Is Living In Downtown St. Louis Living Up To Expectations? | St. Louis Public Radio

Is Living In Downtown St. Louis Living Up To Expectations?

Aug 8, 2013

Updated following the show.

St. Louis City leaders are counting on attracting new residents Downtown as part of an urban renaissance.  The area has seen recent population growth, but questions remain about the future of the area. Host Don Marsh posed those questions to our guests, including:

  • Is Downtown St. Louis as vibrant as it could be?
  • Is Downtown living, living up to expectations?
  • What are the prospects for the future of Downtown St. Louis?
  • Would you move Downtown and what are the arguments for and against?

Data from the U.S. Census in 2010 show the population of Downtown St. Louis increased from 806 to 3,721 over ten years, a whopping 366.66 percent increase.

The data also showed the total number of housing units to be 2,905 in 2010, with an occupancy rate of 77 percent.

The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis uses a much broader definition of Downtown St. Louis which includes the Downtown, Downtown West, Carr Square and Columbus Square neighborhoods.  The organization explains about 500 residents have moved to the area annually since 2010 and its data show the occupancy rate to be about 90 percent.

View Downtown St. Louis in a larger map

New residential properties are currently under construction (as seen on map).  The Millennium Center (515 Olive St.) and Lacassian Lofts (2200 Locust St.) are slated to open later this year.  Each of those residences will have 100 and 27 housing units respectively. 

The residential property at the Old Post Office Plaza containing 125 units and known as Roberts Tower (411 N. 8th St.) is currently under construction and is expected to open next year.

Lofts in the Chemical Building (721 Olive St.), for a time known as the Alexa Building Lofts, will contain 125 units and are expected to undergo construction beginning this fall and open next year.

The Arcade Building (812 Olive St.) is also expected to undergo construction early next year and open with 250 units in 2015.

All of the above properties are apartments but as Kevin Farrell, Senior Director of Economic and Housing Development at the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, says, “There is demand for condos Downtown.  Over 100 sold in 2012 and only 50 are available on the market.”

The following charts show the demographic make-up of Downtown St. Louis as well as the areas considered Downtown by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.

Our guests included:

  • Missy Kelly, Senior Director of Communications and Community Development for the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
  • Jason Rosenbaum, reporter for the St. Louis Beacon. He wrote a detailed piece about Downtown St. Louis.
  • Rick Worthen, a resident of Downtown St. Louis
  • Jennifer Joyce, circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer  and Jeremy Bailey and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh.