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Market Open Across From Emerson Park Light Rail Station In East St. Louis

January 23, 2015 Featured, Metro East, Retail 1 Comment

St. Louis has had very little success with transit-oriented development since our original light rail line, MetroLink, opened in 1993. From the start the Emerson Park station in East St. Louis, which opened in May 2001, was different. The station includes some storefront space and around the station homes & apartments have been added over the years, a recent addition is Eco Jazz, see New Senior Housing A Bright Spot In East Saint Louis.

And a few months ago Jazz Ensemble Market opened for business:

Jazz Ensemble Market believes that food is the connection that brings us all together. When we sit at the dinner table, we share our moments with family, friends and food gives us opportunities to connect.

Serving the East St. Louis Community is our core business philosophy.  We are locally owned. Any purchase that is made in the store, stays in East St Louis. We are locally operated. All employees come from within East St. Louis. We are neighbors serving neighbors, the way it should be.

Our community involvement is vast. We are partnering with local vendors, local producers, local outreach groups to give each other a helping hand up. We are working with other local organizations to develop and implement solutions to their challenging problems.

Jazz Ensemble Market will never be on the side lines of the community.

For far too long East St. Louis has been a food insecure area, and we are the foundation to turn that around.

Let’s take a look…

The Jazz Ensemble Market as seen from the MetroLink platform, it opened last Fall in the ground floor of the new  Jazz at Walter Circle senior housing building
The Jazz Ensemble Market as seen from the MetroLink platform, it opened last Fall in the ground floor of the new Eco Jazz./Jazz at Walter Circle senior housing building
Looking toward the transit station from the market's door we see a WB train
Looking toward the transit station from the market’s door we see a WB train
Inside the market has a small deli
Inside the market has a small deli
Some produce near frozen foods
Some produce near frozen foods
More produce next to dairy
More produce next to dairy
Room for more produce!
Room for more produce!

The nearest larger grocery store is a Schnuck’s at 25th & State — a 1.5 mile/30 minute walk from the station.  The number of people walking to/from the market and station was encouraging. A seating area up front lets you enjoy your deli purchase while looking at the station, the free wi-fi let’s you stay connected.

This adds up to be a great subject for Good News Friday (#gnf)!

— Steve Patterson

 

Restrooms Are For Customers Only

December 18, 2014 Featured, Retail 3 Comments

We’ve all encountered businesses that keep their public restroom(s) under lock & key, requiring you to ask for a key at the counter. The other day I had lunch with a couple of friends but the restroom access was simple while keeping out non-customers.

Restroom sign & lock at the Chipotle at the "Flying Saucer" on Grand.
Restroom sign & lock at the Chipotle at the “Flying Saucer” on Grand.

Each receipt has a restroom code, the deadbolt you lock on the inside shows to others if the restroom is occupied or vacant. Great solution! I’m not sure how often they change the code, still probably easier than messing with a key on a stick or letting non-customers use the restrooms.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Want A Trader Joe’s in the City

December 17, 2014 Featured, Retail 13 Comments

On Sunday, as this poll was ongoing, I was shopping at Trader Joe’s — the store I most want to open a location within the City of St. Louis.  TJ’s was the top answer in the poll, followed by Apple Store and Costco.

Interior of the recently expanded Trader Joe's in Brentwood.
Interior of the recently expanded Trader Joe’s in Brentwood.

The results:

Q: Which retail stores, if any, in our region would you like to see open a location in the City of St. Louis? (pick up to 5)

  1. Trader Joe’s 30 [16.57%]
  2. TIE
    1. Apple Store 19 [10.5%]
    2. Costco 19 [10.5%]
  3. Lucky’s Market 10 [5.52%]
  4. Dierbergs 9 [4.97%]
  5. TIE
    1. Crate & Barrell 7 [3.87%]
    2. Macy’s 7 [3.87%]
    3. Marshalls 7 [3.87%]
  6. TIE
    1. Old Navy 6 [3.31%]
    2. Walmart 6 [3.31%]
    3. Other: 6 3.31% [3.31%]
      1.  Target
      2. Rural King
      3. Microsoft Store
      4. Walgreens
      5. Target (downtown)
      6. Dollar General
  7. TIE
    1. Best Buy 5 [2.76%]
    2. Cost Plus World Market 5 [2.76%]
    3. Nordstrom 5 [2.76%]
  8. TIE
    1. Sears 4 [2.21%]
    2. T.J. Maxx 4 [2.21%]
    3. Williams-Sonoma 4 [2.21%]
  9. TIE
    1. Cabela’s 3 [1.66%]
    2. Home Goods 3 [1.66%]
    3. Pottery Barn 3 [1.66%]
    4. Pier 1 Imports 3 [1.66%]
    5. Sam’s 3 [1.66%]
    6. None 3 [1.66%]
  10. TIE
    1. Dillard’s 2 [1.1%]
    2. h.h. gregg 2 [1.1%]
    3. Kitchen Conservatory 2 [1.1%]
  11. TIE
    1. Menards 1 [0.55%]
    2. Ross 1 [0.55%]
    3. Sur La Table 1 [0.55%]
    4. Tuesday morning 1 [0.55%]
  12. American Girl 0 [0%]

