Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

Proposed Carson, California stadium
L.A. Times| Manica Architecture

The Rams' future in St. Louis continues to be uncertain.

National Football League owners are meeting this week in San Francisco and are expected to receive updates on stadium plans in St. Louis and two Los Angeles suburbs: Carson and Inglewood.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber meets with reporters in St. Louis. Garber toured a potential stadium site near the city's north riverfront.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The commissioner of Major League Soccer was in St. Louis on Tuesday to visit the site of a potential stadium on the city’s riverfront.

But while expressing optimism that St. Louis could support a professional soccer team, the chief of the country’s most popular league emphasized it’s way too early to talk about when an expansion would happen.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Two auctions were held Monday in connection with developer Paul McKee’s McEagle Properties, LLC.

In the first auction, held by Triad Bank, McKee appeared to pay off McEagle’s remaining debt to the bank. A company connected to McKee paid Triad $748,000 for McEagle’s assets.

"We are pleased to announce that M Property Services, LLC was the successful bidder for substantially all the assets of McEagle Properties, LLC," said McKee spokesman Jim Gradl in an emailed statement. "M Property Services, LLC is a new entity affiliated with the McKee family."

Hazelwood Logistics Center, Paul McKee
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio/MapBox, OpenStreetMap)

A Kansas City company wants to take over and begin construction this summer on developer Paul McKee’s long-dormant Hazelwood Logistics Center.

But Paul McKee is fighting back in court.

The Hazelwood Logistics Center is in a prime location near Interstate 70 at Lindbergh Boulevard and Missouri Bottom Road. The 151-acre site was to become an industrial and logistics park, but it’s been plagued by lawsuits.

UMWA protest
(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Patriot Coal filed for Chapter 11 protection Tuesday, less than two years after emerging from bankruptcy.

Patriot, which was spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007, was headquartered in St. Louis until earlier this year. The company is now based in Scott Depot, West Virginia, and filed bankruptcy in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia.

President and CEO Bob Bennett said “challenging market conditions” in coal led the company’s board and management team to make the decision. The company is in negotiations to sell its operating assets to a strategic partner.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio/MapBox, OpenStreetMap)

Local developer Paul McKee’s legal troubles have moved to the auction block.

Notices of two separate auctions tied to McKee companies have been filed since the beginning of the month.

The first is connected with the Hazelwood Logistics Center in St. Louis County. The 151-acre site at Lindbergh Boulevard and Missouri Bottom Road was supposed to become an industrial and logistics center but remains mostly undeveloped.

flag of Ireland
via Flickr / Michael Caroe Andersen

Much of St. Louis’s top civic and economic brass traveled to Europe over the weekend. A trade delegation led by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, World Trade Center St. Louis, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Council Chairman Pat Dolan are in Ireland through Tuesday.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds families with higher levels of education attain more wealth, and that the wealth gap between educational attainment levels is growing.

But the authors also stress that education alone does not explain the differences in these outcomes.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, north city
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of residents is asking the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to cross north St. Louis off of a list of four sites the agency is considering for its relocation.

The residents delivered a petition with more than 95,000 signatures to the NGA on Wednesday with the help of the Institute for Justice, an organization based in Arlington, VA, and local group Save North Side STL.

Paul McKee
St. Louis Public Radio

Paul McKee’s legal woes are growing.

PNC Bank filed a federal lawsuit late last week in the Southern District of Illinois. It claims McKee, several of his holding companies and the former Corn Belt Bank & Trust defaulted on an $8 million loan from a PNC predecessor.

Gigante puppets pulled by bike in the People's Joy Parade during Cherokee Street's Cinco de Mayo festival Saturday,May 2, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Glittery sombreros big and small. The occasional plastic mustache dangling from sunglasses. Regatón blasting from one speaker, pop tunes blaring on another. Tacos, piña coladas and colorful margaritas in fish bowls.

