Downtown | St. Louis Public Radio


This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2010 - Metro today unveiled its "Downtown Trolley," an expanded version of its "Downtown Circulator No. 99" bus, which has been in operation the last several months.

But if the word "trolley" conjures up images of the streetcar Judy Garland rode in "Meet Me In St. Louis," forget about it. This "trolley" is a dressed up MetroBus.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 2, 2010 - Hailed in 1985 as downtown St. Louis' savior, St. Louis Centre has devolved into a giant four-block, four-story, mostly vacant urban albatross that city and state officials agree was probably a mistake.

Its looming presence next to the city's chief convention center has likely cost St. Louis convention business, said St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission President Kitty Ratcliffe. "It does not leave a pretty good impression of our community."

Vacant downtown high-rise burns

May 25, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 25, 2010 - About 20 St. Louis fire department crews responded to a call at the Alverne Building at the corner of 11th and Locust in Downtown St. Louis around 7 p.m. May 24. Firefighters found the basement and first floor of the vacant 15-story high-rise ablaze.

According to Fire Department Chief Dennis Jenkerson, the ground floor was boarded up and the first responders had to break their way in, eventually gaining access in an alley off 11th St. It took about 15 minutes before the crews felt they had the fire under control.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 11, 2009 - Virginia Benson and her husband, George, live high above street level in a building with sweeping views that still make them pause at sunset. The retired couple makes good use of amenities like the pool, gym, sun deck and barbecue area for residents.

"This is my senior center," Benson, 74, jokes.

But she knows that's far from the case. How many retirement communities in St. Louis share space with a hotel, are across the street from mass transit and overlook both a major highway and a sports arena?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2009 - On a recent Thursday just before noon, two Schnucks employees wearing elf hats and dressed entirely in black stood atop a granite counter in the services department of the company's new downtown Culinaria market. A female employee danced to "Eye of the Tiger" and "Celebration," her co-worker turned a broom into an air guitar and customers waiting in line smiled but mostly concentrated on paying their bills.

Upstairs, the lunchtime crowd listened to the rousing music mix and munched on salads, sandwiches and an array of prepared foods.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 2, 2008 - To get people to move into lofts and condominiums in the heart of the city, which has experienced a residential resurgence in the last decade, property developers in downtown St. Louis are switching strategy. In these tight economic times, developers are moving away from sales and turning to rentals to attract new residents.