Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Good, Bad, and Indifferent

I kind of liked this format when I used it for the downtown comings and goings a while back, so I'm going to use it again.

The good:

The Blackhawk Hotel building getting $8.5 Million in tax credits. Check out Restoration St. Louis's website to see some of the things they've done with historic buildings. The $42 million renovation of the 15-story Coronado Hotel is particular applicable. Bonus good to the Forrest Block getting some state money as well. Hopefully it can get back on track.

The former Creative Tile building's reconstruction getting under way. This area at the foot of Oneida has a lot of potential, and hopefully something can be done with the site of the in-limbo Oneida Landing project.

What seems to have been a successful River Roots Life/Ribfest downtown on 2nd Street.

The new owners of the River Bandits. I never could have guessed that anyone could make as big of a positive impact on Davenport's baseball experience in only one year as they've made. I've seen several games listed with over 6,000 in attendance, which hadn't happened for years prior to this season. I'd much rather have 4,000 people pay $5 to watch a game than sit there with 2,000 people who paid $10 and have empty seats everywhere. And cheaper prices are only part of what these new guys are doing down there.

The bad:

John Lewis's problems. While people seem to take a disturbing amount of pleasure from the misfortune of the JLCS folks, and their clients, they may be missed in the community. The overextended themselves so much that this seems like it was bound to happen, but I don't think their failure is going to be a positive for downtown as suggested elsewhere.

Moline's Kone Centre project's continued troubles. Ten or twelve stories is nice, but hardly the massive impact that an 18 or 20 story building would have on the QC's skyline.

Taylor School not getting tax credits. While I put the Blackhawk at the top of the impact list for these tax credits, Taylor School is probably next. See below for who I don't think should have gotten them.

Me, for not posting enough lately. I'll try to remedy this one.

The indifferent:

The former Salvation Army building renovation (RiverWalk Lofts, Riverview Terrace Apartments?) getting tax credits in the same lottery as the Blackhawk and Forrest block. Section 42 housing isn't terrible, (people making less than $24,000 aren't what I'd call poor) concentrating people of one income level is not a good thing.
The perfect example is a comparison between the Crescent Lofts and the Mississippi Lofts. The Cresecent Macaroni, Waterloo Mills, and 4th Street buildings managed by Alexander Company are 2/3rds Section 42, 1/3rd market rate. There are very few problems. The Mississippi Lofts only have 4 market-rate apartments, and 42 income-limited Section 42 units. I hear the police called to the Mississippi Lofts on a weekly basis. Last night there was a stabbing there, along with the Shricker. Concentrating lower incomes together does not work. Also, management helps. I don't know much about the management at the Mississippi Lofts, but Lisa Stang, the property manager of the Crescent buildings, is excellent at tossing out people who cause trouble. When there are waiting lists for downtown apartments, there's no need to rent them to criminals.
Hopefully management of the building on River Drive can make up for the all income-limited units, but a better idea is to have some market rate units mixed in.


Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Noticing that the blog janitor calls the Warren Radio Building, the Creative Tile building, really makes me feel old.

Moe said...

People seem to think that if JLCS leaves its 'clients' will leave, too. People don't seem to realize that those people are here - they live here, they (sometimes) work here, they commit crimes here. Losing the JLCS won't get those people out of here, it will only give them one less (positive) place to go.

We need more places like the JLCS. So many people with addictions, no home, ho skills, etc., have nowhere to go.