By. Chris Stritzel
On Tuesday, April 4th 2017, Building St. Louis News' homepage, the one that everyone sees when they open up the website, will change to the Election 2017 page. The page WILL BE updated as the election results come in. This website will be tracking the Race for Mayor, Alderperson positions and the important Proposition 1 and 2 vote. The website's homepage will go down at 5PM and be replaced by Election 2017. After 7 P.M., you can constantly refresh the page to see if any more results are coming in. Meanwhile, beneath where the results are shown for the Mayors Race, the other issues being voted on and Alderpeople positions races will be shown there. As the results come in, they will be immediately shared. Along with this, Building St. Louis will be Live Tweeting the Election Night Coverage.
I hope you choose Building St. Louis News as your go to source on election night. As always, we will have NO ads or cringy commentary, just the results.
By. Chris Stritzel
After decades of being abandoned, the old St. Luke's hospital seems to be ready to be transformed into something new. The project that is supposed to replace it? A new mixed-use project that will transform the old hospital into housing units and office space. This would help add more residents to the Delmar area and hopefully extend the loop district east towards Kingshighway. Extending the loop east will be transformational for the whole Delmar Boulevard as a whole, it would also help heal the Delmar divide which has given the national perception of St. Louis a bad look. But What is this project you may ask? It's called Delmar Divine.
Built in partnership with the build a bear workshop founder and Bob Clark of Clayco Design-Build corporation, the ones who are building the 13 story Everly on the loop further west, this project will be one that will hopefully change the perception of St. Louis for the better. The massive complex however is a big challenge for Clayco. Marketing such a building for the uses as mentioned above, will be a hard thing to do. One of the reasons why it will be hard to do, is because of Delmar as a whole. Delmar has kept businesses away from heading further north into the city. This issue will also be a challenge for residents who want to move in there. Just the fact for some of living on Delmar will be a huge challenge to them if they are not down by the "hip area" of the loop. But this project could help make their minds lean towards the city of the better side of things.
By moving in here whether it is a businesses or people, they're helping contribute to the revitalization of Delmar Boulevard. This revitalization is much needed for the city, and if it doesn't happen now it won't happen anytime in the near future. The fact that those residents or business owners Will play a part in a major revitalization of the city should make them more than happy to get the opportunity to move into such a building. Although they are further away from the loop shopping and entertainment district, this in itself could help spur development along Delmar Boulevard east of Debaliviere Avenue. Who wouldn't want to be part of this?
In my opinion, it is a good investment into the city of St. Louis. If anything can help revitalize the city, it's going to be rehabbing abandoned buildings. And once there are no more abandoned buildings to rehab, you have to build new things. And when you build new things, it will change the national perception of how your city looks. Who wouldn't want that? It's for you to decide if you want more developments like this, because there are plenty of opportunities for things like this to continue. So I support a rehab like this, and I hope it spurs more development not only on Delmar but north of Delmar and in other places of the city that are in need of rehabs are new construction.
For more information on this project, please click on the two words following the Sentence. Delmar Divine.
By. Chris Stritzel
Back in November 2016, I wrote about the plans to build and redevelop the old YMCA building on South Grand along with the Pelican Building. At the time, the ambition was known that the old YMCA building would be demolished to make way for a new 2 floor retail and office building. Those plans have since changed. The plans now call for a 5 Floor, 116 Unit Apartment Building that creates a "L" shape that fronts Grand Boulevard. This building will not include street level retail on the Grand side of the building. Meanwhile, the historic Pelican Building next door is set to be rehabbed and made into a Domino's Pizza, not the best choice for the neighborhood sine there is a Dominos Pizza just down the street past Arsenal.
As seen below in the elevation plan, it doesn't appear that the Pelican Building will lose any of its historic charm. That's a good thing. However, the bad thing is that there is going to be a large Domino's sign on the side of the building. That is not a good thing to do. They could make the sign less modern, that would help but doesn't look like it is going to be happening anytime soon. That great thing is out of this not-so-good plan is that a historic building is being saved, thus helping change the Grand Corridor South of Interstate 44. But what about the rest of this more that $18 Million project?
When it comes down to the infill plan that will replace the YMCA Building, there is a lot to be angry at especially since the building's design looks like a 1950's era Soviet Apartment Building (just a modern version). This kind of design is unacceptable. While the Pelican Building will retain its historic charm, this hunk of trash will destroy the way Grand looks and will also become a eyesore over time like the Kiener Garages in Downtown. When you look at the way new apartment buildings are planned in St. Louis (See Soulard's Newest Apartment Building, the corner of Russell and the 55 Exit Ramp), they match the neighborhoods they are in. This on the other hand does not match the neighborhood, in fact, it wouldn't match any neighborhood except Moscow Russia. This is terrible.
