Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mansion House owner on highway removal

From today's Post Dispatch:

"An economic boost"

Five teams have unveiled their visions for revamping the Arch grounds and riverfront, and it's encouraging to see that all five teams support the eventual removal of Interstate 70 through downtown. This plan has been strongly promoted by the volunteer group City to River and will be the key to reconnecting downtown, the Arch and the Mississippi River and spurring downtown economic development.

As an owner of the Mansion House complex on Fourth Street, my New York-based company has invested and re-invested in downtown over the past 21 years. As a father, I have fond memories of traveling to St. Louis from the East Coast with my family to visit the Arch grounds.

Being a New Yorker, I have a unique perspective. I witnessed the elimination of the Westside Highway in Manhattan and the creation of a grand boulevard south of 57th Street, joining the city with the Hudson River and creating a myriad of residential, tourist, recreational and business activities. In St. Louis, I-70 is creating barriers for tourists and residents looking to gather downtown and is hindering future investment by property owners along the eastern edge of downtown.

Should City to River's proposal to replace I-70 with an urban boulevard move forward, the property across from the Arch could be transformed into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly venue, providing a significant economic and tourism boost for the city.

Louis Tallarini • New York

No comments: