Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,066 Posts
Challenging Census Bureau estimates has become a national passtime. I'm very eager to see how things pan after after 2010 and whether these cities were right or the Census Bureau right. Certainly there is a long track record of underestimating growth in emerging suburbs, as special census results attest. We'll see if the same is true in the inner city or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
One step forward ...

Two steps back ...

This population speculation is really quite meaningless. The simple fact is that Saint Louis City is not growing, whether it is losing population quickly or slowly or staying the same who cares. It is not growing at a rate to be meaningful.

There are good things happening for sure, but the progress seems slow.

In lieu of the City and County rejoining in some form, which I doubt will happen in my lifetime, what Saint Louis needs is another Arch. Something to recapture the national imagination so that people stop talking about Saint Louis in the same breath as Detroit.

The thing that worries me most about Saint Louis is that Ballpark Village is really more of a small dirty pond at the moment. The Bottle District is never going to happen. Chouteau's Pond is not happenning. There is still no shopping downtown. The schools are only getting worse, it seems. The roads are all screwed up and when they had a chance to help with a new bridge they drag their feet and now maybe there will not be a bridge at all. Corporations are continuing to go to the suburbs or different cities. Even really, really simple things like the I-70 lid to connect downtown and the Arch seem impossible for Saint Louis city administrators. Now, the housing market seems to be tightening and residential projects (the only thing that seems to be happening, besides the casino, of course) might be slowed or put on hold.

There is momentum in Saint Louis, but can it be sustained? Can the city administration prove themselves competent at anything? Does Saint Louis have a vision for the future? Saint Louis was and could still be the crown jewel of the Midwest if they could only get their act together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think St. Louis and Detroit will always be compared to each other since they both rose to great prominence and then fell dramatically. St. Louis hit rockbottom in the 90's and is finally turning itself around. Whereas Detroit appears to still be bleeding population.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
One step forward ...

Two steps back ...

This population speculation is really quite meaningless. The simple fact is that Saint Louis City is not growing, whether it is losing population quickly or slowly or staying the same who cares. It is not growing at a rate to be meaningful.

There are good things happening for sure, but the progress seems slow.

In lieu of the City and County rejoining in some form, which I doubt will happen in my lifetime, what Saint Louis needs is another Arch. Something to recapture the national imagination so that people stop talking about Saint Louis in the same breath as Detroit.

The thing that worries me most about Saint Louis is that Ballpark Village is really more of a small dirty pond at the moment. The Bottle District is never going to happen. Chouteau's Pond is not happenning. There is still no shopping downtown. The schools are only getting worse, it seems. The roads are all screwed up and when they had a chance to help with a new bridge they drag their feet and now maybe there will not be a bridge at all. Corporations are continuing to go to the suburbs or different cities. Even really, really simple things like the I-70 lid to connect downtown and the Arch seem impossible for Saint Louis city administrators. Now, the housing market seems to be tightening and residential projects (the only thing that seems to be happening, besides the casino, of course) might be slowed or put on hold.

There is momentum in Saint Louis, but can it be sustained? Can the city administration prove themselves competent at anything? Does Saint Louis have a vision for the future? Saint Louis was and could still be the crown jewel of the Midwest if they could only get their act together.
I don't know St. Louis too well, but a lot of what you are describing seems out of the hands of local politicos. Sure, they can always be a hindrance, but how much control do they have over the housing market? St. Louis was just beginning to recover during the latest boom; now that that has burst, how can we expect marginal areas to maintain momentum? I don't think any leader has a good answer for that one. Most of the good cheer they've been riding in the last seven years comes thanks to a strong national housing market. With that deflated, local leaders might just have to ride it down, too.
 

·
The Jive is Alive.
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
One step forward ...

Two steps back ...

This population speculation is really quite meaningless. The simple fact is that Saint Louis City is not growing, whether it is losing population quickly or slowly or staying the same who cares. It is not growing at a rate to be meaningful.

There are good things happening for sure, but the progress seems slow.

In lieu of the City and County rejoining in some form, which I doubt will happen in my lifetime, what Saint Louis needs is another Arch. Something to recapture the national imagination so that people stop talking about Saint Louis in the same breath as Detroit.

The thing that worries me most about Saint Louis is that Ballpark Village is really more of a small dirty pond at the moment. The Bottle District is never going to happen. Chouteau's Pond is not happenning. There is still no shopping downtown. The schools are only getting worse, it seems. The roads are all screwed up and when they had a chance to help with a new bridge they drag their feet and now maybe there will not be a bridge at all. Corporations are continuing to go to the suburbs or different cities. Even really, really simple things like the I-70 lid to connect downtown and the Arch seem impossible for Saint Louis city administrators. Now, the housing market seems to be tightening and residential projects (the only thing that seems to be happening, besides the casino, of course) might be slowed or put on hold.

