By. Chris Stritzel
Today, news got out about the ambitions to build a 7 Floor, Element Hotel by Westin across the street from the under construction Foundry Project. The Foundry Project, for background, will be a mixed use neighborhood comprised of Residential, Office, Retail and a Food Hall. It will open in 2018. But the meaning of this article is the Planned Hotel.
Planned for the former Headquarters of Habitat Humanity, The Hotel will add to the ever changing Forest Park Parkway-Vandeventer area of Midtown. The $24 Million project will bring around 150 Rooms to the area and add to the Urban Streetscape of Forest Park Avenue. Upon Completion in 2018, if goes as planned, it will be another key part in this regions revitalization.
More information will be available soon
UPDATE: The Element Building will have 10,000 square feet of street level retail space facing Forest Park Avenue. That in itself is a huge plus for the modern-urban feel that this region will have. The large building in the lower right of the overall image of the area is an unannounced building to our understanding. We will probably learn more about it as the new week comes in.
By. Janet Sikes
In my first article of my tenure here, I decided that I would write on an issue that is currently facing St. Louis. That issue if the current Tax Dollar use. For years now, St. louis (like many other cities) have been giving away TIF funds to developers so that they can build their projects to his or her liking. This has caused an epidemic however by way of how Public Money is being spent. Over the past half of a year, the amount of proposals in the City of St. Louis have skyrocketed, literally. It proves that the economy is coming back, however, with this revival, the City is fast approaching bankruptcy.
developers have been relying on the City Government to hand them out TIFs whenever they feel like they need them. That is a fatal mistake on our behalf. St. Louis has become a breeding ground for developers to take money away from our budget of just over $1 Billion. Because of this issue, the budgets of many crucial departments in the City are bring chiseled away at so developers can build. Money itself is being wastefully spent already without developers even having a hand in it. Because of this, we have to look at what we can do to prevent wasteful use of our Tax Dollars, not only government wise, but TIF wise. Lets start by looking at the Budget.
The City has an annual budget of $1.2 Billion during the 2016-2017 Fiscal year. Within the budget, to my calculations, have totaled over $60 Million in wasteful spending in the City. That huge amount of money can be best kept tucked away. What I mean by this is quite simple, we need to create a surplus fund in the City. A fund, such as this, could help us out when it comes down to developers clawing at the Public Money for their projects. The surplus fund would tuck the $60 Million away, and if a developer would like to take some of that to use on a project, it would have tp be fully voted on by the Board of Aldermen. This would help us balance out how we spend and give away money in the City.
Besides this, the unused money can go towards City services in the event of an emergency budget shortfall. This shortfall can be anything from an increase ion employees to a reorganization of the service. Regardless, it is there and is $60 Million up for grabs (but not for one person only). In my opinion, we are wasting public tax dollars, but as mentioned, there is a way to save money in a smart and efficient way. Not only do
I believe this will help us out in our Future ambitions, but it will also lay the foundation for a smarter St. Louis Civic Government in terms of transparency and fiscal conservatism.
In all honesty, I highly recommend the Politicians in the City of St. Louis read this to the fullest extent and promote this idea.
For Building St. Louis News, I'm Janet Sikes.
By. Chris Stritzel
The area of South County just North of Interstate 55 on Lindbergh is becoming a region of strong retail growth. The latest project in this region is a one Floor retail center owner by Pace. The project is taking place of a former Motel 6, which was demolished a while ago. The project rests in the Rusty Road shopping area of South County. Besides this, it is right up against Lindbergh in terms of visibility instead of being hidden.
The retailers going in here (that have been mentioned on BluePrints) are name brands. They are:
1. Ulta Beauty Supply
2. Carters Childrens Clothing
3. Still Available for Rent
These retailers, and whatever comes third, will add to this region and will help grow the economy. The whole lot will have 74 parking spaces. The building itself will be approximately 18,500 square feet of retail space. Besides this, it's materials are brick and glass for the exterior and normal retailer materials on the interior. Projected completion for this project is December of this year, just in time for the Holiday Shopping Season.
There are no renderings of this project anywhere. Not on site or on Pace's website.
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By. Chris Stritzel
Today, Alderman Joe Vaccaro (23 Ward) put out a Facebook Post detailing a community meeting to be held at the Police Officer Association building. That meeting would be a community review for a renovation of a 3 Floor office building into 12 studio apartments. This project could be an interesting one as well and will test the waters to see if Hampton North of Chippewa is ready to be redeveloped. Across the street from this project is the old FYE Store, which will be coming down to make way for a Chick-Fil-A.
The meeting will be held by the Tilles Park Neighborhood Association and, if you would like to attend, the meeting is on April 24th at 7P.M at 3710 Hampton. The developer will reveal more information about the project at that time.
The Address of the building about to be redeveloped is at 3800 Hampton Avenue. Down the street, the SOHA Apartments are under construction as well.
By. Chris Stritzel
The Tower Grove South Neighborhood will possibly see some new buildings soon. The most prominent and first to come to light is a 26 Unit Apartment Project called "MOFO" which stands for Morganford. The new project will be situated at the corner of Morganford and Connecticut Street in the TGS Neighborhood. It will replace a run down Car Wash. The project will also include Street level retail which will add to the emerging Morganford Business District near Tower Grove Park.
