I’m practicing quick answers for some of the people who write and ask me what can be done about soaring gas prices: “Reduce your commute” comes to mind. Certainly, a lot of people are doing just that, buying homes in every part of the City. It seems to me that a mere ten or fifteen minute ride to work Downtown or Clayton — instead of forty-five minutes crossing a bridge would take a lot of the sting out of three dollar a gallon gas prices. (And that’s before you factor in living near Forest Park, City Museum, the Symphony, the Loop, the sports venues . . .)
I’m reading about a plan by Amy and Amrit Gill to rehab more than 60 apartments and retail spaces along Manchester and its cross streets in Forest Park Southeast during the next year. FPSE is one of the City’s largest historic neighborhoods. While it has improved recently, it is still pretty rough. The Gills’ efforts will complement the good work in the neighborhood being done by Irving Blue and his group; by BJC and the Washington University Medical School; and by individuals like artist Jenna Bauer, whose Pottery Workshop is a bright light. Just beneath the memo about the Gills is a note from Jeff Rainford outlining a Friday meeting he had with federal prosecutors to begin work on a combined strategy to rid some rough neighborhoods of drug dealers.
I’m looking at plans by owners of the riverfront high-rises to refurbish them — if some thorny underlying ownership issues can be untangled. With plans for the revitalization of several sections of the riverfront well underway and with demand for downtown living and working spaces so high, it is important that we not miss the opportunity to update these buildings.