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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 Noon-1pm today:

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  • rgbose

    The urbanstl forum is down.

  • stlnative

    Hear anything about 634 N. Grand?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing new – still happening, just not yet.

  • Was looking at latest CityArchRiver webcam, and just wondered why nobody has proposed making a tiny bridge from the North Overlook to the Eads Bridge walkway. It would draw tourists and others onto the bridge walkway. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e86fe6d38fb1b889c89aa7a1b67c4855c09a19ea17ff4272f9ad19ce5e80d5d9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8807ae8085fbdd94332002758cd5bc29e97e55ca20c6774d9660bd295b25a11e.jpg

  • John

    Any news on when we will see an actual, precise rendering of the new NGIA building complex in North St. Louis? The previous rendering was conceptual.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’ve heard a few things about it, but no timeline for when it will be revealed. It’s going to be a secure facility, not urban, but maybe kind of cool.

  • I’m sure we’re tired of hearing about it, but I’ve lost track of what is going on with the Chemical building. It has become the Generalissimo Franco of downtown buildings. Still Dead.

  • What is going on with the Millennium Hotel across from the Arch. With Municipal Courts building becoming a hotel, if they get subsidies, there seems to be OTHER hotel proposals coming along. Will someone buy the Millennium and ask for a big subsidy to make it a hotel again? Or will it be bulldozed. Seems like a pretty prominent site to be sitting there earning nothing all this time.

    • Alex Ihnen

      My $ is on the dozer winning this one. I believe Lawrence Group took a long look at it. They take on some pretty hopeless projects, and if they passed on this… My understanding is that the complex hasn’t aged well. It’s eligible for historic tax credits, I believe, but that may not be enough if it isn’t functional space or the systems are prohibitively expensive to update.

      • Is the rotating restaurant eligible for Historic Preservation. I would like it to stay around (so to speak).

        • Alex Ihnen

          I think City Museum needs to airlift it off the Millennium and install it at their place!

          • Right. And crank it up to about 40 rpm. I would think they could turn each floor into 2 pretty nice condos with each having views both toward the Arch and toward the ballpark. That sounds like a better view than BallPark Village II tower, especially if each condo has 5 baths.

    • The South Tower could be repurposed as some kind of Museum — Guggenheim Midwest.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c9bb707ab4a20acb619102b3ba716ae32d219aed342f62832e1fabff19a1417.jpg

  • rgbose

    Is the Buster Brown Blue Ribbon Shoe Factory still standing?

  • STLrainbow

    Will IU Basketball ever be great again?

    • Alex Ihnen

      ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • STLrainbow

    Any updates on the the Gill’s Hotel St. Louis project for the Union Trust Building and/or the Last Hotel project for the International Shoe Building? Both had indicated construction should have started by now but I believe neither have yet.

    • Alex Ihnen

      My understanding is that both are moving forward. Haven’t heard of any reason for delay, assuming they’re delayed. If there’s nothing happening by June, let’s panic!

  • MRNHS

    Seems to be quite a bit of chatter regarding the AT&T building downtown in the news. Besides the obvious (it’s really designed for one tenant and needs a lot work), have you heard any chatter of companies actually kicking the tires on this?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Nothing on specific companies, but going back to the AT&T announcement, people with the city have said they’re not panicked. One take was that the building’s ownership will invest heavily because it’s a big asset on their portfolio. I’ve heard that HOK has already done planning (how extensive, I don’t know) on adapting the building to multiple tenants. I’m not sure I believe everything’s going to be OK with it, but that’s what I’ve heard.

      • MRNHS

        That’s reassuring. My fear was (perhaps still is) that it will poach tenants from other downtown buildings.

        • Alex Ihnen

          IMO – we focus on “poaching” too much in St. Louis. There is a natural movement of companies in metro areas and CBDs. I wish I/we knew what “typical” movement looks like. What are the numbers in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.? How do we know if it’s happening more or less here?

          • moorlander

            One large challenge will be lack of attached parking after At&t removes their sky brideges (per this mornings BJ). There is only minimal parking in the basement.

          • Framer

            ^No parking, but there’s actually an automated car wash in the basement. At least there was when I worked in the building many years ago.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Once we have driver-less cares, they’ll just remote park a couple blocks away!

      • STLrainbow

        This article about the One Center’s property tax break from a few year’s back when AT&T began to pull out in earnest is a good look at the importance of healthy CBD office towers:

        http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/st-louis-gives-owner-of-at-t-tower-a-property/article_3dd6010c-7f45-11e1-b6ea-001a4bcf6878.html

        We’re collecting $2M less a year in property taxes now, which iirc 67% is felt in the form of a hit to public schools. I imagine re-invigorating this building will involve some tax abatement but I look forward to the CBD one day fulfilling its vital function as a dense jobs and tax-generating center

  • MRNHS

    Any further planning/developing news on the Grand Center build out that Bull Moose & Lawrence talked about a year or so back? Seems like it has been quiet for a while now.

    • Alex Ihnen

      No new news. Been told it’s still happening. Demo and other work is reportedly complete, but obviously nothing’s happening at the site.

  • TimJim

    There’s apparently some resistance to the proposed project at the corner of Clayton and Hanley roads, as it squeaked through the planning/arch. review by a 3-2 vote and will now face questions from aldermen. What are the main issues from your point of view, and are any significant enough to warrant rejecting the development?

    • Alex Ihnen

      From an urban design/infill standpoint? No objections. It could be prettier/cooler/whatever, but it’s a good project. Others are objecting based on added traffic. That’s ridiculous. I hope that the project gets approved and moves forward quickly.

      • MRNHS

        I agree. Not a “statement building” but it is exactly what would make Clayton more of a 24/7 type downtown. Especially as there are no tax incentive requests, there is really no reason to oppose this one.

        • Tim E

          No reason to oppose it but wouldn’t argue that it make Clayton more of a 24/7 downtown either.

          • MRNHS

            Why not? High density residential with retail certainly trends it in that direction (though I do agree Clayton itself is very far off from being a true 24/7 neighborhood).

          • Alex Ihnen

            Well, this development is somewhat removed from downtown Clayton. The added residential density is great – in fact, it’s probably the only type of development that decreases traffic impact (though the grocery etc. will increase it). The Moorlands is a dense residential area and having a grocery to walk to will lessen drives to Schnucks and Whole Foods.

          • MRNHS

            Ah, I was thinking of the Brentwood Blvd (24 story) development. I get Brentwood and Hanley confused in my head a lot…dumb, I know. I get now why my statement doesn’t really make sense.

      • Tim E

        My thought is that a few projects that also offer density as well as being closer to metrolink happening first would be better IMO, say Foundry phase II residential tower or even Boulevards phase II. But can’t really say how much demand is out there and how much this would soak up or impact other proposals at the moment
        ..

    • moorlander

      We are waiting for the County traffic study. Much of the meeting earlier this week was discussions over landscaping and brick colors.