You just have to look at the building to know that I am not crazy. Who would want to live or even open a business in or around this gray colossus? The gray color gives it a depressing look that basically gives the public the perception that the architect and developer does not care about the area and just wanted to put something out there and get it done. The project could have been much better if brown brick was chosen instead of gray. It would have made a world of a difference for the project. You can decide though whether or not you like this projects design.
You can see what the building will look like by looking at the image below. (This image is looking East Toward Grand)
And then there is the site plan for the Apartment Portion of this project. A Parking Lot?!?! That is not very good for the region. There are so many surface parking lots. It just wouldn't look good for the neighborhood or if you have an apartment, your view would be ruined by a sea of parking. Just put the Parking under ground and let the site be home to a hotel as well. South Grand doesn't have a hotel. Actually, forget the Apartment building, just build a hotel here for the neighborhood since there isn't one close by to the neighborhood in general. But it is what it is. You, the public, can decide whether or not you like this hunk of junk but whatever it does do to South Grand, I hope it adds some more people to the area, and hopefully with a redesign, some retail.
New Rendering from ALTUS development (the developer) shows a refined design for the project on South Grand. It is a little bit nicer than before. I am happier with this newer design as it includes bigger windows and appears to be better in terms of the quality of the design. This is expected to be underway soon.
By. Chris Stritzel
Ever since the murder on the Metrolink happened the other day, a lot of people have been calling, including myself, for the Metrolink system to be suspended. For myself however, I see the suspension as something that is a must (when done station by station) in order to give the metro system a greater feel of safety in the Long run. We just need a plan that will modernize the current MetroLink system since it was first opened about 24 years ago. A lot of the same technology and practices from 1993 are still in use. That technology and those practices are what is bringing down our system from being safe.
Below is my full plan that I wish metro will see if they wish to have a safe and modern MetroLink system for every person in the city of St. Louis. Whether that is if you live here or if you're a visitor, the MetroLink system should be a reliable and safe source of transportation for your needs.
1. The suspension of all 6 stations on both routes. By shutting down the services for about a week per 6 stations, we can dramatically change the way that the metro system works.
2. Install turnstiles at all stations. Putting turn styles in that are impossible jump or crawl under what ensure that people who are trying to make a run from the police cannot board the train.
3. Increase the fare card charges. The current price for fare cards on the metro are so cheap that most people just skip the fare purchase box and board the train immediately. That is not acceptable. We need to up the price of those cards so that we can afford to put security on the trains and make improvements in the future.
4. Like the Kansas City streetcar, we need a police officer on the train cars at night. Police officer over there stands or sits up at the front of the train and looks back on the people to make sure that nothing is going wrong. This will give the rider at night a greater sense of safety on the train, then they will be more likely to continue to ride the system.
5. Improve the lighting at all Metrolink station platforms. By improving the lighting in making a brighter we can have the cameras that are on the platforms see more issues that may take place.
6. There needs to be more security at the Metrolink stations. I know that they're already are some security members there but not enough for the system of the size.
7. After all of these ideas are met and implemented, the systems stations can re-open to the public one by one. Following this re-opening process, metro needs to run an ad campaign to ensure the people of St. Louis and visitors to the city to not worry about safety concerns on metro.
And of course if all seven of these ideas work, then metro can consider extending the MetroLink on the North-South line. But it should not be done in the form of a streetcar like they currently want to do, they should run it on either elevated tracks or protected tracks so no one can avoid paying the fare card prices to board the train. But what about modernizing the system?
The train cars themselves needed to be upgraded especially the ones from 1993. Is other light rail services across the nation get new train cars for their ever-growing passenger count, our service things to think about upgrading our train cars as well. Our new train cars should be more well lit and then ours are currently, hold more people, have more security cameras, and also be fully connected an integrated like the Kansas City streetcar. And example of this is seen below on what the interior of the Kansas City streetcar looks like.
I fully believe that a great transit system system can only strengthen cities not hurt them. But in a city like ours that is already struggling enough, we need a new, modern looking system. By modernizing the system we can transform the way that everything works on it. I am sure anymore developers will be likely to build a major development along side of the transit Corridor if it is safe and reliable. If it is not, it will drive down the economic engine. So today, I am trying to make the case for metro to consider doing one of these eight recommendations that I wrote about in this post. If they follow any of these, I am sure that we will have more people riding the system, building along the MetroLink Corridors, and even enjoying the transit system just for the fun of it.
