Downtown is the epicenter of development, transformation and innovation. Since progress often spurs inconvenient construction, Getting Around Downtown is a frequent concern of our stakeholders.
Right now, there is a great deal of construction on both sides of Washington Avenue, between 7th Street and Memorial Drive. This project is spearheaded by the St. Louis Development Corporation, Spinnaker St. Louis and Stifel, with the intent to create strong pedestrian connections between The MX District and Laclede’s Landing. The goal is to complete this project by Fall 2017.
The work along Washington Avenue consists of:
- Replacing sidewalks
- Adding hanging baskets for flowers
- Planting new trees, with special attention to the tree wells and planting beds
- Adding community access to electrical outlets, which will also provide lighting for the street trees
- Replacing all of the roadway and pedestrian lighting, with new LED’s
The national average for street trees is seven years, largely due to poorly designed tree wells, poor tree selection and poor maintenance. With the help of our Certified Arborist, the newly designed tree wells should catalyze a life span of 30 years for these trees.
This was not an easy project to get off the ground. A few years ago, St. Louis Development Corporation agreed to partner with Stifel and Spinnaker St. Louis in a pilot program, to apply for federal money to improve Downtown streets. To qualify, the city had to be the applicant and the program required a 20% match. Unfortunately, the city did not have the funds or resources to match the grant, so Stifel and Spinnaker St. Louis agreed to fund the match, and hire the appropriate engineers for this project.
In the end, Stifel and Spinnaker St. Louis each invested $200,000 each as a donation, and the city’s grant application for $2 million was successful. This is an important project for Downtown and is part of a larger plan, to foster both a greater sense of safety and create more foot traffic on Downtown sidewalks.
Who to contact:
Project stakeholders realize that progress can sometimes be painful and inconvenient. In an effort to alleviate headaches, work has been scheduled in the slow parts of the year and the construction crews are trying to move quickly – they’re trying to do as much at once as possible, both for cost efficiency and the impact on the neighborhood.
Amos Harris of Spinnaker St. Louis is one of the project stakeholders and he wants to hear from you! If you have any additional questions or concerns, direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.