Wrestling, live music and the eccentric, playful People’s Joy Parade. This is Cherokee Street during  Cinco de Mayo.

A lot of fun for sure, but was Saturday's festival all in good fun or was there an element of cultural appropriation going on?

courtesy National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Efforts to keep the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in St. Louis are in full gear.

The Missouri Senate passed a measure on Thursday that would capture up to $12 million a year in withholdings taxes from NGA employees for up to 30 years. That money would go to the city for costs associated with luring the agency to a north St. Louis site.

MoDOT District Engineer Greg Horn speaks at the TRIP report news conference Thursday, April 30, 2015 against a backdrop of the traffic management center in Chesterfield.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Roads in need of repair and expansion cost the average St. Louis-area driver $1,511 a year from car accidents, maintenance needs and wasted gas, according to a new report released Thursday by private transportation research group TRIP.

The report estimates that the average St. Louis driver spends 31 hours a year stuck in traffic and that almost 30 percent of the major roads in the St. Louis area need to be reconstructed because they’ve deteriorated beyond the scope of surface-level repair.

(Flicker, Jim Fenton)

CTY is a technology company that formed in St. Louis just last year.

But the startup nabbed a $35,000 Prototype Fund grant from the Knight Foundation and will test its first product in a project with the city.

The product, called Numina, collects real-time data using optical sensors. This summer those sensors will count pedestrians and bicyclists and send that information to the St. Louis Department of Health.

CEO Tara Pham said the city’s willingness to work with a startup and use new technology is important.

Elementary students from KIPP Victory Academy in St. Louis and Rockwood Center for Creative Learning in Ellisville break ground on the Arch museum expansion Wednesday, April 29, 2015. CityArchRiver Executive Director Maggie Hales looks on from back.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Construction is underway on the Gateway Arch museum expansion.  The groundbreaking ceremony for the latest phase of the $380 million CityArchRiver project was held Wednesday at the site of the future entryway to the museum, sandwiched between the Arch and the soon-to-be-completed park over the highway.

Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, thanks her supporters after being sworn into the board of Aldermen.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development bestowed a Promise Zone designation on parts of St. Louis, officials here saw at as an opportunity to turn distressed parts of the region around.

But at least one St. Louis alderman is questioning the boundaries of the Promise Zone – especially since it doesn’t take in hard-hit portions of the city’s South Side.

At hundreds of libraries across the U.S., 3-D printers can sometimes be heard whirring in the background, part of an effort to encourage interest in the new technology and foster DIY "maker spaces."

In some libraries, officials have begun to set restrictions on the 3-D printers amid concerns about how they'll be used.

At the University City Public Library in St. Louis, Patrick Wall recently printed a green plastic sword from the game Minecraft.

(Katelyn Petrin, St. Louis Public Radio.)

The blue and yellow exterior is almost complete, and the store is on track to open this fall in Midtown St. Louis.

We’re talking about the IKEA, of course.

The Swedish furnishings company’s arrival in St. Louis has been long awaited and much anticipated. It will be the 41st store in the U.S., but the first in Missouri.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Juliàn Castro announces that St. Louis was one of eight communiteis picked for his agency's "Promise Zone" program.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Juliàn Castro announced Tuesday that parts of the St. Louis region were designated by his agency as a Promise Zone.

Speaking at the MET Center in Wellston, Castro said that St. Louis was one of eight communities picked for HUD’s program. Among other things, the program gives selected cities greater access to federal money and manpower to redevelop struggling areas.

historic preservation, Landmarks Association of St. Louis
(courtesy of Landmarks Association of St. Louis)

The Cupples 7 building in downtown St. Louis was on the National Register of Historic Places, but that didn’t save it from the wrecking ball.

The nine-story building was torn down in 2013 after becoming so unstable the city considered it a public safety risk.

In the wake of the demolition, Landmarks Association of St. Louis decided it was time to create a low-interest loan program for historic preservation.