Later this morning, St. Louis planning director Rollin Stanley and I will pass along some good news about the City. You can read it first here.
The U.S. Census Bureau, which annually estimates cities’ populations, has agreed that our population for July, 2006, was 353,837, an increase from the previous July. This marks the fourth straight year our population has gone up.
It has not been a dramatic jump, about 6,000 people since the last Census, but it has been a steady one.
There are many factors that have contributed to our success. City government has become more efficient and effective. The national and local media have discovered — and are writing a lot more about our hip spaces and historic places. Expatriates and long-time residents have been talking to their friends about our close-knit neighborhoods or about the experiences of living near great attractions like the St. Louis Zoo, Busch Stadium, and Forest Park.
Downtown has come alive from Washington Avenue, to Ballpark Village, to Lumiere Place and home to thousands of new residents and dozens of new shops and restaurants. In the Central West End, the newest buildings are trendy high-rises.
But, we have also been seeing growth in City neighborhoods that hadn’t seen new investment in decades. Visitation Park; Fox Park; Benton Park West; Vandeventer; the part of the greater West End north of the Delmar; and Old North St. Louis are among the neighborhoods being rediscovered as great places to live and make good investments.
After five decades of disinvestment, property values in the City are rising faster than just about anywhere else in the region. Since 2000, residential property values in the City have gone up almost 70 percent.
This hasn’t happened by itself — and it won’t keep happening without all of us working together — hardworking City employees; thoughtful aldermen; and, especially, involved City residents, new ones and old ones.
If you are reading this, you are probably part of the reason the City is growing again. So, thanks.