NEXT STL Kickstarter ad

Friday Live Chat

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn0Print this pageEmail this to someone

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:

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn0Print this pageEmail this to someone
NEXT STL Kickstarter ad
  • Houzzy

    Saw that Unify Grove Development plans to build new homes in The Grove. Mentions 46 market-rate homes will be built along with 60 new apartments across 3 buildings. Looks promising. The article title mentions “affordable”. Does anyone know the price range for these homes? Curious to know what affordable is. Are there any other new home construction planned for The Grove?

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/affordable-housing-key-part-new-development-coming-forest-park-southeast-neighborhood#stream/0

    • Alex Ihnen

      Good question. We’ve covered the low-income part of this overall project by Rise: https://nextstl.com/2017/01/50-unit-affordable-housing-project-grove-goes-bid/.

      The market-rate infill part has come close to getting off the ground before. We’ll post more when we get it. The good news is that WUSTL is finally moving forward with it’s massive holdings south of Manchester.

      There are a handful of developers doing new construction infill around The Grove. We try to feature them when we can. The Park Central Development Corporation website usually has all the info as well.

  • SouthCityJR

    There’s been lots of discussion from mayoral candidates and aldermen lately that is anti-tax assistance for anything in the central corridor. While I appreciate that we are finally starting to analyze these issues, I am afraid that depending on the outcome of the elections, we could end up with radical change which would scare away development in the central corridor entirely. Any reason to think a more moderate approach will prevail so that developers don’t run for the hills?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Yes, I think that the top contenders (if I’m allowed to call them that) are quite pragmatic. I’d bet against them making massive changes. Each speaks of closely examining incentives, or setting criteria for future development, or investing in planning to be proactive about incentives. I’ve heard little room between Krewson, Reed, Jones, and French on this issue.

      Perhaps someone would push back a bit more than others, but I don’t see any of them actually stopping a project like the Jefferson Arms, SLU’s blighting, Cortex, The Armory, etc.

  • Nick

    I read that Joe Edwards was asked about expanding The Loop Trolley into Forest Park the other day. Any chance you see that happening with all the problems this trolley has endured?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Not only do I not see it happening, I think it’s a terrible idea.

      • Nick

        Why would this be a terrible idea?

        • Alex Ihnen

          Because I think ridership would abysmal. Yes, there are destinations within the park, but they are singular – a zoo, art museum, etc. These attract people at limited times for a very specific purpose. And even then, would they or could they be served well by the Trolley – would riders arrive at the front door? The vast majority of visitors to these institutions do not reside near the park. So, are they going to drive to the park then hop on the trolley as a circulator? I’d argue it’s a massive expense for such a purpose.

          Transit/trolleys work in dense urban environments with multiple destinations where they connect necessary trips – where people live/work/shop. On the other hand…if the park/trolley co. can find a way to pay for a tourist attraction, I guess we could do that. Don’t mean to be cynical about it, but that’s how I see it.

          • Nick

            I agree with you that the cost is too high for a tourist trolley.

            Any reason that federal money couldn’t have been redirected to the STL Downtown Streetcar line that was talked about a couple years ago?

          • Alex Ihnen

            I’m not sure, but I believe the downtown streetcar project simply wasn’t far enough along to be viable.

          • Nick

            Agree with your points. However, I think you could accomplish connecting urban centers by extending the trolley through the park through the CWE, maybe along Park Ave or something similar…thus connecting the Loop and CWE. The current Metrolink stop in CWE isn’t really conducive for those looking to go anywhere other than the hospital.

          • jhoff1257

            When I had a good friend of mine living off Lindell and Taylor we used the MetroLink to go pretty much all over when we wanted to go someplace. It can be a bit of a walk, especially if you’re further north in the CWE, but overall I’d say the CWE station is still mostly accessible to the area. Plus in it’s current location it’s not to terribly far of a walk to FPSE.

            Little confused by the Park Avenue comment as Park Avenue exists only in South City. I don’t think a trolley connecting the CWE through Forest Park makes any sense. If anything expand it further down Delmar and run it down Euclid (from there you could connect it to an Olive Lindell line to downtown), at least there you’re hitting denser neighborhoods with more jobs and residents. All you need to do is look at the Hampton exit on 40 on a warm spring day to know that most people are driving to the park. I think the current Forest Park Trolley (and the other lines connecting to the Park) do the job fairly well.

          • Nick

            sorry, by Park I meant Pine…and the more I think about it the less continuing the trolley through CWE makes sense.

