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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  • Will M

    i often see it mentioned here that a strategic development plan should be adopted by the city, or at least by the neighborhoods within it.

    What are the key things you wish to see in this plan? I mean, what components of a comprehensive plan are critical to incorporate into it? Also what does your ideal plan look like (in general, though preferably with some notable specifics)?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Sorry for a very short answer, but in all honesty it looks like this: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/planning/plan-cincinnati/

      St. Louis would do well to follow this format and process (or pick another city if we must). The result would be informed by the local process, history, and market, but the process can be a clone.

      Some of the neighborhoods and wards are doing good work. The form base code in part of the CWE should be a city-wide effort. The traffic studies being done in some south city wards should be city-wide. The entire city should be included in preservation review. A comprehensive look at local historic districts and National Register districts is needed, a full plan for each city park (with attached funding) is needed, and so on and so on.

  • Alex Ihnen

    Thanks for the questions – leaving the chat open for a while and checking back later!

  • SouthCityJR

    I keep hearing mentions of underused light industrial buildings along Gustine as a potential MLS stadium. Assuming the stadium doesn’t end up there, are there efforts underway to re-use those buildings for its original purpose of light industrial/small manufacturing or are they simply too obsolete? I ask b/c there was just an article in the NYTimes today talking specifically about how important small manufacturing is to jobs and poverty elimination in urban areas. Jobs like that would be huge for that part of South City.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I do not know of any specific effort. I’ve heard that a few years ago a number of the buildings there were under contract and eyed as a site for a retail center. I don’t believe those plans are coming back.

  • Brad Heap

    Gerard Craft called out Mayor on running restaurants in the city. Any idea what that is about? Is it general issue or one off problem?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Didn’t see it – guessing it’s about small biz regulations? We’ve heard this time and again from some high-profile business owners in the city. I believe there has been some changes in the business license process, but I don’t have specifics.

      • Brad Heap

        No specifics just implied city was shockingly behind the times.

  • Foreign companies have basically purchased all the big companies started here in St. Louis. AB>Inbev, Ralston>Nestle, Monsanto>Bayer, Scottrade>Toronto Bank, Seems as if our slogan should be, “what happens in STL, stays in Europe”, or something like that. I haven’t heard this as a campaign issue at all in Missouri. All our banks were bought by banks in other cities, who use our money to buy other city stadium naming rights. MD was bought by Boeing. Are there no state or national anti-trust laws that could stem the raiding of St. Louis? Why isn’t this a campaign issue?

    • JobsSTL

      Recent in the news:

      1. Bayer plans to buy Monsanto
      2. TD Ameritrade plans to buy Scottrade
      3. CenturyLink in talks to merge with Level 3 Communications

      If this pattern continues for either the county or the city, then how will this affect the region? We need replacement or infill of new employers from somewhere else? Any thoughts? Any plans to bring employers from elsewhere to the urban core or STL county?

      • Alex Ihnen

        My inclination to believe that this is a) more/less the natural business cycle of today, b) inevitable. I believe it was Jim McKelvey of Square who said (loose paraphrase) that great companies were built in last in the last generation and then we got lazy. Inherited wealth is more stagnant that new wealth. St. Louis needs new wealth, new local growing companies, and some relocations.

  • Guest

    BPV3. Please provide wild speculation about when, what, and who might be involved. But seriously… do we have ANY idea who might be a possible office tenant for BPV2?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Ha. If things go well with II, then III may follow quickly. Clearly they were designed together and if/when the economics work out, it’s ready to go. Tenants? I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

      • Guest

        Any insight if the Cardinals have taken more of the lead on BPV from Cordish? It feels like Cordish wasn’t as highly publicized or included in the recent announcement. Perhaps this might help with finding a tenant?

        • Alex Ihnen

          Don’t know about the inner workers. In all honesty, it didn’t seem like there was much pressure to develop the site. People had become used it. I’m sure the Cardinals have genuinely wanted to do more since day one. If I had to guess, Cordish wrapping up some things in KC and the improving development scene in STL got things going again.

  • RJ

    Any updates/timelines on the Railway Exchange Building, Convention Center expansion and status of Scottrade Center upgrades?

  • Don

    What effect would a wealthy municipality like Ladue or Clayton voting to disincorporate (however unlikely) have on the rest of the municipalities in the County? Could there foreseeably be a domino effect?

    • Brad Heap

      Chesterfield would have a big impact.

    • Alex Ihnen

      That would be huge. It seems there’s some sort of consensus that tiny economically insolvent municipalities should disincorporate. But things won’t really change until small municipalities that aren’t facing insolvency disincorporate. That said, they don’t necessarily need to go away – just cede some economic development and planning roles.

  • Brad Heap

    What have you heard about the Greater Gravois Initiative latest plans?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I hear that things continue to move forward. It’s early and in full disclosure, Dutchtown South has met with organizers and is generally supportive of the effort.

      • Brad Heap

        Heard they are making something public at SLACO event tomorrow.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Yes – I think there will be an update.

  • So I’m losing track of the MLS plan. What does MLS want? Is the riverfront out of the picture? Is either stadium tied to larger development — one with Union station and one with Foundry?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Good Q. Larger development only in theory.

      The city says: North Riverfront, Union Station, or SLU
      Foundry STL says: SLU
      MLS2STL says: Union Station
      MLS says: “downtown, but Sporting KC works well”

      • Brad Heap

        Any idea when MLS2STL might reveal more of their plans? I would hope Foundry is putting some pressure on them to produce something publically.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Soon(ish).

          • Brad Heap

            Wonder if City/MODOT announcement was driven by Foundry & attempt to counter their plans.

          • Brad Heap

            Competition is a wonderful thing. We need more in the city. Get QT to propose an alternative to McKee’s station/store. Have developers compete more instead of cities. Use current boom to cities favor.

    • Brad Heap

      Foundry hopes to develop land cross Grand from their stadium site. Sounds like most likely location is by Union Station (MLS2STL) with Foundry the dark horse. Riverfront seems to be left behind in discussion.

  • Riggle

    The slow and sketchy destruction of 3300 Lemp continues. First a fire destroyed one building, then an emergency demo permit was issued for another (a building that has been in the same exact state for 10+ years). Benton Park deserves better, especially a block from Cherokee St. Ken Ortmann should be put on notice. Any word on development “progress” on that block?

  • What are the chances the city will be part of the county by this time next year? How soon could that happen? (By the way, I voted to do this chat before I realized it was perfect weather outside. If you want to end early, nobody would mind.)

    • Brad Heap

      St Louis Strong is helping move things along. More likely than ever before.

    • Brad Heap

      Merging muni’s would seem to be only real hope for slowing tax incentive competition though

    • Alex Ihnen

      Thanks!

      By this time next year? +/- 0. The momentum seems to be in the right direction, but there will be incredible pushback and setbacks along the way, I assume.

  • pat

    So twitter said we are more than halfway through this years big announcements. What is next…..stl? Can we get some more good news before the election destroys my hope in humanity?

    • Brad Heap

      Especially considering this year is almost over.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Well, Ballpark Village was one big one, a very big one. The others have been floating around for some time. I’m not sure I’d count on much that absolutely no one’s heard anything about.