There is momentum in Saint Louis, but can it be sustained? Can the city administration prove themselves competent at anything? Does Saint Louis have a vision for the future? Saint Louis was and could still be the crown jewel of the Midwest if they could only get their act together.
I can tell you for sure that it is this kind of pessimistic attitude that ultimately keeps St. Louis from realizing its full potential. I wholeheartedly disagree with your outlook on the city's future, and though St. Louis faces tough challenges (like any city), people like you certainly don't help matters much. Will all of the projects come to fruition? Probably not, but most of them will, and others will be introduced as well. If the past 10 years is any indicator of the city's progress, I think St. Louis has a very exciting future. This is not the same city it was in the mid '90s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
St. Louis will be fine. Seems to me like its future is getting brighter and brighter. I know it's hard for us hard-core urbanophiles to see things in terms of metro areas, but metro St. Louis seems to be doing quite well (from what I've heard). Eventually, this will benefit the city, and vice versa. The downtown renaissance will make the entire metro area more appealing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
I can tell you for sure that it is this kind of pessimistic attitude that ultimately keeps St. Louis from realizing its full potential. I wholeheartedly disagree with your outlook on the city's future, and though St. Louis faces tough challenges (like any city), people like you certainly don't help matters much. Will all of the projects come to fruition? Probably not, but most of them will, and others will be introduced as well. If the past 10 years is any indicator of the city's progress, I think St. Louis has a very exciting future. This is not the same city it was in the mid '90s.
I agree it is pessimistic Jive and I respect your opinions on here as you provide some of the best info on Saint Louis. But, I just don't see the non-residential, non-casino projects happening. The only one that is forced to happen is Ballpark Village. But, Cordish's Phase I looks a whole lot different than Phase III, and I am afraid only Phase I will get built. Thus, when the All Star games rolls around we are still going to be looking at an ugly white parking garage in center field.

The real test its seems for Saint Louis' momentum is going to be if the housing market can turn from refurbishing old buildings to building new ones. I know there are a couple of plans in the works (SkyHouse and the Mayfair thing), and like you said some of them will get built, I agree (although is all progress on the Mayfair stopped? I have not heard anything). But, will the housing slow-down affect these? I don't know.

It is probably just a difference of expectations. I am happy with the progress in the last 10 years. If nothing else, Saint Louis has slowed or stopped its downward slide. But that does not mean it is on an upward path. A few new buildings and some refurbishments are typical of a city this size. It doesn't mean we can put it in the same growth categories as Denver, Phoenix, Columbus, Charlotte, Austin. Whether we like it or not, it is still in the same growth category as Detroit. That is the just the data speaking.
 

·
Cory
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
refurbishing vs. building new is nothing to balk at. If STL is able to refocus on its built environment and rehab existing structures instead of the quick-fix bulldoze method, that will go along way in taking care of the population/City image decline. STL has great neighborhoods with fantastic structures, even if many are unfit for life. So waht if you aren't throwing up condo towers. Yes, we all like a skyscraper, but if you are able to get people on the street, walking in the existing 'hoods, that is much more of an accomplishment than building a highrise. Besides, those in a downtown highrise would have to drive somewhere to shop (ain't no shopping DT) and therefore little street traffic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
I think one random thing that makes St. Louis different from the Detroit situation is that the city of St. Louis is physically only 46% the size of the city of Detroit. While St. Louis has bled population and has issues, its suburbs seem to be doing fine.

St. Louis % of metro population: 12.6%
St. Louis city % of metro land area: 8%

Detroit % of metro population: 19.8%
Detroit city % of metro land area: 11.3%

While they don't differ a lot, Detroit has a larger belt of decay around its downtown until you reach the suburbs. Detroit has always seemed more isolated from its prosperous areas in my mind than St. Louis.

Even in St. Louis I stayed in the burbs with friends, but we could make it downtown on the interstate in a matter of minutes. I never had this feeling that downtown was "far away" or "not worth" going to when I was in the city. It's such an easy commute from many inner burbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some of St. Louis' wealthiest and most vibrant neighborhoods like Lafayette Square, Soulard and the Central West End are just blocks from downtown. There's this mentality now that if you live in the city - especially one of these neighborhoods - then you are quite the hipster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
A good news/bad news story on the Bottle District. :eek:hno:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/bu...44412AE05443B2FA862572DC00096E82?OpenDocument

Looks like something will be built on the site, but not what was planned or sold to the public. Probably a couple of restaurants/bars for the football fans and a little housing. I assume it will look nothing like this:
http://www.thebottledistrict.com/images/sm_sl1.gif

At least something is going to be built so the land is not going to be vacant. But, it is not going to be the big project we all hoped for.
 

·
Cory
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
no offense to the STL members, but I never thought that the original Bottle District Plan would ever get built. I immediately thought "I believe it when I see it."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I remember seeing all of the posts on here for that bottle district, that's sad that it won't be built. A new stadium is the right time to build a new downtown neighborhood.

Just looking at my experiences, dealing with downtown development, here in Columbus, building the Arena District at the time of the stadium (for the NHL) was perfect, and now the area is seeing condo towers and some very dense devlopment and another new stadium for a farm baseball team.

