Friday Live Chat

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live chat

It’s back, the Friday Live Chat. You know what to do – just use the comments section below. We’re open from 2-3pm today:

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  • hot ham and cheese

    Anything on BPV? Anything at all?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Eh…been a while. Had heard about a…ahem…parking garage with rooftop seating… 🙁

  • John R

    You hearing any chatter on a large office tenant possibly opening downtown?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Hearing of two office buildings in the works. I’ll assume they have tenants looking/signed.

      • tony

        What is the latest with the AT&T building, with tenants?

      • John R

        Crazy times! I agree spec seems unlikely.

        • Alex Ihnen

          There’s still a ton of vacancy, and existing supply is still relatively cheap. Perhaps a developer is finding someone wants something nice in a specific location.

          • John R

            Whoever it is has to really want new construction space… as they’ll have to pay a premium over current Class A rents.

  • John R

    Any updates on the Chesterfield IKEA? Haven’t heard anything on that since you broke the news.

    • Alex Ihnen

      That news is broken!

  • Does the NGA decision clear a lot of Paul McKee’s previous money/investment issues, and do we start hearing his name a lot more over the next few months?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Yes, presumably. The big thing is that he retains development rights and access to TIF across 1,500 acres of the city. He’s still in the driver’s seat, so to speak.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Perhaps he now has the $10 to renew northsidestl.com.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Actually, I think this was the domain:

  • Just thinking of some of the City’s largest tax-exempt institutions (your universities, your religious institutions, and now NGA) and that they don’t pay property taxes to the city or state. I wonder if revisiting the tax code to greenlight taxing of undeveloped land holdings would make sense (not that it would ever be approved), as a way both to prevent the type of land-banking we’ve seen from SLU and to “right size” land usage for developments such as NGA.

    /just spitballin’

    • Alex Ihnen

      Some partners are better than others. WUSTL made its off-campus real estate company a for-profit, so it now pays taxes, Harris-Stowe, SLU, the archdiocese…are good partners in some ways and not in others. The city does and should explore more PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) with them. This could be support for transit, rebuilding intersections and other infrastructure, etc.

      I’m wondering that now the NGA is staying, what the earnings tax impact will be. If NGA expands to 4,000 workers, and positions pay $100K, that’s a big positive impact. If the earnings tax goes away… there’s 99 acres in the city producing absolutely zero income. Perhaps increasing the earnings tax is the way forward. 😉

  • What’s your opinion on the possible sidewalk vacation—all of 50 sq ft—in the Central West End?
    https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/city-laws/board-bills/boardbill.cfm?bbDetail=true&BBId=10384

    • Alex Ihnen

      My opinion is that those bills are nearly impossible to interpret. It *appears that perhaps a small part of the public right-of-way (or perhaps one side of the street?) is being given to WU to construct piers to support the planned elevated walkway? Would be no surprise if the street+sidewalks were entirely vacated here.

    • Stephanie H

      If it is going where I think it is going, that portion of sidewalk already had stairs blocking some of the sidewalk in the past. If it is going closer to Taylor, I still don’t think it will have much impact on campus (or Metro) pedestrian traffic.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Best image I could find of it – looks like a minimal impact? But again, wouldn’t surprise me to see the street vacated eventually.

  • Thoughts on Pruitt-Igoe Site Re-Zoning now that NGA has committed? Does this conversation pick up steam, or is something further out from NGA?

    • Alex Ihnen

      The Pruitt-Igoe site may be most directly impacted of any site outside the NGA footprint. It’s 30+ acres in one piece and so presumably attractive to developers in a way the scattered 25ft lots in other nearby areas are not.

      • tony

        If the larger lots are somewhat more attractive to develop, what do you see in the future for the Carter Carb. building? Not even sure where it stands with the cleanup.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Believe it’s been demo’d. IMO – that site is too far from NGA to see a direct impact. Perhaps a project like North Sarah could be built though, but I haven’t heard of anything.

  • Mike B

    Pelican Building on South Grand, any info? Also the old Y next door?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Good questions. Nothing since this last April: https://nextstl.com/2015/04/driving-by-south-grand-new-buildings-miss-the-mark/. Guess is it’s still being marketed, but hasn’t found enough tenants.

      • Mike B

        Heard a rumor of the Dominoes moving from down the street into Pelican, FWIW.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Can see that. I’d bet they do more delivery from the South Grand location than walk-in.

        • Stephanie H

          I heard that rumor too.

          • Alex Ihnen

            That’s certainly the type of tenant that can get a project going – long term predictable rent.

  • Aaron Becker

    Any word of happenings around The Gate District/Tiffany? Any idea if SLU will be doing anything with their land holdings east of Grand?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing. The $500M+ SSM/SLU hospital and the future of Desloge will dictate a lot in the area. Outside that footprint, SLU seems as happy as ever to sit and wait.

  • Alex Ihnen

    Town & Country perhaps getting a town square…NGA choosing North STL City…other NorthSide stuff…mostly quiet on the MLS front… There’s a lot happening in St. Louis.

    • tony

      So in your opinion, what needs to happen first to get the ball rolling on the north side, in addition to the NGA offices? Is it realistic to expect housing to start to fill in between old north and the new site within the first few years?

      • Alex Ihnen

        Optimistically, the NGA is a sign to some that it’s safe to invest in the area. Perhaps more importantly than the jobs, the project provides predictability. It’s also quite close to the city’s central corridor – a pretty good location. All development in the area is likely to be subsidized (via TIF, and other incentives) for some time. What needs to happen is to have development opportunities be truly open to many developers, big and small. Not sure that happens with McKee retaining development rights across 1,500 acres surrounding NGA.

        • John R

          I wonder if downtown & cortex area may be the biggest real estate winners from the NGA relocation to North City…. both with encouraging private companies (esp. tech-related) to the established tech/office areas as well as residents.

      • Alex Ihnen

        FYI – here’s an old map showing retail sites marketed by NorthSide, and an outline of the development area: