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 in from 12:00 to 1:00 PM today. See you in the comments below:

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  • jhoff1257

    I have one last thing, and this is more an observation then a question. Today the PD reported that MetroLink security costs will clock in around $20 million. Am I the only one who things Metro needs a single unified police department that can plan and coordinate a public safety plan instead of this ridiculous hodgepodge of city and county cops, and two different sets of Metro provided security guards? Why not take some of that Prop P (County) money, some Prop 1/2 (City) money, and some money from St. Clair County and create a trained Metro police force? Once again the fragmentation gets in the way.

    Also turnstiles are a stupid idea. A trained police force with the authority to issue tickets and make arrests would solve the freeloader problem pretty quick.

    • STL Forever

      Agreed about dedicated Metro police vs. turnstyles. Additionally, parents of these animals causing heinous crimes on Metrolink need to be held accountable as well. The consequences need to be there for parents and children.

      • jhoff1257

        So what happens to the other children these parents could be raising when we start locking them up for crimes they didn’t commit?

        I agree something needs to be done, but punishing people for crimes they didn’t commit and most likely didn’t know about is not the answer. Splitting up families even further and jailing even more individuals is just poor public policy. I certainly don’t have the answer, but what you’re suggesting most certainly isn’t it.

        • STL Forever

          I never wrote anything about locking up the parents of young criminals. I said the parents need to be HELD ACCOUNTABLE, and there needs to be CONSEQUENCES for parents who raise teenagers that have no moral compass and disregard for human life.

          When you read about teenagers carjacking…it is disgusting! The parents of these animals need to be held accountable. Period.

          Two young kids were almost killed near the airport because teenagers carjacked someone and fled away in a vehicle. The stories are so regular, that it is becoming normal and people are becoming numb. It needs to stop!

          • jhoff1257

            My apologies, it’s hard to know what you mean when you’re just shouting “THERE NEED TO BE CONSEQUENCES!” Care to provide some details on what these consequences should be? In the cases of these MetroLink murders and the airport thing those that committed these crimes were caught and will face severe consequences. As they should, what these guys are doing is disgusting, you’re not going to get an argument there. But what more would you do? I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m genuinely curious. If you’re not talking about jail then what are you talking about? Fines that they can’t afford and won’t pay? It does need to stop, and if you think you have the solution, I’d suggest you step up and share it.

          • STL Forever

            You are looking for a debate…disengaging from the provocation. One solution would be controlled community service. Make them work, pick up trash, assemble kits to help the poor, construct housing…something that contributes productively to society. Make them pay back the debt they owe to the community, and do it in a highly controlled manner so they actually work and don’t cause more crime. Also, there needs to be massive welfare reform, more police, and better local government leadership. Done.

  • jhoff1257

    How soon do you think we see a ground breaking on BPV II or One Hundred? I understand they’re big projects and require a lot of work to get off the ground but it’s been pretty quiet lately.

  • STLExplorer

    Hearing about the planned renovation of the Louis Lange Publishing building at Miami and Texas, along with potential future infill at Miami and Jefferson has people wondering why we haven’t seen proposals for the SW corner of Jefferson and Utah. Any ideas floating aound for that site?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Haven’t heard anything new, but it’s a good question. I’m surprised it hasn’t seen another proposal.

    • Adam

      Or the SW corner of Jefferson and Arsenal, for that matter.

      • STLExplorer

        That’s what I meant! Thank you.

        • Alex Ihnen

          That’s what I thought you meant! 🙂

  • moorlander

    Will the house at 1408 Sulphur ever finish their exterior renovation? Those letters have been leaning against the house for damn near a decade.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Ha. I drive by it regularly. I’ve even seen someone (perhaps) working on it. Call the alderman I say!

    • MRNHS

      I knew exactly which house you were talking about without looking up the address. So ridiculous! It’s a running joke among my friends/family, though it’s really not funny.

    • Framer

      Sounds like the “Immovable Ladder” at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. It hasn’t been moved since the 18th Century.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immovable_Ladder

  • Nick

    The NextSTL article discussing the new Element hotel shows a footprint for a “New Building” (south side of FPA just east of the Foundry) over the site that currently houses Midtown Sushi. Are there plans to demo the existing building?

    • Alex Ihnen

      It would appear that way. That building is Falstaff Brewery Plant No. 1. It’s not very pretty, and has housed quite a few different businesses in recent history.

      • Frank Absher

        It’s got an old ice house facility in it if I remember correctly.

  • johnny1421

    Habitat announce where they are relocating to after selling their property?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Not yet.

