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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  • tpekren

    Any good MLS rumors out there. Who might the individual who MLS2STL might be interested in lead ownership.? MLS2STL noted progress as per Post Dispatch earlier in the week but light on specifics

    • Alex Ihnen

      I think the assumption is that Jim Kavanaugh is a lead prospect for local ownership, and the stadium will be downtown, though not on the north riverfront. Hopefully there’s more to share soon!

      • tpekren

        Hope that path holds true. What would probably be a big disappointment for a lot of people is somehow it goes down the path of Howards Bend/Maryland Heights which I’m sure their is a few vying for developments more than glad to suggest to Jim K that since WWT decided on Westport for HQ that a MSL stadium is the next logical development for Maryland Heights if I got my Jim K connections correct.

  • John R

    With the nearly complete student-oriented off-campus housing project on W. Pine, do you think that type of offering has pretty much run its course in that area or do you think more are to come?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Well, I keep hearing that the percentage of students in some of those developments is lower than one might expect, as in ~40%. The Standard is really student focused, but the others less so. I think they meet a demand to be near Cortex/CWE/Medical Center in new construction. Although I don’t believe SLU’s enrollment is growing, I do think there will be more. It will be interesting to see what happens with SLU dorms opening.

  • rgbose

    Can enough outside pressure sink the Maryland Heights floodplain TIF?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’d bet not, but we should try. Perhaps realistic to push for whichever plan is the least harmful/crazy.

    • tpekren

      Can’t think of any possible development in this location that would be any different than what can be offered somewhere else in the county. My hope is a lot more other apartment and mulit unit residential projects elsewhere can be broken ground to soak up the demand. I certainly can’t think why more box stores are needed for West County.

  • rgbose

    Will a small apartment building (2-6 units) be ever built again?

    • Alex Ihnen

      They should! The Pershing UIC single-family plan would have been a nice spot. Easy to imagine a six-unit building occupied by an owner. There may be limited appeal for that in St. Louis today, but maybe we’re heading that way.

      There are a couple 2-6 unit apartment buildings north of The Loop:

      • rgbose

        I bring it up because they’re are at a scale an individual can own which is better for building local wealth.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Exactly. I think the scale is tough to finance. The 20-unit building on Manchester in The Grove is one of the smallest infill apt projects. Things like Aventura, The Standard, etc. attract REIT $.

          • rgbose

            Need a small scale developer workshop here.

    • That’s a great, great, GREAT question, Richard. Diversifies ownership (and neighborhood “ownership”) and built environment. A case could be made that — in certain areas — a block of 8 four-flats is more transformative than one 60-unit apartment building.

  • John R

    Any word on the two proposed developments on Pershing written up here?
    https://nextstl.com/2015/07/new-apartment-building-proposed-for-parking-lot-on-pershing-5510-pershing/

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing, other than that financing is not in place (last I heard). Don’t know the odds of those getting off the ground, but I’d say they’re firmly in maybe/maybe not territory.

  • Jim Arsenault

    What are your thoughts on the Centene campus master plan? Assuming one could use the incentives they are seeking as leverage in the design, what would you want to see changed?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Hope to write something up…but here are a few thoughts:
      1. Phase parking construction and include parking audits to assess use/need.
      1a. Require support for free employee transit passes and real bike commuting facilities.
      2. Add more residential
      3. Require zero non-activated/occupied facades along Forsyth or Carondelet.

      • tpekren

        I think it makes a lot of sense transit wise to look at extending loop trolley west along Delmar and then south on Hanley or maybe Brentwood into Clayton CBD.
        ..
        Delmar metrolink station/loop trolley TOD would have some pretty great transit access to the region job centers & institution/transportation networks as well as walkable neighborhoods with the Loop itself , Wash U, Forest Park so on….

        • Alex Ihnen

          My first thought is that connecting The Loop to the Clayton CBD isn’t of great value. Just thinking through the who & when of possible ridership.

          • tpekren

            I’m thinking in terms of connecting a jobs center/node with an area ripe for dense residential to come back that offers a lot in terms of walkable amenities

  • John R

    Vital question here…. what will open up first in the Gill’s dual-building rehab at Manchester and Tower Grove: Vincent Van Donuts or Sauce on the Side? Which will be more tasty?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Some things are unknowable/unanswerable.

      • John R

        I’m just hoping they pair up to make a donut calzone.

  • Mike B

    Random, but do you know anything about this building on Lafayette Ave?

  • Will M

    Any word on whats goin on at Union Station? Anything you can share?

    Same question to be asked for the properties surrounding busch stadium (cupples, bpv phase 2, and the lot next to tums)?

    do you think that JA and Butler Brothers projects are achievable through Alterra?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing to share on Union Station, other than what has already been announced won’t be the highest profile attraction there. Union Station is massive and that project is going to take a long time to come together, but we should hear more about their plans soon.

      Nothing new on Cupples X, nor Ballpark Village. The last seemingly solid rumor from there was a new building directly east of the existing one, with more entertainment, rooftop seats, and parking.

      Alterra is the best shot at redeveloping those buildings in a very long time. They’re still a big haul. It’s great to hear a developer bullish on the city, a vision doesn’t equal ownership, doesn’t equal financing, doesn’t equal groundbreaking, etc. Hopefully things continue quickly with both. Today, JA is under contract, and Butler Bros is just an idea/conversation.

  • John R

    What do you make of the Stenger blow up of N/S Metrolink study? Will anything break ground on rapid transit this generation?

    • Alex Ihnen

      1. It will matter if Stenger is a one-term county exec.
      2. St. Louis City needs to get creative/progressive with funding in the absence of cooperation with county.
      3. There needs to be federal matching $ available.

      It’s a long road (so to speak!), but I do think we’ll see a N/S line within 5-6yrs. Whether that’s a longer line that also serves N/S county, or a short streetcar, we’ll see.