If you haven’t visited Laclede’s Landing recently, the neighborhood looks noticeably different than it did this time last year. While many of the improvements have focused on showcasing the historic charm the Riverfront District is known for, we’ve also made it a better place to live, eat, work, and play.
If you’re familiar with Laclede’s Landing, you know we aren’t exaggerating when we say there’s almost always something happening on the Landing, and 2020 was no exception. While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly slowed some of that activity, we used this time as an opportunity to refocus our community improvement efforts and set the Landing apart as one of the best places to live, eat, and play in downtown St. Louis.
In 2020, the team leading the Laclede’s Landing Neighborhood Association aligned with a broader initiative to make downtown St. Louis a better place for residents and visitors alike. The five focus goals of the undertaking included:
- Making downtown St. Louis the region’s most walkable, diverse neighborhood
- Expanding the neighborhood’s economy to better support startups and existing businesses
- Redesigning streets to improve bike, pedestrian, and transit accessibility
- Providing more exciting public spaces and green infrastructure
- Sharing stories through marketing channels about the people and places that make downtown St. Louis unique
In 2020, Laclede’s Landing underwent significant improvements, all of which worked toward achieving these goals.
The focus of this post is 2020 improvement projects, but it’s important to understand how one major project in 2019 made Laclede’s Landing more accessible and laid a foundation for the improvements completed in 2020. In 2019, Lucas Avenue reopened on the Landing after being closed for several years. After reopening this section of the neighborhood between 2nd Street and 3rd Street, it’s now easier to access Laclede’s Landing from other areas of downtown St. Louis.
In 2020, we focused our improvement efforts on transforming the streetscape of 2nd Street from Morgan Street to Doctor M.L.K. Drive along with 1st Street from the Eads Bridge to Doctor M.L.K. Drive. Here’s what that transformation project consisted of:
- Resetting 15,000 square feet of cobblestone road
- 12,000 square feet of road resurfacing
- Laying 20,000 square feet of new concrete
- Installing 85 new streetlights
- Planting 20 trees with tree well fencing
- Planting more than 200 perennials
- Installing 600 feet of iron fencing
- Rebuilding all intersections to ADA specifications
- Laying underground conduits for the future of high-speed fiber internet
- Installing new historic street signage for both traffic and street signs
- Roughing in an area for a downtown LED kiosk at 1st Street and Lucas Avenue
Together, these smaller projects worked toward making the neighborhood more walkable, accessible, vibrant, and better suited to supporting area businesses.
Katherine Ward Burg Garden
In 2020, the construction of the Katherine Ward Burg Garden on Laclede’s Landing broke ground as an addition to the Great Rivers Greenway district. The beautiful new garden will serve as a natural extension and complement the St. Louis Arch Grounds within the neighborhood. The half-acre plaza will offer a welcoming area for visitors and residents when they get off the MetroLink at the Laclede’s Landing stop while also brightening up the Mississippi Riverfront. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.
While 2020 was an exciting year on Laclede’s Landing, 2021 is already looking to be even bigger with the development of dedicated pedestrian areas and improvement of the local dog park, among other plans. The full list of planned improvements for 2021 includes:
- Closure of 2nd Street between Lucas Avenue and Morgan Street for pedestrian-only foot traffic and al fresco dining
- Installation of string lighting above 2nd street to illuminate the pedestrian-only walkway and outdoor dining area
- Purina Dog Park enhancements that include landscape as well as fence and gate improvements
- The development of Paincourt Lofts to add 10 apartment and retail spaces
- The development of Hoffman Lofts to add 24 apartments and retail spaces
- The development of Greeley Lofts for 33 additional apartments, offices, and retail spaces
All the above sounds pretty exciting, but words alone don’t do justice to how much the Landing has changed over the course of the past year. If you want to see it firsthand, you’re always welcome to discover Laclede’s Landing—the place where St. Louis started and a good time is guaranteed. Start planning your visit today, or if you’re thinking about moving to downtown St. Louis, discover why people who already live on the Landing love it.