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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  • Guest

    Any word on Cupples X? Is it stuck in purgatory at the moment?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Sorry for the late reply. It’s very much alive. Believe we’ll be able to share more soon! Nothing’s done though, to be sure.

  • Frank Absher

    Soooo, what do you hear about the long-delayed development of the Pelican/Southside Y sites by a Domino’s Pizza owner?

  • Guest

    What the probability that we actually see a CORTEX hotel, residential tower, the Lawrence Group’s Foundry 24 story residential & other office tower, and the potential Green Street residential tower by the Armory all come to fruition? If all eventually get built then the central corridor would have quite a few more high rises.

    • Alex Ihnen

      35%

      • Guest

        Any insight on what is most realistic to actually get built? I’m assuming CORTEX is the best bet but thoughts on the Lawrence Groups towers?

        • Alex Ihnen

          Cortex is ready to go – we’ll hear something soon. I’d put LG next – at least The Foundry is happening, with its success dictating a future phase tower, then a tower at The Armory? I’m guessing though.

          • Tim E

            I would assume GS Armory grand vision is tough to see happening anytime soon. Have a tougher time seeing a hotel happening at the location between CORTEX/Wexford proposal, LG Foundry probably working that angle, LG/Bull Moose Grande Center hotel, Drury landbanking nearby and Zoo development of the old Forest Park Hospital site which believe includes a hotel in its latest vision.
            Nor do I see Armory as a viable entertainment venue when you got a lot of venues already out there on of districts such the Loop, the Grove, Wash; Ave not too mention the fact that LG Foundry will be connected pretty well relative to the Foundry

          • Alex Ihnen

            The Armory would fill a niche with its size and not compete directly against those other venues. At least that’s the thinking. It makes sense to me.

  • moorlander

    It’s been discussed before but I’m curious if you’ve heard anything new. When does construction start on the new NGA? What will happen to the current NGA facility. Any update on Whether Buster Brown Shoe building will be relocated?

    • STLrainbow

      Per a recent KMOV story on thieves in the area, residents in the zone are supposed to be out by Thanksgiving. I assume we’ll see some demolition and site prep/infrastructure work begin not long after. Haven’t heard anything about Brown Shoe and doubt it’ll be saved.

      • Tim E

        If not mistaken, believe a requirement of the city was to have all the necessary land in position per STL comments. Can’t recall exact date, maybe Nov 15th or 30th

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’m skeptical re: Brown Shoe. 🙁

      Work is underway to clear the site. Once people have moved out, demo work and clearing infrastructure will start quickly.

  • Alex Ihnen

    By the way, Peter Rush was in Soulard recently. A sketch in process:
    _
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0952300f0a23b6200c9c5b975c4fb5ca6e6707264106daba4add2d41258434e0.jpg

  • The planned gas station and grocery store at the new “Tucker Triangle” is certainly a disappointment — of use for the the first, of form for the second. That space should have been an important, if not iconic, connector between downtown and near north.

    For those parcels — and the area adjacent to the new downtown entrance via the Stan Musial Bridge — why, oh why, wasn’t there discussion of a form-based development code to fully take advantage of the opportunity presented by this $600M+ project?!?!

    • Alex Ihnen

      You couldn’t be more right. Who is in a position to lead that discussion from the city’s side?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/abecab25079b6beb781b328f24fd253893ccdfd08e08b16b55935b341160255a.jpg

      Given that it is also being subsidized via TIF, there are a few people/offices involved in a project like this, but who’s going to make them take about doing something better?

      • Who indeed! The Ward 5 alderman certainly hasn’t shown much of any inclination to take actions unless directly benefiting or expressly approved by Mr. McKee and the northside “family”. If not for n’hood boundaries and accompanying courtesies, it would make sense for Downtown STL Inc. to get involved as this is, in essence, downtown’s new entryway.

        No, as a functional and aspirational City, this duty should fall under the purview of the City’s Planning & Urban Design Agency, whose role, oddly enough, is to, well, plan and design these and other urban sites.

