It is de rigueur for bloggers to start off the new year with some predictions. This is the third year I’ve made predictions on this website — and I find it to be a useful exercise for focusing my thoughts on the coming year; for reminding myself (and you) that events are shaped by a wide range of factors, not all of which can be identified or correctly weighed; and for having a little fun.
Here they are:
Closure of Highway 40/I-64 west of the inner belt will create new interest in commercial properties along Manchester and Page, and will be a strong reason for people who work Downtown to move to City neighborhoods.
The St. Louis Rams, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Downtown convention headquarters hotel will have new owners or investors.
The St. Louis Cardinals will field a re-building team in 2008, in order to make a strong World Series run in the All Star year of 2009 when the National League has a better shot securing home field advantage; the St. Louis Blues will fill the local play-off void by going at least two rounds in post-season play.
I will call someone you know.
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will pass a new ordinance restricting panhandling; I will likely sign it.
Live on the Levee will get the White Stripes, but Marquise Knox will steal the summer.
City voters will approve a new sales tax to support better compensation for police and firefighters.
Several categories of crime will drop again in 2008.
Missouri and Illinois will reach a final agreement on the design and funding of the new Mississippi River bridge.
Downtown’s hotels will experience record occupancy and room rates as the CVC’s good efforts continue to lead to more and larger conventions and meetings.
Someone will seat me next to Sherman George at a dinner. We will agree to meet again later for a private lunch.
A major local law firm will sign an office lease Downtown.
Record numbers of women will apply for slots on both the St. Louis Police Department and the St. Louis Fire Department.
Animal House, the new City animal control operation with the no-kill philosophy, will break ground.
Enrollment in City parochial schools, charter schools, and SLPS schools will all increase.
Several important State economic development tax credit programs will receive sunset provisions that will sharply limit their long-term effectiveness.
Here, for your review, were my predictions for 2007 and 2006.