  • Chistl80

    Hi,

    Do you really think MLS is really done in StL. Are there actually credible investors willing to fill in $60M gap? Also, couldn’t city direct more of the ticket tax towards the stadium?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I don’t think it’s done. I think it’s a very attractive market and the city will get a team…eventually, but I have to particular info on an eminent effort.

    • MRNHS

      Kavanaugh said he didn’t have interest in any other investors, not because they don’t exist, but because (and I’m paraphrasing) it would dilute the ownership too much and make it not viable for the current investors…which makes me wonder if it was really as good of a deal for the city as they originally claimed. I have no insider knowledge, but it’s hard to believe all these smart people were willing to put up millions of dollars on the hopes of a vote and not have a plan B.

      • Alex Ihnen

        I believe that the local money was modest.

        • MRNHS

          Depends on what you consider modest. It couldn’t have been a small amount, even for very wealthy individuals. Market studies, architectural renderings, marketing, $1 mil on a voter campaign, etc…If I’m putting up that kind of money and really want to co-own a team (which I believe they truly do want), I’m not going to do so without a Plan B. They knew all along the vote would be close.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Very modest compared to Edgerley.

      • JB

        So Kavanaugh basically acknowledges it’s not a wise investment if the $60 mill gap being contributed is in exchange for equity, so instead we’ll just ask the broke city to float it in exchange for a handful of pie-in-the-sky intangible benefits.

        That in a nutshell is why most citizens bristle when asked to subsidize an investment to make it more profitable for the private investors.

        • Nick

          If you only view stadium deals from a financial standpoint, they will always be a bad deal for the city. That doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t do them. If you include intangibles in the general ledger, such as additional civic pride, it may be a worthwhile investment, to some at least. The additional profits for the investors can be thought of as compensation for these intangibles.

          • Alex Ihnen

            I understand this, but then don’t understand this. Ultimately, you have to put a value on those intangibles if you’re to say that an investment is worth it if intangibles are included, right? Perhaps not every deal has to be a big money-maker, but at the very, very least, financial support shouldn’t be pulled from other basic civic services, nor put a municipality (most especially one struggling financially) at risk.

            I believe that when an advocate cites “intangibles”, they’re really saying “believe me, somehow this makes sense financially, I just can’t exactly show you how.” But we simply know that there’s no difference in how a resident feels about their city, how attached they are, their attitude, that can attributed to professional sports.

          • Nick

            Well, true, but if you’re going to completely discount intangibles just because they’re immeasurable, there’s all sorts of things the city shouldn’t be funding. For example, the Arch grounds require tax dollars to continually maintain, should we stop funding it to save our financially struggling burg the hardship?

          • Alex Ihnen

            Actually, yes. I’ve argued again and again that local funding of a National Park is among our worst ideas. 🙂

          • jhoff1257

            Alex put it more eloquently then this but at the end of the day, Civic pride doesn’t pay the bills.

          • Alex Ihnen

            And I’d argue that paying the bills = civic pride.

          • Nick

            So defund Metrolink? Defund every social safety net we have? Is there any role local government plays that DOES bring in money?

          • Alex Ihnen

            Seems like transportation, etc. has long been established as a local government responsibility. Not sure anyone would want to argue that a professional sports team has a greater impact than providing basic options for the movement of residents and visitors.

          • jhoff1257

            I’d argue that MetroLink and the social safety net (in addition to a litany of other civic expenses) are “bills” in the sense that it makes more sense for the city to funnel money into those things then a stadium. A strong social safety net, better public transit, more cops, lower crime, etc are better for civic pride then a ballpark. The Cardinals have won 2 World Championships at Busch III and outside of shoving that into our rivals faces what tangible benefits have those two events really brought to St. Louis City?

            I just don’t get this whole civic pride angle. Not being perceived as a run down shit hole (cause it’s not) or the “murder capital of the America or the world etc” would be far better for that city’s image then a soccer team. Sorry, but funneling money into a stadium is not the best use of city tax dollars right now. It’s not going to solve the issues that actually hold that city back.

          • Nick

            I agree wholeheartedly that achieving those goals would be better for the city. However, I think the causes of our biggest problems (at least in regards to alleviating poverty and reducing crime, which are really two sides of the same coin) are too entrenched and complex that the city government doesn’t have near the capability of doing much to impact them with our tax dollars.

            And yes, St. Louis is not a shit hole. St. Louis is awesome. And I think institutions like the Cardinals act as a billboard to ourselves and the rest of the country saying “we’re more than just the murder capital.” It gives people a positive image of the city, and a soccer stadium would just be more of that. We can argue all day about whether or not it’s worth it, and I definitely see the other side of the argument, but to me it was worth a “yes” vote.

