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Old 01-17-2014, 08:38 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
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Two topics in a row! I've gone nuts!

Anyway, I've thought about this for a little while-could it be possible that Midtown St. Louis, as well as South St. Louis neighborhoods like The Gate District or the Tiffany could be rebranded as a college-town sort of place to draw in new business from SLU students? I'm aware SLU isn't the largest school around, but it still has quite some local influence, so I think it would be important to have a nearby economy that caters to it. There's a lot of culture in that area of town, so to encourage development, perhaps college student housing and recreational services (IE college nightlife) would help boost development in the area and help the city as a whole too. Of course, the city might have to work with SLU on this one, but it's an idea which I think could work. What do you guys say? Plausible or no? Or could Midtown take a better path?
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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I think the businesses in midtown already draw heavily from the SLU student population, so I'm not sure what you're saying. I know in college, we spent a LOT of time in the CWE, South Grand, downtown, and of course around midtown. Most undergrad students who moved "off campus" moved to an apartment somewhere in midtown with the occasional wanderers to Soulard, CWE, Tower Grove. What drew me to SLU was that it was in the middle of the city, still had a college campus sort of feel, but wasn't a total college town. When I was in school there, there was a program where students could put $ on their student ID card and use it at a few participating restaurants around campus (never saw the point myself...wasn't like you could use your meal plan $ at local restaurants, it was pretty much the same as using a debit or credit card).
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I think that is a very plausible plan. Unfortunately, SLU's land use policies (i.e. tearing down dozens of buildings for grassy fields, fountains, and parking lots) has a detrimental effect on the urban fabric of the area and makes it more difficult to create a cohesive, walkable community. Ideally, I'd like to see SLU/Grand Center become analogous to Wash U/The Loop. There's so much potential right on SLU's doorstep that it's not taking advantage of the same way Wash U is. That being said, Midtown Alley along Locust just east of SLU seems to be doing quite well on its own and could act as a catalyst for more college town-style development closer to SLU proper. A streetcar (or even BRT) down Grand connecting Grand Center, the Metro station, the medical center, The Gate, and Tower Grove would be the bee's knees.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:44 AM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
I think that is a very plausible plan. Unfortunately, SLU's land use policies (i.e. tearing down dozens of buildings for grassy fields, fountains, and parking lots) has a detrimental effect on the urban fabric of the area and makes it more difficult to create a cohesive, walkable community. Ideally, I'd like to see SLU/Grand Center become analogous to Wash U/The Loop. There's so much potential right on SLU's doorstep that it's not taking advantage of the same way Wash U is. That being said, Midtown Alley along Locust just east of SLU seems to be doing quite well on its own and could act as a catalyst for more college town-style development closer to SLU proper. A streetcar (or even BRT) down Grand connecting Grand Center, the Metro station, the medical center, The Gate, and Tower Grove would be the bee's knees.
Let me just say that I agree with this wholly. When I first learned that SLU had torn down the Pevely Dairy, I was pissed. I literally yelled at my computer screen. They have so much empty land to work with and they choose to tear down the one building with historic value? Whoever is making those decisions there does not know how an urban community works.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis
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Seems like SLU at some point had convinced the city planning commission that they were going to build something there in order to get the demolition to happen. I have yet to see any development actually happen though.

Commission Approves Tear-Down of Pevely Dairy Buildings « CBS St. Louis

Seems like when WashU needs to demolish something, construction starts right away on its replacement. While I wouldn't say SLU is lying, I would say they have been less than truthful about that project being "shovel ready" at the time of demolition.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by JuanHamez View Post
Seems like SLU at some point had convinced the city planning commission that they were going to build something there in order to get the demolition to happen. I have yet to see any development actually happen though.

Commission Approves Tear-Down of Pevely Dairy Buildings « CBS St. Louis

Seems like when WashU needs to demolish something, construction starts right away on its replacement. While I wouldn't say SLU is lying, I would say they have been less than truthful about that project being "shovel ready" at the time of demolition.
I heard that SLU actually was lying about having a shovel-ready project for the site. The rumor was that they shopped around at different architectural firms in the area asking them to just draw a picture of the "ambulatory care center" that they could show the preservation board with the understanding that they had no intention of building it. The reason they had to shop around was because it was hard to find a firm with ethics low enough to actually do this. That's the rumor, anyway.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:56 PM
 
1,710 posts, read 1,774,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
I heard that SLU actually was lying about having a shovel-ready project for the site. The rumor was that they shopped around at different architectural firms in the area asking them to just draw a picture of the "ambulatory care center" that they could show the preservation board with the understanding that they had no intention of building it. The reason they had to shop around was because it was hard to find a firm with ethics low enough to actually do this. That's the rumor, anyway.
So they just tore it down for the hell of it?

Seriously, who the hell makes these decisions? Do they have any idea how a city is supposed to work?!
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:12 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I'm not a big fan of Biondi and his heavy hand in mid-town, but the transformation of SLU from a fairly bleak urban commuter school campus to an actual nice urban campus is pretty nice.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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Originally Posted by MUTGR View Post
I'm not a big fan of Biondi and his heavy hand in mid-town, but the transformation of SLU from a fairly bleak urban commuter school campus to an actual nice urban campus is pretty nice.
Agreed. The improvements made in the past few decades are pretty significant. There are too many large green areas serving no current purpose, but student housing is getting tight and I'm sure they'll be building soon enough. I'm very interested in who the next president of the university will be, and if he/she will take a different approach.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:00 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,266 posts, read 5,758,595 times
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Originally Posted by billiken View Post
Agreed. The improvements made in the past few decades are pretty significant. There are too many large green areas serving no current purpose, but student housing is getting tight and I'm sure they'll be building soon enough. I'm very interested in who the next president of the university will be, and if he/she will take a different approach.
Yes, to put a little more context to my post, those that were at SLU in the 1970s and 1980s pretty much marvel at the campus.

It is very nice, and Biondi must get much of the credit for it.
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