Jim Cloar, the head of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, is officially retiring today. (It’s his party.)
Jim will be missed. I have gotten used to standing next to Jim at ribbon-cuttings and grand openings. During his tenure, downtown has grown in vitality and increased in vigor — we’ve gained shops and restaurants, hotels and parks, residents and businesses This year alone, downtown residents, workers, and visitors have gotten more places to eat, shop, and—most recently—buy groceries. Jim was involved with all of them. His influence was particularly useful attracting less glitzy, but just as important, businesses — a pharmacy, veterinarian clinic, an urgent care clinic, a doggy daycare, and a hardware store — that let a business district share its space with a residential neighborhood.
What I appreciate most about Jim is that through the years, he has been resolute and determined in his mission to rejuvenate downtown St. Louis. He has recognized the opportunity our City has to attract, retain, and inspire residents, businesses and visitors and for seven years he’s never lost sight of on this goal — to remake downtown St. Louis, capitalize on its potential, and recapture our urban vitality.
Jim has been an advocate, a salesman, and a great partner. I hope he will return to visit when he misses our August humidity.