictured for more information about the schedule breakdown. Each workshop consists of different activities to gain feedback important to the study.

Walkabouts in Downtown will take place periodically throughout the engagement week. If you have an interest in participating in this portion, please contact Jacque at [email protected]

For more information contact Jacqueline Ann (Jacque Lumsden) at [email protected] (CBB Transportation Engineers + Planners) or at (314) 449 – 9565.

City of St. Louis Project Manager: Dan Buschmeyer, Board of Public Service.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Monday 9/18
    • Morning: bike
    • Afternoon: pedestrian
    • Evening: general session
  • Tuesday 9/19
    • Morning: event traffic management/traffic
    • Afternoon:parking
  • Wednesday 9/20
    • Morning: transit
    • Afternoon: technology
  • Thursday 0/21
    • Morning: hot spot locations
    • Afternoon: policy issues (freight/travel demand/curbside issues)

All will take place in the 1st floor boardroom at 1520 Market. Foe more specifics see the Facebook Event page.

— Steve Patterson



‘The Walk’ Two Decades Later

September 11, 2017 Downtown, Featured Comments Off on ‘The Walk’ Two Decades Later
The 20th anniversary Walk will begin Thursday 9/14 on the SW corner of 8th & Pine.

Twenty years ago today a small group of fellow Gen-Xers gathered in a pretty dead downtown St. Louis. Their goal was simple — keep businesses open later than 5pm.  Thursday they’ll meet up again, from the event page:

On Thursday, Sept. 11, 1997 a few fine folks came together and walked to a few bars in downtown St. Louis with the simple premise of trying to keep downtown St. Louis alive after 5, one bar at a time. The Walk, as it quickly came to be known was the staple, weekly event for Metropolis St. Louis for a number of years. Many memories and lasting friendships (and more) were formed. Some even credit Metropolis with kickstarting the revitalization of downtown into what it has become today!

Somehow 20 years have flown by. And we’re here to celebrate that with another Walk.

We will meet and be prepared to leave the starting point of 8th and Pine at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 (read: be ready to head out at 6:30) and walk to three locations — four if you’re adventerous. If you’re driving, you might want to park around the 10th & Olive area.

Since technology has advanced just a wee bit since back in the day, there will be no Walk phone. Join us at 8th & Pine or catch up at one of the following places:

6:45 – Jack Patricks
7:45 – Hair of the Dog
8:45 – Missouri Bar & Grille
9:45 – ….We’ll tell you later, but promise it will be fun!

In the meantime get prepped to hear “WE’RE WALKING!” on Sept. 14.

The City is back. Back the City.

While I participated in The Walk a number of times back in the day, I don’t think I was present on the first. I was not a leader in Metropolis, but did participate at times. I was 30 when the first The Walk took place, I’d bought a 2-family in Dutchtown 3 years earlier, living previously in Murphy-Blair (now recognized as Old North St. Louis). Downtown was nothing really, though I moved here 27+ years ago I have few memories of downtown in the 90s.

The lsat Walk I participated in was in early 2006 in the Ville, see Metropolis’ Walk Heading To The Ville.

— Steve Patterson


One Building On Locust Being Renovated While Another Awaits Demolition

September 1, 2017 Downtown, Featured, History/Preservation Comments Off on One Building On Locust Being Renovated While Another Awaits Demolition

Over 4 years ago the then-owner of a couple of buildings at 10th & Locust wanted to raze them for a hotel driveway for the 3rd building, the tallest. Many objected, the city’s Preservation Board repeatedly said no to demolition.

In June 2013 the first two buildings were threatened with demolition.

I’ve not followed the current project, but work is underway at at least two of the three.City records show a demolition permit was issued on 8/17/2017 for the 3-story on the NE corner of 10th & Locust (923 Locust St.), with the later Tudor-revival facade. The exterior isn’t original to the building, but it’s important to have massing on this corner.

For a while now all 3 have been behind a construction fence.
Workers can be seen weekdays

Hopefully a new building will be built on the corner, ideally taller — at least as tall as the adjacent building being rehabbed.

— Steve Patterson




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