Downtown St. Louis needs more investment, business leaders say

Business leaders in St. Louis want the city to provide more money for downtown public safety and physical improvements.

The area generates about 20% of the money that goes into St. Louis’ general fund, but accounts for only 5% of citywide spending. New Economic Impact Analysis by Greater St. Louis Inc.

For Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, that disparity doesn’t support the growth this part of St. Louis is seeing.

“The resurrection is real,” he said. “But speed is not victory. It’s an opportunity to make and support smart decisions and smart investments that will set up downtown and the St. Louis metro for long-term success.

Hall suggests Recent announcement that Scale AI will open a new office in downtown St. Louis As a positive indicator of the new movement. But he added. Constant challenges with crimeroads and other infrastructural issues and make development more difficult than the outbreak.

“The epidemic hit downtown St. Louis and a lot of other people hard,” Hale said. “We’ve had to cancel conventions, ball games and a lot of things that affect downtown. This has created challenging situations in terms of public safety and limits our full potential.

Kelly McCreary, executive director of the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District, said those concerns are shared by those downtown.

“Our constituents are downtown residents, businesses and property owners large and small,” she said. “Everybody hears the same messages about the threat to public safety.”

With downtowns anchoring the region’s economic activity, it’s challenging for business leaders to block future growth.

“It’s critical as the front door to the region,” Hall said. “People who come for the meeting, cannot touch any part of the region. Their understanding of St. Louis was shaped by their experiences walking through those urban spaces.

Mr. Hall said that since it is not an issue that his company specializes in, he is not recommending that the city invest money in a different way. He explained that the city has many properties that are being covered by the current challenges.

“The affordability, the national park in your yard, the built environment, the historic area here,” he said. “I mean, those are unique assets, those are all strengths, but if we don’t lean into them, we’re leaving value on the table.”

Eric Schmidt covers economic development for St. Louis Public Radio.

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