There are many developments that when you see the pics you say, "ill see it when i believe it."
I always think that when i see pics for developments in midwestern or declined cities. It just usually seems that developers there are less apt to actually make the project happen.

Here in columbus there is only one development that i saw announced that did not come to be, some have taken a little bit longer than expected, but they do happen.

I think that the developments in columbus happen more because the developers and investors are local money and companies. Nationwide Insurance owned most of the northern downtown columbus property and has started a urban development arm of the company that is turning a large profit and putting it all back into downtown Columbus.

When projects are fueled by LARGE fortune 500 companies within your metro they come to be. This is because there's local money behind the project, the developer understands the local market, and is willing to take a bet on the local market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
As much as I like shiny new things, I never really cared about the bottle district, mostly because I thought that if it were built, it would fail due solely to its location. It's sandwiched between a highway, a housing project, and a stadium that turns its back to it. It is essentially not in downtown and forms an island of its own. And if it were to fail, it could scare off other developers who might be interested in building.

Really, the renovations are probably more important than every new project that has been proposed for this city combined and certainly more important than any one project. The city has such a sheer mass of buildings that it could probably double its population without building anything at all.

Having said that, I really do hope that all 3 phases of the Ball Park Village get built. It is actually in the southern part of downtown and, along with other renovations, has the potential to be part of something much bigger than itself. That's supposed to break ground late this year and the developer doesn't seem to be flat out incompetent. Whether or not it actually keeps to its schedule, I do think this will get built.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think that the undesirable location of the project had to have been in the back of everyone's mind. The thought of Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo restaurant and a go cart track sounded equally dreadful too.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
St. Louis needs to change its paradigm. Make that metropolitan St. Louis has to change its paradigm.

First let's recongize that there is not a metro area in the world that can thrive without a healthy central city. City and region need to cooperate, not compete.

St. Louis's downtown core is readily accessible from places throughout the metro area. There is only so much need to live downtown in StL since you can live in the subrbs and still have relatively easy access to the city. Suburbanites in Chicagoland can't do that with downtown Chicago, nor can folks in the Bay Area do that with downtown San Francisco.

So for all the positive growth in the core of StL, there is only so much room for it to grow. Same with the city itself. So what? It's meaningless. With the exception of governmental services offered, what does it matter if a development goes up in Clayton or just a bit east of it in the CWE? It's still all "St. Louis", isn't it?

St. Louis's geatness as a city is more based on its metropolitan population than its city population. St. Louis has no more reason to keep thinking about "The Divide" between city and county than San Francisco (a city and county) does about its relationship with the Bay Area. It's irrelevant.

Ironically the one thing that would increase population and density in St. Louis would be excessive metropolitan growth outside city limits. If that occurred, and reaching the joys of the city were constricted, you'd see a lot more growth in DT StL.

You want to see the end of the St. Louis and Detroit bashing (and who with any sanity doesn't)? Keep reminding suburbanites in both cities that they are viewed as St. Louisans and Detroiters and that without StL or Det, they'd be nothing.

Shouldn't the onus of how any metropolitan area is structured be put on that entire metro area and isn't it time to think more in metro terms than city terms?

St. Louis has well over 2 million people in my book...and its that population base that will determine what type of city it will be, not some meaningless 300,000+ number.
 

·
The Jive is Alive.
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
^you're right, in theory. But St. Louis fragmentation is a more unique and complex issue, if for no other reason that St. Louis City is independent of the wealthier and larger suburban St. Louis County. Therefore, there is an inherent competition for amenities, services and development between the two entities. Nevertheless, both the city and county are well aware that they need each other, but ultimately tax dollars are up for grabs. In Chicago, the tax revenue from downtown benefits residents living in suburban Cook County. Not the case here, and that presents an added challenge for St. Louis. The encouraging thing is that we are now seeing MUCH more development taking place en masse in the city than we have in literally decades. While I'm sure the county would like to get in on a lot of it, it's clear that everyone is happy seeing the city coming back the way it is. The dark days are long gone. The city is picking itself up by the bootstraps and it is really making waves now.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
^you're right, in theory. But St. Louis fragmentation is a more unique and complex issue, if for no other reason that St. Louis City is independent of the wealthier and larger suburban St. Louis County. Therefore, there is an inherent competition for amenities, services and development between the two entities. Nevertheless, both the city and county are well aware that they need each other, but ultimately tax dollars are up for grabs. In Chicago, the tax revenue from downtown benefits residents living in suburban Cook County. Not the case here, and that presents an added challenge for St. Louis. The encouraging thing is that we are now seeing MUCH more development taking place en masse in the city than we have in literally decades. While I'm sure the county would like to get in on a lot of it, it's clear that everyone is happy seeing the city coming back the way it is. The dark days are long gone. The city is picking itself up by the bootstraps and it is really making waves now.
don't respond to my posts unless you plan to take me to europe with you!!!
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top