          • jhoff1257

            Based on what I read about the Cardinals and our fans from non St. Louis press, that’s not really a selling point lol. I’m mostly joking…but there is a bit of truth to that haha.

            And your vote is your decision, I certainly don’t fault you for voting the way you did. But the majority made the right call.

          • jhoff1257

            Yep. Better mass transit, lower crime, better schools, etc would all be far better for this city’s image then an MLS team.

          • JB

            Hey, I voted yes because a.) I think it would be cool to have soccer and b.) I don’t trust that City Hall will spend that $$ more wisely.

            And from a business aspect, I get that you have to project some ROI if you’re going to invest millions of your own money.

            My point was that those facts don’t take away how bad it comes across when you essentially admit that the reason you want the taxpayers to pay for it is because it’s the only “investor” who will do so without any promise of a financial return.

            More and more cities are starting to understand that they’re being asked for money because what its being spent on isn’t a sound investment.

          • Nick

            I voted yes on Prop 2 for the EXACT same reasons you did. And it’s true it’s not a sound investment. The problem is the investors can’t come out and say that for political reasons, and we’re fed the same “it’s a good investment” schtick over and over, and people get sick of hearing it.

          • jhoff1257

            “…and we’re fed the same “it’s a good investment” schtick over and over, and people get sick of hearing it.”

            They have to say that, if they came out and told us the truth the city would never agree to put it up for a vote.

    • Nick

      Ortiz of the PD tweeted the other day that his “spies” say there are rumblings of a plan B in the works…however he hasn’t since elaborated on what this means.

      • Alex Ihnen

        There is more than one group interested in bringing a team to St. Louis. They each have various interests, a development site, etc. The only thing missing is someone with really deep pockets. That was Paul Edgerley with the previous group, but he’s not a St. Louis guy, and is now apparently out.

    • STLrainbow

      I think that’s a valid point… assessing the full 5% amusement tax and kicking that back to the owners along with a property tax abatement would be something I could support my alderperson voting for if a more traditional subsidy package came up before the BoA rather than direct city financial backing. (That would mean the MLS group own the stadium, which Mayor Krewson has said she would like to see.)

  • Sam

    Any news on the Senn Beirworks in University City?

    • Alex Ihnen

      It’s going slowly (obviously), but is still coming, I’m told. I’ll ping them on Twitter – looks like their last Tweet was in February. 🙁

    • Alex Ihnen
      • Framer

        U City councilmen have recently assured residents via NextDoor that the brewery is definitely still happening.

  • SnakePlissken

    I need a new suit… When can I shop at the new CWE Suit Supply?

    • Alex Ihnen

      That’s a good question – guessing another year or so. Look for more high-end retail to follow. It will be interesting to see who goes to the CWE and who lands at City Foundry.

      • STLrainbow

        Unfortunately Canadian-based Kit + Ace (of the Lululemon family) is closing all their US stores so that’s another retail space that will need a refill on N Euclid.

  • MidtownBill

    What is the timeline for the Foundry development? I’ve been seeing them doing the environmental cleanup but it doesn’t seem like they’ve done anything beyond that at this point…

    • WikiWild

      They need to do something to deter graffiti vandals. 100k+ cars per day looking entering the city looking at that nonsense. Need to get creative as the fence doesn’t work. Rabid dogs? Bear traps? Land mines? Paul Blart?

      • SnakePlissken

        This town has some of the worst graffiti. I love street art but this is just childish crap. Sorry, Rat Fag. You’re not an artist – more likely a cook at a local alt-hip jaunt.

        But to answer your question. The Predator.

      • johnny1421

        Yea they aren’t going to do graffiti cleanup until it’s closer to opening. No point in risking more graffiti during the cleanup. When everything’s open there the vandals will just go somewhere else. It’s not like your seeing graffiti on the Ikea building

    • stlnative

      Construction starting this fall.

    • Alex Ihnen

      The environmental cleanup and interior demo is massive work. It’s well underway. Completion of major components is set for next year.

      • MidtownBill

        Thanks! I was wondering the actual construction would start, really exciting stuff!

    • johnny1421

      For a while they were filling up construction dumpers almost every day for a good month there. It’s going to take a while I’m sure

  • RJ

    What is the hold up on the Jefferson Arms project? Starting sate was set for March then pushed back to April now we are approaching May and still no ground breaking>

    • Alex Ihnen

      Haven’t heard anything specific, other than that it’s still happening. Something could always derail the project, but the big hurdles have been cleared.