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Friday, December 29, 2006

Good Idea from Grand Center

While it may seem like a small act, Grand Center's effort to light vacant storefronts windows along Grand Avenue between Olive and Delmar is a good model for dealing with vacant space. Here, the redevelopment corporation used colored lights and paper to give empty spaces a pleasing night-time glow. The effect is helpful in an area known for its dead sidewalk life and plethora of empty storefronts.

Other neighborhoods should consider the big effect that lighting, posters, window displays or other decoration can provide. While waiting for development, there's no reason that vacant spaces have to be lifeless. After all, a small first step toward drawing attention to a space could lead to the end result of a signed lease or completed rehab. Every space from a storefront to an entire house can be decorated, and I encourage readers to urge their neighborhood groups to implement a decoration plan or, better yet, implement one of their own (no spray paint, please).

Now, if Grand Center could get St. Louis University to encourage its students to get off campus for lunch...

1 comment:

alonzo p. hawk said...

i'm afraid the only thing saint louis university intends on doing is keeping its students on campus, spending money at demattias hall's subway and billiken bakery, fusz food court's kfc, pizza hut express, west pine grille, wrap bar, and smoothie counter, the bsc's au bon pain, a&w, chinese food, wrap bar, famous famiglia's pizza, the bean w/starbuck's coffee, griesedieck hall's vegetarian restaurant terre ve, and gries cafeteria. then there's the business school's ameren cafe, along with the restaurant at the bannister house facing lindell.

saint louis university is an absolutely ruthless business doing all they can to get students to spend money on campus. it's smart for them, but not really good for the rest of the neighborhood and its economy.