A unique feature about the building is the design. The design puts a modern twist on the neighborhoods historic look. Not only is the 3 Floor Building going to add to the character of the area, but it will also contribute to a much larger project. A Project that will help other neighborhoods realize that every neighborhood has a Central Corridor. In this case, this will help Tower Grove South realize that their Central Corridor is Morganford between Utah and Arsenal.
If approved, the building could start to rise as soon as the end of this year or early next year. As more news on this comes in, I'll be sure to update this post.
By. Chris Stritzel
Today, History was made as Lyda Krewson became not only the 46th Mayor in the City's history but also the first woman Mayor of the City of St. Louis. The ceremony held in the Grand Rotunda of the Coty Hall Building was packed full of media and Lyda Supporters as well as the General public. If you are person like me (who didn't support now Mayor Krewson) it was an interesting event, but truly one that was well planned. My day at City Hall didn't start before this event began but actually, nearly 3 hours before the actual event took place.
I was invited by Alderman Joe Vaccaro of the 23rd Ward. I arrived at City Hall at 9:20 and watched Vaccaro's as well as the new members of the Board of Aldermen get sworn into office in the Board of Aldermen room in City Hall. The event was nice and was wel orchestrated. From there, I attended a party for the Aldermen in the Kennedy hearing room. After this, it was time for the swearing in of Lyda Krewson. As Joe went to stand on the stairs, I stood and watched Lyda take the oath of office as well as Darlene Green take the oath to become Comptroller for another term.
Diring this time, Mayor Sly James of Kansas City spoke about why he believes Lyda will work to strengthen the KC-STL relationship this growing the statewide economy. It was a interesting thing to have a speaker who is a Mayor of a neighboring City. Besides this, Lydas speech was full of promises and thank yous for the people who elected her into office. She was clearly happy. Following the ceremonies, I wondered around the City Hall and snapped a picture with the outgoing Mayor, Francis Slay.
Although this is a history making day for St. Louis, some on Twitter are declaring Lyda a "False Mayor" and that "She will be ousted after one term". But we shall City whether or not this really will be a one term Mayor. But now I have a personal message for Mayor Krewson featured directly below the slideshow.
Dear Mayor Krewson,
I Chris Stritzel congratulate you on becoming St. Louis' first woman Mayor. It must be a huge honor to hold that title. Besides this, I have a request for you, a simple request. Please, help heal the City. We are divided along racial lines which are holding us back from reaching our full potential of growing and reimagining our City again. If you could please work with the Public and Private sectors of the City, we can strengthen our economy and create a City that will have a growing population and strong growth for many years to come.
Thanks for Reading this.
Signed Chris Stritzel
By. Chris Stritzel
It has been a while now since a developer has proposed a significant development in the City of county. It has become clear that there is a reason behind this slump is proposals. The primary reason is that developers are waiting to see if our region will be overbuilt with Office, Residential and Hotel space. The biggest project currently is the Centene Corporate Campus expansion in Clayton which is by far the biggest gamble in a while in St. Louis.
Although are City and County has many changing projects in the pipeline, many seem to have stalled or have been canceled with no explanation as to why. However, the slump in growth could mean that some major redevelopment projects are in the pipe line and could be announced soon. The largest one (possibly) will be the AT&T Building's redevelopment. Other projects that could be coming soon is a redevelopment plan for the North Riverfront. But one of the more interesting things that could decide the fate of projects in the City and County are 3 Projects.
- Ballpark Village
- One Hundred
- Centene's Expansion
These projects will decide the way our future plays out. Besides that point, these projects could anchor a new era of construction in the region. Until these projects are underway and the Railway Exchange and Jefferson Arms Projects are underway, we will not see anymore significant projects. The largest fail by far is the MLS Stadium (which wouldn't have helped us) but that failure has also placed a bad reputation on us. But we will have to wait and see whether or not the narrative of the City changes for us to truly get more proposals from developers.
When that will be is anyone's guess.
By. Chris Stritzel
It has been now 6 moths since the Cardinals and the Cordish company announced the massive second Phase of Ballpark Village. Now as the new season starts, reunite are beginning to heat up that the next phase has been cancelled. The reason? The lack of news or words coming from both the Cardinals and the Cordish company. This lack of news from them has made many people to believe that the project has been cancelled. News on the project is minimal and the process of getting people hyped about the project has stalled. So now the question is, is this moving forward anymore?
We have been tricked by the Cordish Comapnies and the Cardinals before on Ballpark Village. The many plans of Ballpark Village have come and gone with many of them really hyping people up. This one could join those as ones that were revealed from the drawing board but never became a reality. Multiple ideas have been made clear that this Phase is indeed cancelled or being redesigned. The list of those reasons is below.
- The Project is being redesigned to include more residential since office tenants are hard to convince to move into the village.
- Not only has it been redesigned, it may have also been downsized
- The project has been cancelled fully due to the new Season starting up and financial issues
- and the last idea which is probably the most crazy idea, the Project was cancelled as a result of hidden political difficulties.
Any of these reasons makes sense in more ways than one. But if the Cardinals really want to make a difference with the Cordish Companies in the City of St. Louis, they need to build this project, as presented or risk losing the trust of the public and news organizations about Ballpark Village.