I suspected Trader Joe’s would be the top answer, especially considering the reation to my last April Fool’s Joke (see Mixed-Use Building with a Trader Joe’s Coming to Grand & Lindell Corner). Seriously, we need a Trader Joe’s in the city, going out to the suburbs is just to inconvenient.

In the other there were two suggestions for a Target, presumably both downtown. I concur, an urban Target downtown would be great — much better than a traditional department store. Not sure why someone listed Dollar General, there are two within the city.

— Steve Patterson

 

Business Coming To West Florissant

December 5, 2014 Featured, Retail Comments Off on Business Coming To West Florissant

West Florissant Ave in St. Louis or its suburbs isn’t the most prosperous of commercial streets, still I see local entrepreneurs earning a living, providing needed products & services, and employing others.

For a few months now I’ve seen a vacant building as I pass by on the bus or drive by. The other day I noticed something new.

The building at 7365 W Florissant in Jennings will become a Hawaiian Grill
The building at 7365 W Florissant in Jennings will become a Hawaiian Grill, click for map

A “Coming Soon” sign was added. This is very encouraging to see, especially just a mile from the Ferguson city limits. Being next door to a popular Velvet Freeze is probably a wise business decision.

I wish them well.

— Steve Patterson

 

A Look At Property Damage On West Florissant

Following the late evening announcement on Monday November 24, 2014 of the grand jury’s decision to not indict former officer Darren Wilson, we saw destruction far worse than we had in August. After the QT was torched on the night of Sunday August 10th I began the process of photographing every building along W. Florissant starting at the railroad tracks in Jennings to Pershall Rd next to I-270.  I recently returned to photograph the recent damage, allowing me to show you before & after photos.

We’ll start on the south end and work our way north.

Ferguson:

9163 W. Florissant, just north of McDonald's, in August
9163 W. Florissant, just north of McDonald’s, in August. Click image to view map.
The front now
November 28th
The building was very deep
The building was very deep
Side-facing storefronts now
Side-facing storefronts now
HealSTL was located in the last space
HealSTL was located in the last space
And now
And now
Sam's Meat Market 9241 W Florissant
Sam’s Meat Market 9241 W Florissant on August 11th
August 16th
August 16th
November 28th
November 28th
Public Storage at 9291 W. Florissant in August
Public Storage office at 9291 W. Florissant in August
November 28th
November 28th

Dellwood:

Hunan Chop Suey at 9806 W. Florissant on August 18th
Hunan Chop Suey at 9806 W. Florissant on August 18th
November 28th
November 28th
Title Max at 9814 W Florissant in August
Title Max at 9814 W Florissant in August
November 28th
November 28th
The Fashion R Boutique at 9844 W. Florissant in August
The Fashion R Boutique at 9844 W. Florissant in August
November 28th
November 28th
O'Reily Auto Parts on August 19th
O’Reily Auto Parts on August 19th
November 28th
November 28th
The Autozone at 10am on August 11th, the morning after the QT was burned
The AutoZone at 10am on August 11th, the morning after the QT was burned. Windows were broken here.
The AutoZone at 9947 W. Florissant in Dellwood was one of many businesses burned following the grand jury decision.   Photo date: August 19, 2014
More than a week later, on August 19th, the broken windows are boarded.
The same AutoZone on Friday November 28th
The same AutoZone on Friday November 28th
Prime Beauty Supply at 1475 Chambers at W. Florissant
Prime Beauty Supply at 1475 Chambers at W. Florissant in August
On November 20th they had boarded their windows
On November 20th they had boarded their windows
A week later
A week later
AutoBuyCredit at 10250 W. Florissant in August
AutoBuyCredit at 10250 W. Florissant in August
Their car lot in August
Their car lot in August
A total of 16 cars were destroyed in November
A total of 16 cars were destroyed in November
I don't seem to have a good before of the Conoco station at 10280 W. Florissant, just north of the car lot.
I don’t seem to have a good before of the Conoco station at 10280 W. Florissant, just north of the car lot.

Much more damage in Dellwood. I doubt all will be rebuilt. The adjacent residential housing is nice, but it may not stay that way if the commercial district doesn’t come back.

— Steve Patterson

 

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