        PUDA should be using a data-driven approach to insist that all properties be put to the best practical use for the growth and health of the City as a whole, and forming the codes, maps and guidelines to do it. In a way, they should be activists, pushing the Board of Aldermen to carefully consider the Citywide long-game. In a way, the Board of Aldermen should answer to them, not the other way around.

      • rgbose

        Put resources into auto infrastructure and you get auto-oriented land uses. No surprise

    • jkf1220

      Agree. This is yet another example of why need vision and leadership in a real cohesive and integrated development plan for downtown (and the city). This is a major gateway into the city created by a $5oo million investment in infrastructure and this is the best we can do? A larger vision for this corridor should include the reuse of PD building and parking lots, the teardown and reuse of the garage at Locust & Tucker, the redevelopment of Jefferson Arms, adjacent new construction of mixed use with parking for Jeff Arms, new median and streetscaping on Tucker all the way to Gateway Mall and eventually through to Spruce on the South.

      • Alex Ihnen

        It was surprising to me to not see Downtown STL Inc, the Downtown Neighborhood Association, etc. publicly engaged in this. Perhaps it’s outside their boundaries and they didn’t want to be engaged.

        Every NorthSide concept, every image, site plan, mock-up, etc. of this area (and all the rhetoric to go with the Stan Span) all indicated the wish for a development with urban form. But if it’s not codified, if people don’t push back, this is what we get. And we subsidize it. SMH

        • jkf1220

          I fully understand the limited resources of people and money that is a constant, significant and very real challenge. But, in the realm of limited resources and prioritizing, we need to ensure that our major investments have a catalytic effect. The community has already made the enormous investment in the bridge that needs to be leverage to the best possible effect. Same is true BTW with our investment in the Arch Grounds which should have been supported with committment to Laclede’s Landing and north riverfront.

        • Alex P

          The conversation of a downtown Form-Based Code has already been started. Unfortunately after what happened at Downtown STL Inc. on Monday morning, we’re going to have to work a lot harder to keep the conversation going. As for the Tucker Triangle, DNA and DSI really stop their scope at Cole St. However, parts of NorthSide Regeneration do fall within said scope, that is, Downtown West. If Downtown CID money was to fund research for a Form-Based Code, that land would definitely be included.

          • STLrainbow

            what’s the deal over there now at DTSTL, Inc.?

          • Alex P

            Craig Heller was working as head of business development and retention. He was suddenly let go Monday morning, a reason was not publicly announced. Personally, I really liked his views on the future of Downtown e.g. better sidewalks, reduction of one-way streets, form-based code, etc. Many of these views were expressed last year in a DNA public meeting on Form-Based Codes.

          • STLrainbow

            So is there any vision/plan there now?

          • Alex P

            In terms of Downtown STL Inc. investing in an updated master plan for DT? I’m guessing it’s almost back to square one with Heller leaving. I say “updated” because I’m sure there have been a couple master plans done in recent decades. But currently there is no plan that I’ve seen referenced on a regular basis. Hence why the Form-Based Code is essential, it’s not a reference guide that fades in ten years, it’s law.

          • STLrainbow

            thanks… yeah, seems like DTSTL Inc has had plenty of plans past few years but little concrete action other than the lighting and cameras initiative.

          • jkf1220

            The city’s definition of the downtown neighborhood has Cole St. as the northern border. Downtown STL defines Cass as the northern boundary but the CID does stop at Cole St. as the northern boundary.

  • Alex P

    What happened with Cathedral Sq. Brewery and their move to Holy Corners?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Good question. Had heard over the past couple years that it was slow, but going to happen. As time has gone on, it seems less and less likely, but I have heard nothing official.

      • Alex P

        Hopefully it happens before this town hits peak prewpub. That church and it’s courtyard are beautiful. Actually the courtyard might have more potential than the interior space.

  • RJ

    Just recently drove around Botanical Heights and noticed several new infill homes going into that neighborhood. Are there any particular plans for this area and will it ever be connected to The Grove?