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 2:00 to 3:00 PM today. See you in the comments below:

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  • RJ

    I know you’re probably tired of this question but what is the latest on the Missouri Theatre Building. The sign in front of the building says it will open summer of 2017 and there has been no activity on this project for months. It appears Bull Moose and the Lawrence Group have bailed on this and put all their resources in The Foundry. What gives? Good luck in Cincy its a nice place I wish Illinois was as progressive on their riverfront in St. Louis as Kentucky is in Newport and Covington.

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’m tired of seeing nothing happen! Some (a lot, all?) interior demo is complete, but yes, it appears that attention has turned to City Foundry. Not sure anything has changed long term, but given how long it’s sat, it’s not going as planned.

      Thanks. I don’t think St. Louis can overcome the geography of its riverfront. The Ohio River at Cincinnati isn’t as wide, there are historic communities directly on the opposite riverfront, and pretty good pedestrian connections across. The Cincinnati riverfront is much more central to the region as well.

    • stlnative

      It’s still ongoing. Financing hit a big snag, but its back on track. CDs probably to be completed by the end of the month/early June and out to bid soon after. Construction mid summer.

  • SouthCityJR

    You mention future development in Gravois Park and I’ve heard about Fox Park as the next “hot” neighborhood, but what about Benton Park West? The housing stock is amazing and un-rehabbed houses are incredibly cheap, even those just steps from Cherokee Street. Any idea if house flippers/investors are starting to move into that area?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Yes – I’ve actually heard that decent vacant buildings aren’t cheap there anymore and flippers/bargain rehabbers are moving into Gravois Park, etc. Of course there are exceptions and it’s very block-by-block. I’d expect BPW to do will in the next couple years. Of course all of this depends on keeping state historic tax credit program.

  • WikiWild

    If you had $250k to spend on a house/condo/loft anywhere in the city limits, where do you think you’d get the most “bang” for you’re buck (i.e. best investment)?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Eastern CWE, Midtown, perhaps Benton Park West.

  • moorlander

    Alex – long ago we toured the Clemens mansion. Odds that building is saved?

    • Alex Ihnen

      Years ago, right? I believe the sanctuary (eastern building) is a loss, but the house itself is still salvageable. The odds? Not good, and getting worse.

  • What stock do you put into Karraker’s “95% Done Deal” comments regarding the MLS group?

  • matt

    anyone heard anything about Humphrey’s by SLU? Seems like everything has been on hold – last thing I saw was an STL Today Article in like January mentioning they’re re-evaluating?

    • Alex Ihnen

      The re-evaluation continues!

      • matt

        The college kids need somewhere to drink! Someone think of the college kids!

    • Aaron B

      The new owner has been selling off the bar memorabilia on eBay. Many are guessing they never intended to re-open the place.

  • John

    Is there a “Plan B” for the former Praxair site now that Pulte Homes has canceled their townhome proposal?

    • Alex Ihnen

      I’ve heard of none.

  • Frank Absher

    I’d be interested in hearing your predictions for the St. Louis development scene.

    • Alex Ihnen

      That’s a broad question! Absent a big economic disruption, I think we’ll see more of the same (bold prediction, I know). Big institutional investment will continue to be a driver – Cortex, hospitals, WUSTL, SLU. The midtown hospital project, City Foundry, Armory, etc. are big, big projects. They will reshape that part of the city and people’s larger perceptions. Obviously NGA is huge, STL Zoo expansion could be big…the convention center…we’ll have to see what collective impact these have.

      Outside that, north city, via NGA, is going to change fast. We see this with UIC’s plan in Hyde Park, and there will be more. More development will move south as well, into Gravois Park and elsewhere. The effort to remake Gravois Avenue itself could be catalytic for development in the neighborhoods it passes. Downtown will do well to see Jeff Arms, Railway Exchange, and Butlers Bros come back to life. Millennium Hotel as well?

      • tpekren

        The prospect of CVC convention upgrades, additional ballroom space, so on seem to be happening at a glacial pace. Hopefully county politics haven’t killed any attempts to make this investment. I can understand the sport stadium issue but having larger conventions like the robotics move on is a negative economic impact for both county and city

        • Alex Ihnen

          Yes, I think we had reports of ballroom expansion, etc. on this site a couple years ago. Perhaps they’re going big, and one can understand waiting until the Rams were gone, so we’ll see.

  • Ben Harvey

    Is there still going to be a Friday Live Chat and or Future Great City podcast after you head to Cincy? I really like both. You are going to be missed man.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Thanks Ben. I am committed to staying engaged, but we’ll see how it goes. There are several podcasts I’ve really been wanting to do and simply haven’t found time for. I’ll get to those. It’s going to take a bit to see what my next life is like.

      • Assuming some of the surrounding team stays with the site, does the new leadership (Jason) have any different goals, plans, hopes for the future of NextSTL?

        • Alex Ihnen

          Good Q. This will play out over time and Jason has an exciting vision for the site. I had several conversations with people interested in the site, but he was the only one with a clear, energetic plan for the future. I do hope, and expect, that others involved with the site will stay involved.

          • Awesome – you all have created a really great community. I’m excited for it to continue to progress. 🙂