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Old 02-14-2014, 10:18 PM
1,478 posts, read 2,083,444 times
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Originally Posted by MUTGR View Post
Not trying to start a fight. I actually root for the the City and believe it is making great strides - I just don't get the urban viewpoint that sometimes sounds like it wants suburbs to crash and burn. That would be a bad thing in my opinion for everyone- city included.

Fertility rates are dropping, so if you think that is a good thing, it's happening. There are consequences to that though that everyone should be aware of - see Japan.

I don't see anyone here cheering for the 'burbs to crash and burn, BUT, a demographic shift that would curb the development of more land on the periphery of the metro is a good thing.

Regardless, gentrification of the far north side is a long, long way away. Gentrification is usually driven by two things: 1) proximity to jobs and 2) proximity to other gentrified neighborhoods. There are simply too many inexpensive properties in areas very close to better neighborhoods in S City for that part of the city to get much attention.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
I don't see anyone here cheering for the 'burbs to crash and burn, BUT, a demographic shift that would curb the development of more land on the periphery of the metro is a good thing.
Yeah, I think trading growth in the suburbs for growth in the city while keeping the suburbs' population stable (or even raising it by filling in the less populated areas) would be the most beneficial way for the metro population to grow. Infill in the city would be far more beneficial and less wasteful than a new McMansion in Chesterfield.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:37 PM
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:49 PM
Location: St. Paul, MN
320 posts, read 737,724 times
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I'm fascinated by and attracted to neighborhoods with run-down and abandoned houses, so I've spent a lot of time driving around the bad parts of Detroit and St. Louis. For a long time, I saw North City and most of Detroit as the same type of place: Many abandoned houses with residents constantly leaving. But recently I've spent more time in St. Louis and am beginning to notice subtle differences. In short, I think most if not all St. Louis city neighborhoods will slowly turn around and become livable and desirable, whereas most Detroit neighborhoods have met their demise. There's a great blog called GooBing Detroit that shows images from when Google and Bing drove through neighborhoods some 3ish years apart. And they don't just pick the best examples, I've looked at many random spots on my own and found their examples to be consistent with most of the city. Detroit has had large numbers of residents walking away from their homes for decades, and over a span of a few short years those homes go abandoned and are demolished/burned/turned into a pile of rubble. No new houses are built on these lots. And this is at least 80% of Detroit city neighborhoods. In contrast, when I drive around North City, I feel like the neighborhoods declined like Detroit up to a point but at a point, probably in the 90s, they were frozen in time and few if any were abandoned after that time. The occupied houses continue to be occupied while the abandoned ones continue to deteriorate. Unlike Detroit, there are plenty of new infill houses, most notably inside Grand. The trends of white flight and black flight probably continue across North City and North County, but at a reduced pace. Seems like middle class folks of all races are moving in behind the cycle of depopulation following black flight. If Paul McKee quits being a roadblock (forgive me if I have the story wrong on him, you can get ten different perspectives from ten different sources and who knows which is correct), I'd guess that the middle class moving into North City will eventually catch up with and stop the black flight, reducing the depopulated zone to nothing, and the whole city will become desirable once again. As these areas become desirable again with the middle class moving in and crime rates going down, the existing residents shouldn't feel the need to move out anymore. Although many of them, being poor, will be priced out of their own neighborhood, but perhaps not as much as most cities because St. Louis has such a great supply of housing and land. (As an aside, a new light rail is opening this month here in Minneapolis-St. Paul, with a station a block from my apartment, and already rents all along the line have gone up 25% before the line even opened. As such, I expect to get priced out of my own neighborhood within two years.) The bottom line is that I feel like St. Louis city will slowly increase in population and desirability over the next few decades. Detroit, on the other hand, seems like it will become a wasteland with a few houses here and there except for a few small, nicer neighborhoods and the Downtown-Midtown area, which will function as a small city, and even has its own police department, which is probably a good part of why it's doing well. Inner North County, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any factors working in its favor and will probably become the worst of the worst and remain so for a good while. Except I hear inklings that Jennings is improving. That's a pleasant surprise, and I'm curious why.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:53 PM
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Interesting post and an interesting idea. I wonder if your theory might have anything to do with the longevity of StL brick? Most inner city homes here are made of brick and thus will last a lot longer and are much more accessible to renovation than their wood counterparts in Detroit, which will require much more maintenance and attention to keep structurally intact.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:42 PM
Location: St. Paul, MN
320 posts, read 737,724 times
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I actually thought after I posted that that I should've said something about the brick. In my Detroit wanderings and readings, it has become clear that frequently (but not always) a wooden neighborhood will be mostly abandoned while a brick neighborhood two streets over will be fully occupied if not even in immaculate condition. Same size houses. All I know about this is from my wanderings though. I haven't read anything about how brick would cause people to preserve or remodel homes. In St. Louis City it's hard to see the correlation because almost all of North City is brick and while South City has some wood, its wooden areas have always been nice so the forces to abandon them were never there. I do recall seeing a lot of abandoned wooden homes on my way through Baden last weekend. I also recall reading that Baden was the only decent neighborhood in North City (although that information might be a decade or two dated) which would make it the least likely to have abandoned homes. I'm sure there's a lot of truth to brick being less likely to go abandoned, but it's not the only factor. Perhaps they're easier to rehab than wooden homes. I recall seeing consistently in ONSL well-maintained homes right next door to homes that are super far gone, all brick of course, with nothing in between. Wonder if they rehabbed some of the far gone ones, or if the occupied ones were pretty much always occupied so they never deteriorated.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:43 AM
5,908 posts, read 6,578,285 times
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Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
It's obvious St. Louis is a rust belt city, and located in the midwest, not the most desirable region of the country. But St. Louis metro is a hot area of all sorts of innovative start up companies, Fortune 500 companies, leading medical centers, universities, tourism, commerce, development, etc.

