What else…Prop P_WU/BJC_CAM

What else… this is something of an editor’s notes column I plan to run whenever I think of it. It’s an add-on, brain dump, non-linked or illustrated post intended to expand on issues with nextSTL and perhaps reveal a little more of the who-where-what-when-why of the site itself. We’ll see how it goes.
Prop P is just around the corner. If you’ve been reading along, you likely know that I’m not a fan of how this ballot initiative came about. When challenged on the process, several supporters have told me I’m welcome to go to Jefferson City and get my own legislation passed for whatever initiative I care about. This very well highlights what I think is often wrong with our civic and political leadership. Such a suggestion is tone-deaf at best and mockingly derisive at worst. Neither is good.

I believe that my dislike for Prop P has been detailed already, but I understand that those tuning in to the process just now, or even those better informed on the issues, might not inherently see my position as being clear. After all, the Post-Dispatch butchered it. Anyway, in brief: I like much of what has been planned at the Arch grounds, the physical elements proposed. I do not like the proposal for how to pay for it. These are very different issues. It’s like looking at a Ferrari and loving just about everything about it, but choosing not to buy it. There’s probably a better analogy out there, but hopefully you get the idea. That said, I fully expect Prop to pass. And it could end up being a good idea IF other counties in the metro region follow soon after and pass the measure themselves. Look for Illinois counties to be told they’ll need to do so in order to see any of the east side plans come to fruition.

BJC/Children’s Hospital – We got a preliminary glimpse this week at the changes coming to the BJC/Children’s Hospital portion of the Central West End medical campus. More than a year ago, nextSTL discussed what we might see in lieu of the announced $1B investment across the campus in the coming decade. The change has only just begun. There’s BioMed21, the BJC headquarters and now two new patient towers (oh, and Shriners). And there’s much more to come. Is it any wonder housing is booming along the central corridor, Whole Foods is coming in and Mercedes is moving in from the County? Looking further down the road, the area could see a streetcar and IKEA and…? There are plenty of naysayers, but it’s obviously past time to acknowledge that the central corridor is hot. It’s changing fast, and for the better.

What else… Next Tuesday I start my new job as Director of Development at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining CAM. The position will bring with it many challenges of course, but I welcome them with open arms (and an open mind) and can’t wait to get started. If you haven’t explored CAM, or perhaps have only been there for an event, come by, check it out and say ‘hi’. The institution is an incredible asset to the St. Louis community and has great potential to grow its profile. It will also be exciting to be in Grand Center and see firsthand the revitalization of the Sun Theater, development of the KETC/KWMU media commons, hopefully the Palladium, and much more.