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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2020, 8:14 PM
Six Corners Six Corners is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
There's a logic to it, sure. There was logic to bloodletting in the 1500s too. But we know better now. You can't solve a failing city by cutting out chunks like a cancer - buildings are never the root cause of a problem, just a symptom of deeper social issues.

The sheer size of this site creates opportunities that don't usually exist in poor inner city neighborhoods. You could use it to create an entirely ground-up neighborhood like Stapleton in Denver, with a dedicated school and park space. Hell, invite DR Horton or Lennar or somebody to build small cottages on the existing street grid.

What makes absolutely no sense is putting a government agency that needs utmost security and privacy into a (still) densely populated urban area, and just handing over the insane amount of land they need to do it. You can tell just by looking at it that there will be zero spillover benefits to the surrounding community, except maybe a new gas station.
You certainly could try to create an entirely ground-up neighborhood like Stapleton, but you'd be hard pressed to find people to move there who aren't already in the neighborhood. Attempts have been tried to revitalize neighborhoods on the north side of the city for decades with different strategies and social programs. Typically it's a zero-sum game where it's rare for people who take up residence in these revitalized properties to come from outside the neighborhood or an adjacent, equally downtrodden neighborhood. Stapleton is not in an area of much prior disinvestment. The stigma and crime of this part of St. Louis is to such an extreme extent that reinvestment in simple neighborhood fundamentals as affordable, decent residential and retail alone will modernize the building stock, but nothing more. Market-priced housing and trendy small cottages would be quite a challenge to sell or rent. Outsiders do not and will not move there.

Keep in mind that the NGA is already in the City of St. Louis in an even more densely populated area. Their current location is on a site that has little buffer from adjacent properties. I concur that this project will do little for the area residents, but the city is not in much of a position to wait it out for jobs that could cater better to area residents to come along. They just don't come here that frequently and without a handful of stars aligning in our generally ineffective and uncooperative state and local governments, they won't. Letting NGA move to a location in the suburbs would not save this neighborhood. It would only slip farther into depression. Further, the city losing all the jobs from NGA to Shiloh, IL would deprive the cash strapped city of earnings taxes it collects on each of the 3,000 positions there. Ideally, we could keep the road grid intact and the city or state could invest in programs to increase economic development in this area resulting in plentiful jobs that match the area residents' skill set and education, in turn drawing people to move there or at least stop them from moving away. Realistically, this is about as good as it's going to get.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2020, 9:28 PM
Six Corners Six Corners is offline
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
An excellent point. St.Louis has a rather lousy reputation due to it's urban blight and especially due to it's astronomical crime and murder rate. Building these start-up areas is the easy part but getting highly skilled and educated workers to work there is the hard one. Such needed workers are highly employable and mobile and can get a job basically anywhere they want. This is where things like quality of life show themselves as not just as positive social and living environments but also a definite economic advantage.

The best thing St.Louis could do to secure their economic future is to concentrate on making the city a more liveable and especially much safer one. Create a city trained workers WANT to move to and not have to because of their job as they are far more easy to entice in the first place and just as importantly easier to retain.
The worst part is, these stats on crime and poverty are often misleading. When comparing stats at the metropolitan level, crime and poverty are not high at all in the St. Louis metro. What puts St. Louis at the top is that the city of St. Louis itself makes up a relatively small portion of the regional population and due largely to redlining and similar issues, most of the worst crime and poverty is concentrated to a particular portion of the city. Because crime and poverty rankings often look only at the city level rather than metro-wide, St. Louis fairs poorly and pushes the stigma forward.

As a non-native to St. Louis, I believe the city flies under the radar on many things. It has beautiful, historic architecture; culture; natural beauty; institutions; and urban conveniences of a caliber to cities much larger than it. Some of these things may be a little unpolished but the bones are more than there.

I strongly believe one of the biggest reasons why St. Louis struggles so much in attracting talent is the dysfunction of local and state government. Local government operates as if every little corner of the region is a fiefdom competing with every other little corner of the region. They seem to prefer this than try to work together to better the region collectively. As such, they typically pilfer Home Depots from one another rather than chase tech companies to move from outside markets. The State only caters to rural voters and forces rural ways of thinking on urban areas, so they are of even less help. Typically local institutions have to do all the work. They have been the ones to spearhead the most successful neighborhood and green space reinvestment. We have an excellent innovation district for example, one that has multiple local universities, medical centers, and large companies as investors. It's been a model to other cities (my wife works for its managing entity), and growth has been strong, yet doesn't quite live up to its potential as it can only do so much to get its name out without greater governmental support.

The region is not without frequent policy proposals that would do a lot to help it get its shit together, there just has yet to be one where the balance in benefits is enough to bring most leadership out of their fiefdoms.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2020, 2:39 PM
Emprise du Lion Emprise du Lion is offline
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Originally Posted by Six Corners View Post
Further, the city losing all the jobs from NGA to Shiloh, IL would deprive the cash strapped city of earnings taxes it collects on each of the 3,000 positions there.
Here's the answer.

Losing such a large number of well paying jobs would be a body blow for a city that uses a 1% earnings tax as its single largest source of general revenue by a wide margin. Especially if said agency was using the new facility to increase its workforce.

Don't get me wrong, because St. Louis has made plenty of dumb urban renewal decisions in its history, but forfeiting the street grid in part of a neighborhood that was almost entirely urban prairie prior to construction beginning was a small price to pay to keep the jobs in the city.

I'm sure city leaders would have loved a Cortex 2.0 (the ground up tech innovation district in a formerly industrial area in the central corridor), but it's not what the feds wanted. If the city is able to springboard more jobs off of the NGA's expanded footprint, then those non-government offices can at least be located in the Cortex or downtown.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2020, 5:00 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Ok, so it’s cartography.
I guess it could be under the umbrella of cartography, but Google Maps didn't create maps. They made maps digital, and also digitized spatial data (e.g. how long does it take to walk to your favorite cafe?).
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