Monday, February 19, 2007

Mullanphy Update

Your help is still needed in the effort to stabilize the historic Mullanphy Emigrant Home. Click here to find out more. Click on the image for a larger version.

At least Gieco Will Insure Me

I've been trying to think of a response to the STL Business Journals "article" about CAVEmen- Citizens Against Virtually Everything. I am supposedly one of these. I just don't know how to respond to the ridiculousness of this claim. I could never be considered as against development. I'm one of the biggest cheer leaders of development you will find. The problem developers have with me and others is that I have the balls to ask for appropriate urban development, not just the least common denominator.

If a closer look is taken, you can see that us anti-development people will actually take the time to rally for a good development. When Patti Tepper and her little group know as "Citizens for Responsible Development" threatened the Lindell Condos project, a group of us were very vocal in showing support. We had our own thoughts and criticisms of the design, but we were fully in support of the general idea presented.

In the cases used in the article to show an anti-development bias, we were and are all for development, just not in the way it has been proposed. We were all for the OPO being renovated, but we wanted to historic gem next door known as the Century Building to be renovated as condos and parking, as well as street level retail. This would have kept the historic integrity of the district as well as not blatantly going against official plans for the district to help out developer buddies. Even more important, there were developers willing to take this on, but there proposals were squashed by DESCO/DFC and politicians that are in their pockets. As far as the Bohemian Hill plans, I am perfectly fine with a retail development, it just needs to be done in a much more urban fashion. Phase II should be done as an infill and renovation project, not as clear cutting of new and renovated homes. When it comes to the north side and Paul McKee, I'm not against anything but letting buildings rot and potential for suburban styled development. I'm all for proper urban development. Just look to Old North to see how it should be done.

I think what pisses me off the most is that the Biz Journal is blatantly supporting developer buddies instead of taking a constructive look at what both sides wants. I think a dialogue would be much more useful to developers and urbanists than petty potshots. I'm perfectly willing to share what I would look for in a proper urban development as well as hear the developers view, but the developer needs to be willing to listen as well, not just view us as obstructionists in the way of their gifts to us poor urban folk that don't know any better.

For now I will proudly wear the badge of CAVEman- Citizens Against Vulgar Environments. Thanks to Steve Patterson for recoining the acronym.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mississippi Bluff's Resurected?

The latest word on the long delayed and poorly planned Mississippi Bluff's project along Broadway is that construction will start in April. Michael Curran apparently told a neighbor of the site across Broadway that construction would indeed finally start this spring, and that none of the delays were his fault. His biggest excuse seemed to be bad advice from an engineer that told him he would need a lot of steel in the ground. My info is from a second hand, but reliable source, so the details are a little fuzzy, but that's the story at the moment.