Four reasons to be excited about St. Louis' future

As St. Louisans, we love our city and all it has to offer. But some recent developments really have us excited and illustrate how the community is on the upswing.

Here are four projects and announcements that should make you optimistic for St. Louis’ future:

IKEA is coming to St. Louis!
Wednesday the Swedish retailer made it official that its popular home furnishings store is coming to St. Louis with plans to open a two-story complex in the Midtown neighborhood at Vandeventer and Forest Park avenues. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ikea officials expect the St. Louis store, which will be the first in Missouri and one of the first in the entire Midwest, to “draw customers from more than an hour away, reaching into six states and eight metropolitan regions.”

But what’s most exciting is the store’s location within the CORTEX district. From nextSTL:

“Of course the important shift in development, and retail development into the City of St Louis, will initially be lost in the fervor over the IKEA name, but the store is locating in the city for a reason. St. Louis is hot and the re-invention of the central corridor appears to just be beginning.”

The day before IKEA’s announcement, construction began on the Whole Foods store and City Walk in the Central West End at Euclid and West Pine. The same development will house a parking garage, fitness center and 176 apartments. More evidence that the city is on the up and up.

The Arch grounds are being renovated!
Although there have been some snags as the project is getting started, St. Louis’ trademark Arch grounds are undergoing a $380 million renovation project that is expected to be completed in 2016. The project is designed to make the Arch easier and safer to experience. The Gateway Arch Grounds will be connected with the East and West riverfronts with new spaces for events and public education, expanded museum space, more parking acreage, bicycle trails, children’s play areas, performance venues and more!

Ballpark Village is (finally) opening!
Last month it was announced that the St. Louis Cardinals officials signed Drunken Fish, Howl at the Moon and Ted Drewes to lease spaces in the entertainment district located adjacent to Busch Stadium. Since the stadium opened, Ballpark Village has been a source of much frustration for many St. Louisans, but the development finally seems to be making headway and is scheduled to be completed by Opening Day 2014. Hopefully, the Village will give fans another great entertainment option before, during and after games and provide a boost to downtown. 

The Saint Louis Zoo is dreaming of a big future!
This project has been details left to flush out, but in September zoo officials announced the largest expansion plan in zoo history. The project would add a new southern campus, a research center, gandolas, additional space for exhibits and more.

Officials are still discussing how to pay for the project and very little is finalized, but at the very least it shows that the zoo’s leaders are interested in making sure the zoo is a prime attraction for years to come. 

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