Friday, March 16, 2012

Block Party Today! 900 Olive 11-3

If you're not already occupied by the Occupy Movement's takeover of park land, stop by the block party on the 900 Block of Olive!  Hosted by Fifth-Third Bank, the theme of the block party is "A Block of Health and Wealth".  The cover band "Under the Influence" will be playing, food will be served, and businesses on that block will be participating in the festivities so that people can get a sense of how much is available Downtown.

This block has always been a great block in the City.  With the addition of the Culinaria at 9th and Olive and the Syndicate Condominiums with rennovated 1st floor commercial space, its one of downtowns most active blocks.

The weather should be perfect, and after things are over, everyone can cross the line into the 1000 block to Jack Patricks to watch the Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

New Wave of Development Downtown

Syndicate Condos Open This Sunday 1-3
This weeks St Louis Business Journal is all about Doing Business in Downtown and the exciting progress being made this year.

Back when developers were trying to turn abandoned refrigerator boxes into loft condos, things seemed imbalanced.  It seemed like every every vacant building downtown had plans for new luxury lofts, and the "Doing Business Downtown" pages of those years business journal spoke almost entirely about more Downtown lofts.  Even without a recession, things would have needed to change.  

Now its been almost 5 years since a hammer has been picked up for loft condos and downtown is still moving forward.  It seemed that more and better residential construction was just the beginning for downtown.  St Louis loft dwellers would have told you what was needed all along:  stuff to do.  CityGarden, Old Post Office Plaza, tons of restaurants and cafe's, Peabody Opera House, have all added to the livability factor that was missing when the loft boom started.

This weeks paper talks about the next phase, with MX adding the National Blues Museum, Pi, and a cool new concept-an upscale adults-only movie theater.  This takes adds life to the area east of the convention center, which is long overdue. 

Syndicate Condominiums include large artist workshop
Lastly, there was an article about how downtown is developing as an arts center by providing 'artist friendly' housing throughout downtown.  Having the Syndicate Condos listed for over a year, one of the cool things about it is the huge artist workshop and 2 art galleries in the building.  Having a place to both create and show art is big for an artist.  I know lots of artists that live in single family homes that have their work just stacked up in closets and hidden from the world.  Just having those things is nice, but seeing the art community active in the building by hosting art shows and using the building in the process of creation is a buzz that no other condo building can boast.  Overall though, working to foster a better artists community will be attractive in many ways for the downtown community.

As the real estate market seems to be coming back to life and the downtown market is picking up, its nice to see the momentum continue with more things happening and better livability than what the first bunch of 'loft dwellers' could enjoy. 

Syndicate 4th & 5th Floor Galleries
The 'build it and they will come' philosophy works to a point, and what we're observing with downtown is consistent with much of life:  improvements were made to downtown streets that stimulated investment and residential developement.  Residential development stimulated retail, public spaces & restaurants.  More retail &  restaurants is stimulating more office use.

The renaissance continues and Downtown St Louis is coming together nicely.