And Then Some: nextSTL News Roundup

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There’s a lot more happening in the St. Louis region than we’re able to cover at nextSTL. While we try to hit the big stories, provide context to the news, and insight about trends and policy, a lot of important developments and updates are missed. So here’s a little more of what’s happening in St. Louis. We’ll call it, “And Then Some”. If you want to play-by-play of happenings and opinions, be sure to follow nextSTL on Twitter and Facebook.

South County Connector - St. LouisSouth County Connector on hold, St. Louis County officials say – STLToday.com
The South County Connector is a proposal to run a large road, or highway, through Maplewood. Proponents have said it would better link South St. Louis County to Clayton. It’s a hot mess of a bad idea, and communities in its path have spoken publicly against it. It’s an idea from the 1960s that doesn’t seem to want to die. Incoming St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger appears lightly opposed to it, but lack of available funding may been what keeps this project from happening. While it being “on hold” is good, it’s not yet dead.

TechShop Commits to Build Workshop in St. Louis’ Cortex District – KMOX News
We had a write-up of efforts to bring Tech Shop to St. Louis back in February of this year, but it wasn’t a sure thing at that point. Now, according to Michael Calhoun of KMOX, Tech Shop is making it official. With locations in the Bay Area, Austin, TX, and Washington D.C., St. Louis joins a select list of locations. Tech Shop is something like a 21st Century high school industrial arts workshop on steroids for entrepreneurs. Individuals, businesses, and organizations can purchase memberships and gain access to equipment like laser cutters, 3D printers, woodworking tools, welding tools and even industrial sewing machines. Tech Shop STL will be located in the Brauer Supply building at the corner of Boyle and Forest Park Avenue.

Parking Meter Rates To Increase In St. Louis; Smartphone Payment Method Rollout Begins – St. Louis Public Radio
Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking is something of the Jacob’s Death and Life of Great American Cities for urban transportation enthusiasts. We don’t know if St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones has read it, but she’s well on her to way to implemented some common sense changes for the City. Parking meters located in high traffic areas (spaces that are rarely empty) will charge a $1.50 an hour, while low traffic areas (spaces that are virtually always empty) will charge $1 an hour (up from $1 and $0.75 respectively). There are more welcome changes on the way and we hope to have a bigger story on the changes in the near future.

North_SouthCoalition wants MetroLink north-south route through St. Louis – STLToday.com
The North/South MetroLink line has been long planned. It was even dangled by proponents of Prop A, the successful effort a couple years ago to pass a St. Louis County sales tax to support regional transit (which also triggered a city sales tax passed years before). A full study of the proposed line began in 2005 and was completed in 2008. Metro has been focused on financial challenges to the existing system, including the Blue Line, which opened in 2006, ever since. Outgoing St. Louis County Executive was known to favor a light rail extension to Westport in the county. Recent events in Ferguson, and a growing awareness and commitment to serve economically challenged north and south St. Louis County communities may breathe new life into this stalled plan. A North/South MetroLink Expansion Facebook page supporting the initiative gained more than 1,300 Likes in less than a week.

Blues MuseumSound funding: Blues museum work to begin next month – St. Louis Business Journal
It’s been a long road, but the first national blues museum in the county appears ready to roll. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, financing for the nearly $14 million project, including nearly $6 million in various tax credits, closed Nov. 12. The museum will occupy 23,000sf at the corner of Sixth Street and Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. The museum is being designed as an interactive experience, and will include a small performance space, restaurant, and bar. It is scheduled to open in May 2015. Developer Spinnaker transformed the former Dillards department store into an Embassy Suites Hotel and Laurel Apartments in 2012, and continues to develop the MX District.

This week on nextSTL

$70 Million Amusement Park Project Next Phase for Union Station Redevelopment

Green Street’s $85M Chouteau’s Grove Gets Bigger, More Detailed

As Wealth and Residents Flee, St. Louis County Munis Turn to Fines and Fees

A Blog, A Tumblr, and a Better City of St. Louis Parks Website

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