By. Chris Stritzel on behalf on Contributors and Family Members
It was a long primary season with many surprises from all sides of the political spectrum in the City. The Primary season was one that we will not forget for a while in more ways than one. Some from Candidate mishaps and some from Candidates high points in their campaigns. Today, Lyda Krewson won the Democratic Nomination by a VERY Small margin (888 Votes ahead of Tishaura Jones). She will join Republican Andrew Jones, Libertarian Robb Cunningham, Green Jonathan McFarland as well as Independents Kacey Cordes and Larry Rice on the April Ballot.
But for us here at Building St. Louis News, we want change that can be delivered in a way that brings people together of all stripes. It's the only way to really bring together this deeply divided City. Things need to change. The current establishment in the City is not going to help the citizens of the City at all. The next Mayor needs to work with the many new and old members of the Board of Aldermen to bring resources, care and development to both sides of Delmar in all 79 Unique Neighborhoods of the City. We need a Mayor who will help get Public-Police relations up and a government where anything is accessible (Transparency). Her name WILL be on the April Ballot.
We decided to choose the candidate who meets the criteria of being a outsider who wants the best for the City and its its citizens. We also wanted to support a Candidate that will not only attempt to shake up City Hall but also would shake the corruption and issues ultimately out of the City to make it a better place. Over all, we especially wanted a candidate that is truthful and quick to the point when it comes down to plans for his or her administration. When it goes down to police, we wanted a candidate who wants to reform the police department to where they will help restore police-community relations as well as get the respect they deserve.
That is why we Endorse Independent Candidate Kacey Cordes Mahrt.
Kacey has shown through her plans on her website, kc4stl.com, that she is ready to lead the City in a new direction. One that includes EVERYONE and not just a select few. Her bid aims to upset politics as usual in the City and return St. Louis to a City that every citizens loves despite of their religion, race or political background. Being a Independent Candidate in St. Louis brings serious change that is needed. By making the City Non-Partisan in a way, more can get done and agreements can be made faster. Also being a non-partisan city opens up new doors for those who are aspiring to become a Voice for the Citizens at City Hall.
We also decided on her for her new ideas. Kacey's ideas bring in a new era for St. Louis is she has the chance to lead. Kacey will be a voice for all St. Louisans and we HIGHLY Encourage everyone to vote for her who wants change in this City. But why should you vote for Kacey Cordes? Well the Answer is simple... If you want a Mayor that works for you, the citizen and tax payer of the City of St. Louis, she is you candidate. Kacey only wants the best for everyone in the City, therefore, she is the only Mayor Candidate who had made it clear. She doesn't want big money backing her like other candidates and even insists on giving money to a charity of our choice if you are willing to contribute to her.
For those who believe she has no chance at winning the office of the Mayor in this City, they are wrong. She has a chance. Kacey even has a great chance at winning if everyone is the City would look past the Political Wall and look at the person who wants to be your Mayor. It's time we end the Democratic Establishment here in St. Louis and by doing so, a better way of life will come about for every citizen. And by having a government that is ran by Independents, more Progress can be made eventually leading to Prosperity (Which is what this City needs).
This Endorsement decision was tough with all the great candidates out there but we believe that Kacey Cordes is the person for this job specifically. Our reasons are backed up in the information above.
Want to show Kacey that you support her too? Go to her website kc4stl.com and Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @KC4STL. And join her, us and others in voting for her on April 4th. Bring your Friends, Family and Neighbors to vote that day for Independent Kacey Cordes Mahrt! You will be happy that you did! A Vote for Kacey is a vote for Progress, Prosperity and Peace in all 79 Neighborhoods of St. Louis which benefits everyone. We also would like to encourage the newly elected and re-elected Board of Aldermen Members and other Public Officials (Political Party Doesn't Matter) to support Kacey on her quest to become the Mayor for all people!
⚜️Kacey has a big chance to win if she can get the voters out who are angry of Krewson's Victory. The 69% Voting Block in the City who didn't vote for Lyda are looking for a alternative candidate and we believe Kacey is the Candidate for them.⚜️
By. Chris Stritzel
Over the Past 16 Years, St. Louis City has seen more proposals than actual construction for towers and mixed use developments that never saw the light of day. Many of the proposals would have strengthened our City and helped change our Image. but now as new ideas are coming along and replacing other ones, I have decided to compile a post with my commentary on the ideas for the things that never rose in this city. ALL of the former projects featured were for the Central corridor only.
