Key Takeaways 

  • Restoring the Core of St. Louis, particularly Downtown, is an STL 2030 Jobs Plan strategic priority  

  • Partnership will focus on “Safe, Vibrant, and Beautiful” Downtown 

  • Mayor Jones asks St. Louis Development Corporation, Greater St. Louis, Inc. to develop a “plan for bold action” in the next 120 days to address Railway Exchange Building and Millennium Hotel 

  • $3.8 billion investment recently made or underway Downtown 

  • Downtown neighborhood block party City Social is tonight at 5:00-9:00 p.m. at 14th & Washington Ave. 

ST. LOUIS – With a focus on accelerating efforts to make Downtown St. Louis “safe, vibrant, and beautiful,” leaders from the City of St. Louis and the metro’s business community came together today to announce the establishment of a public-private partnership that will focus on accelerating the work needed to revitalize the heart of the metro. 

“I'm proud to be here today with civic and business leaders who understand the bright future we are building in Downtown St. Louis,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “In partnership with the St. Louis Development Corporation and Greater St. Louis, Inc., my administration is continuing our work toward a day when Downtown re-emerges as the economic and cultural beacon for our entire region.” 

Greater St. Louis, Inc. and the St. Louis Development Corporation will focus their efforts on revitalizing key corridors and vacant properties that have been hurdles to Downtown St. Louis reaching its true potential. Specifically, Mayor Jones has asked SLDC and GSL to, within the next 120 days, develop a plan for bold action to address two properties that are holding Downtown back: the Railway Exchange Building and the Millennium Hotel. 

“We are committed to holding building owners accountable for removing blighted structures in the City’s cultural core,” SLDC’s President & CEO, Neal Richardson said. “In partnership with GSL and the Mayor’s Office, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority — a development board staffed by SLDC — will lead implementation efforts to address blight removal in a productive manner for the betterment of Downtown.” 

Revitalizing Downtown Key Component of STL 2030 Jobs Plan and Economic Justice Action Plan 

GSL is actively stewarding the implementation of the STL 2030 Jobs Plan, the metro’s plan to advance inclusive economic growth over the decade. The Jobs Plan notes that “if the metro is to prosper, the core of the St. Louis metro must become a magnet for innovation, employment density, and population growth.” 

“We are making and seeing progress and the business community will continue our collaborative work with the City to make Downtown the world-class neighborhood at the heart of our world-class metro,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc. “We also need to recognize that the complex challenges we confront in Downtown developed over decades, and they will not be fixed overnight. This will take hard, intentional, and focused collaboration.”  

Under the Equitable & Inclusive Development pillar of the Jones Administration’s Economic Justice Action Plan, which guides the unprecedented investment of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in St. Louis, supporting commercial development in the core of Downtown, Downtown West and Near North Side is a key priority. The Downtown Economic Justice initiatives being implemented by SLDC — in partnership with GSL and the City — include reducing office and retail vacancy, supporting key catalytic projects that will spur additional private investment, utilizing ARPA dollars to stabilize large unoccupied buildings to help facilitate future renovations, incentivizing retail development to activate street frontage, façade improvements, and prioritizing infrastructure improvements that connect Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.  

The leaders – which included Mayor Jones, Hall, Richardson, Police Chief Robert Tracy, Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore, and Mike Konzen, Chairman and Principal of Downtown-based PGAV – also highlighted the critical steps underway or being planned on which the public-private partnership will collaborate to make Downtown safe, vibrant, and beautiful. 

In addition to developing a plan in the next 120 days for the Railway Exchange Building and the Millennium Hotel, City and business leaders announced that work to revitalize 7th Street between Ballpark Village and the America’s Center is slated to begin in the coming weeks. The project – which will connect the two Downtown anchor destinations – will include new sidewalks, trees, lighting, bike lanes, and opportunities for new retail. The project was funded with a mix of $3.6 million in public and private dollars.  


Crime Downtown is down 40% year to date, compared with this time last year, but there is still work to do to strengthen public safety by addressing problem properties and investing in infrastructure to keep people safe. Additional steps taken to strengthen public safety Downtown include: 

  • Increased SLMPD patrols. Chief Tracy has taken steps to ensure an enhanced SLMPD presence Downtown, increasing patrols in the neighborhood. 

  • Community partnership. SLMPD has increased outreach to residents, employers, and the business community to build stronger partnerships with those who live and work Downtown. 


Increased foot traffic, live music, and people shopping and dining outside are all examples of a vibrant Downtown neighborhood and will serve as the focus for the public-private partnership’s work to increase vibrancy. Examples of initiatives underway to increase vibrancy Downtown include: 

  • Downtown Retail Incentive Program. The $375,000 program led by GSL and SLDC has been met with an enthusiastic response from the retail and small business community. 

  • City Social. The City and GSL are partnering to host the Downtown neighborhood block party that takes place this evening (May 17) at Washington Avenue and 14th Street. 

  • Downtown Summer Nights. Weekly happy hour on Kiener Plaza that kicks off June 6 and takes place every Thursday evening throughout the summer. 

  • Busking. GSL is sponsoring more than 300 sidewalk music performers in public spaces around Downtown to help fill the air with music. 

  • Lunchtime Live. The weekly outdoor lunchtime party in Old Post Office Plaza. Takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday and includes live music and food trucks. 

  • Greater St. Louis Marathon. In partnership with Go! St. Louis, the Greater St. Louis Marathon was held the last weekend in April, bringing over 10,000 participants to Downtown for the newly reimagined race. 


Great cities have great downtowns with beautiful spaces that spark creativity, joy, and a sense of place. They have great public art and architecture as well as connections to help people move from one great space to another. In addition to the 7th Street project, the City, GSL, and other partners have partnered and are actively working on several projects to make Downtown St. Louis more beautiful:  

  • Infrastructure improvements. To enhance the attractiveness, walkability, bicycle use, beauty, and safety of streets Downtown, GSL paid $50,000 for a traffic study for 4th Street, Broadway, and Washington Avenue. The City and business leaders have worked together to secure more than $9 million in funds for infrastructure improvements that are targeted to make these streets safer and more beautiful. 

  • Public art projects. In addition to contributions from the owner of the building, GSL paid $30,000 for the Last Missouri Exit mural south of Busch Stadium on the 6th Steet exit. Through the Gateway Foundation, new public art pieces are being installed in Citygarden as part of its expansion. 

  • Gateway Mall. GSL and SLDC recently partnered with the Urban Land Institute to develop recommendations to enhance Gateway Mall. (The report will be released in the coming weeks.) 

Media Contacts: 

City of St. Louis: Conner Kerrigan | 314-857-8741 | KerriganC@StLouis-mo.gove 

Greater St. Louis, Inc.: Tony Wyche | 314-398-9991 | 

St. Louis Development Corporation: Sara Freetly | 816-820-0916 |

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department: Mitch McCoy |