        • citylover

          My guess is that it wouldn’t connect dense area to dense job centers. Putting trolley in Forest Park would be low-use and not full time. It’s already served by Forest Park Bus/ Trolley. The service within Forest Park is already pretty good.

          • Nick

            fair enough

  • SouthCityJR

    Any news recently on Cupples X? With the all the recent news in Clayton it seems like Downtown needs to do something like that to keep up.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing new. I believe that development depends on signing a tenant first. Of course it would be great to get some mid-size mixed-use projects downtown, but the rents just don’t justify it at the moment.

      That said, for those hoping for more downtown, let’s not forget the massive investment with projects already planned:

      Ballpark Village Phase II
      Union Station / hotel, aquarium, ferris wheel
      Railway Exchange
      Jefferson Arms
      Municipal Courts building
      Other small hotel/rehabs

  • citylover

    Post-Dispatch article about plans for Railway X-Change today. Apparently 600 units, possible daycare, pool, common levels, ground level retail, and office space… Is there demand to absorb 600 hundred apartments in one space? Would be huge.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Those 600 units will take 2-3 years to come online, so I’d say yes. The mix for RX will likely change a few times before it’s settled, but we know there will need to be a number of different uses/tenants.

  • ChiStL80

    Yesterday a poll came out that had metrolink sales tax with 52% support, 36% opposed. With this level of support, do you think that result would give MLS ballot initiative enough momentum to get voter approval?

    • Alex Ihnen

      My bet is that both pass, but honestly, who knows? I do think there’s widespread support for the transit/etc. tax. City votes have supported transit in the past. For the stadium…there’s certainly a groundswell of opposition, but the financing plan there isn’t…terrible? I think it squeaks by, but I’m not putting money on it.

  • RJ

    The City will have the April 4th ballot where both the transit tax and the MLS stadium initiative must both pass, if one fails they both do. We did this before in 1997 when the City passed the transit sales tax but the County did not until 2010 with failed measures in 1997 and 2008 costing the City 13 years of collecting revenue for metrolink expansion. Why are these officials piggy backing both initiatives for passage making it more difficult to pass?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Well, in this case they’re very much tied. As I understand it (and please, someone correct me if I’m off), both would need to pass for the soccer stadium funding to become a reality, but the sales tax measure could pass without the soccer stadium measure passing.

      • rgbose

        That’s my understanding. Stadium funding is contingent upon sales tax passage, but not vice versa

        • STLrainbow

          Correct, but to clarify a bit more, the use tax will still go up if the sales tax passes; it’s just that those $$ will go for other things besides a stadium if voters defeat that ballot question. Personally, that’s where I’m headed… a yes for the sales tax/transit and a no on the stadium; I’m for using our revenue on chipping away at the mountain of unmet needs rather than splurging on entertainment desires.

    • jhoff1257

      There are two questions. The first is the sales tax increase, then second is the stadium question. If the sales tax passes, it’s on the books no matter what. If the stadium question fails then the increase in the use tax would be put to other needs. They only way they could both be killed is if the initial sales tax hike (MetroLink) is defeated.

  • Andy

    What were the major takeaways from the mayoral candidate tech town hall yesterday?

    • Alex Ihnen

      IMO – that only a couple candidates are capable of understanding and responding to a particular audience in a focused, concise manner. 🙂

      • Roger Mexico

        Care to elaborate on the performance of the candidates? I haven’t seen any local coverage of the town hall yet.

        • Alex Ihnen

          It was a challenging setting. We kept answers to 45 seconds and went through all 8 candidates on each question. To elaborate a little: Reed/Jones/French/Krewson had the most polished/ready answers, with Boyd/Cordes right there with them. Matthews and Rice pounded the social justice/racism/poverty/crime issue on every answer. I don’t fault them for that, but they didn’t always connect those issues to the question at hand. It’s challenging to draw distinctions. Each spoke about inclusion, bringing the city together, reevaluating TIF/incentives.

          Boyd pledged honestly and openness, and no drama. Cordes highlighted need and opportunity for public/private partnerships. Reed championed a smart city approach, integrated city services, use of city-owned fiber. Jones spoke of her connections outside STL and how she can bring best practices to St. Louis on many issues. French highlighted successful crime reduction in his ward and his focus on healing the Delmar Divide. Krewson spoke about her work on the BOA, working to build up the CWE, and her professional experience.

          • MRNHS

            Any idea if there will be a recording made available for viewing?

          • Alex Ihnen

            Sorry – I’m not sure. A few people were recording via Facebook Live, etc. Not sure what all you can find with hashtag #VenCafSTL. If I see it somewhere I’ll post a link here.