Lumiere Phase 2
For something that had so much potential, it is a shame to not see this on the Riverfront. When Pinnacle Entertainment owned the Lumiere Place Hotel and Casino just North of Downtown, they planned at $450 Million expansion of the project to include condos, shops and restaurants as well as some office space. It was supposed to draw people to Downtown to not only gamble but also shop and enjoy life. It would have also saved the now gone and scrapped President Casino. It would be nice to see this brought back to life but the new owner of Lumiere Place, Tropicana Entertainment, has no plans to move forward with the project thus shelving this idea for those in the Future to look back on.
Development Company OPUS has a large presence in Central West End but would have been made larger with this Tower. It looks a lot like the Park East Building in Central West End and would have brought more residents down to the Euclid area. After it was proposed, NIMBY's (Not in my Backyards) of the area North of Lindell criticized it for being to tall and claimed it would be a disaster for the region traffic wise. They got their wish, and the buildings plans were shelved. But back in 2011, OPUS returned to bring this lot at Euclid and Lindell back to life with a smaller building called Citizen Park. The 12 floor Building is now completed and the NIMBY's have cooled down for the most part with the exception of them still complaining about the building's design.
Any of the Many Ballpark Village Plans
Possibly one of the biggest blunders development wise is the Ballpark Village Project. With the Cardinals and Cordish Companies officially announcing the concept back in 2005, it received a warm welcome. In 2006, the Cardinals unveiled a new plan that brought along more high-rises and even Centene wanting to expand in Downtown. Form there, they promised to have it open in time for the 2009 All Star Game but they never did. When the economy tanked, the Cardinals and Cordish Companies lost the large vision and instead looked to building the project tin phases. They got the attention of Stifel and proposed a tower for the site until Stifel left and then again proposed a 3 Floor Entertainment Building t replace all of it just to get something underway. That failed to resulting in the Cardinals having to go back to the drawing boards and present the Current Phase 1 that has been built. Phase 2 Seems to bring back some of the original ideas for the site but we will not fully know whether or not this development nightmare will be built out to its fullest grandeur.
The McGowan-Walsh Tower and the Chouteaus Greenway Project
One of the biggest plans to never see the light of day is the Chouteaus Greenway Project. It would have replaced many surface lots and railroad tracks with a lake, park, greenway and buildings all in the area south of interstate 64 in Downtown. It would have also redeveloped the Southern Riverfront of St, Louis and would have turned the area around it into even more prime real-estate. One Tower that was proposed with the project was the MW Tower. A 1000 foot tall Office, Hotel, Residential and Retail Building Built just West of Busch Stadium. The Tower would have changed the way our Downtown looks and ultimately would have changed the City forever but with the Financial Collapse and not enough money, both projects died and do not appear to be making a comeback thus shelving them fir a while but hopefully not forever.
Both the Riverfront Stadium and the Innovation Complex
The $1 billion Rams Stadium that never was is a prime example what can happen when Billionaire owners are very shady with their business dealings. That sentence right there is enough to know why this Stadium failed and also goes to show why it will never be built. After this was a plan B for the North Riverfront to turn it into a Innovation Park like Cortex. The City backed plan also failed to do a slow design process, no interest and especially the crime statistics. These all pushed away potential leasers and thus leading to it being cancelled and the Riverfront still sitting desolate and waiting for a new life.
Once planned for Washington Avenue, SkyHouse would have brought more residents downtown but as we all know, it never saw the light of day. When the economy collapsed, it took this project with it. With SkyHouse went all of the information (cost, height) for no one to know. With the economy making a return, it would surprising if this project came back to life but I say no. Why? The Downtown market is being overwhelmed with Housing whether it is condos or apartments. Because of this, SkyHouse will not rise anytime soon unless a absolute demand for new housing is needed then maybe we will see it return but until then, this project is shelved.
The Bottle District
When it was proposed, it appeared to be the only thing on this list that could have really been built with little to no issues but when it was proposed was the killer. The mixed use project was proposed in 2006/2007 right before the economic collapse. The complex would have featured a Daniel Libeskind designed 630 foot tall Building making it attention grabber when ever you are downtown or entering the City. The vision however is one that made nationwide headlines when it was introduced and is still talked about on Forums nationwide about Large scaled projects like this that failed. I believe however that this project will see the light of day. It is a matter of tie until a developer proposes something similar to this on the site just North of the Edward Jones Dome and when that day comes, we can say hello to a renewed Downtown but until then, this project is at the bottom of someone's desk drawer waiting to be rediscovered.