St. Louis really isn't known as Detroit or even Cleveland, it's seen as a lot better off. Yet how do we explain that St. Louis has lost over 500,000 people over the course of 50 years? And it continues to shrink? Even St. Louis county lost population in the last census.

Forgive me, I am not a St. Louis native, nor have I ever lived there, but the city fascinates me and I am curious on why it continues to shed population. I found this article slightly disturbing about the future of the city of St. Louis.

Census shows city is 'hollowing out' : News
I was just thinking the same thing the other day.

St. Louis is not a bad place to live. The quality of life is great. It doesn't feel like a rust belt city at all.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:50 AM
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Default Why We Had To Leave STL ...

Didn't want to go; loved living in St. Louis. When the Great Recession hit, one of us got laid off and it would have become two of us being unemployed if we had hung out. Watched the value of the nicest house we had ever owned -- in the nicest area -- just plummet, even though there weren't any foreclosures anywhere near my neighborhood. For some reason, it seemed like the local realtors in STL were actively playing a supporting role, feeding the negativity and downward spiral. When the recession unfolded nationally I observed an entire city abruptly freak out, en masse, and become collectively paralyzed. Hiring just froze "overnight". Not being from the midwest, I believe fear spawned this knee-jerk reaction, not the actual effects of the recession. Many professional jobs evaporated in a flash, along with a lot of other jobs. My point: What I witnessed was something so reactionary, so ridiculous ... it was an over-reaction fueled by irrational fear. More importantly, there wasn't enough of a collective organized response from business and community leaders to help stabilize the local economy, even just a little. With the lay-offs came more business closures ... and more layoffs.

Like I said, I love STL and really miss it. It is an AWESOMELY intriguing and fun city. But the city's employers big & small had overreacted during the recession, and that had clearly made everything worse. I believe it caused an avoidable "vicious circle" of stupidity to unfold. Everything suffered. Maybe the conservative undercurrent of this midwestern city was a contributing factor. We had to leave STL to go to where businesses were responding, not just reacting to the recession. We needed income and still had a mortgage. We had no choice.
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