Mmmm, Mmmm, Good

Holden tucks into Slay's Old Post Office recipe

This is an absurdity that assumes a geographical vacuum. It also ignores the personal math of Stogel, the mayor's bell cow on this project.

In a startling stab at damage control, Stogel dialed up Ghio last week and told him the new tenants of the Old Post Office will need a maximum of 450 parking spaces -- and that's only at night, when the Webster classes will be fully cranked. During the day, the state appellate-court judges and Webster administrators will only need 220 spaces, according to the Stogel estimate.

Either projection is well covered by the Heller-McGowan proposal for the Century, a plan that now lies a-moldering in its grave.

Danny Hellman

But Slay's proposal calls for tearing down the Century and getting the state to bankroll a brand-new 1,050-space parking garage to serve the Old Post Office's new tenants. That's more than 600 surplus parking spaces begging for somebody else's cars to use them -- maybe all those mythical suburbanites just aching for an Old Post Office retail experience served up better at the Galleria.

Ignored in all this feathery glory is the geographical reality of a brand-new parking garage just a short, short St. Louis block away. That would be the convention-center-hotel parking garage, just north of Ninth and Locust streets.

Two points to ponder while forking up your crow fricassee:

The convention-center-hotel parking garage is a 850-slot monster, still getting built with state money put up by the Missouri Development Finance Board. But Frankie the Saint is asking these same folks to put up more state money to build another white elephant close enough to spit at from the top deck of the existing garage.

Perhaps more damning are the worries state officials already have that the hotel garage won't draw enough cars to pay off its state bonds. When this deal was put together by wizards such as Stogel, the state insisted on a contingency fund of nearly $2 million dollars, insiders say.

No such contingency plan exists, insists Robert Miserez, MDFB's executive director. But Miserez appears to be playing semantics -- he admits there's an operating reserve but doesn't say how big it is.

Again, the insiders say, Miserez is shoveling horseshit and crow feathers.

There's a big pile of rainy-day money, they say, covering scared state bucks staked on a garage that only has a commitment for 375 spaces from the convention-center hotel itself and another 150 spaces claimed by the nearby Merchandise Mart. That leaves 440 spaces with no guaranteed customers -- close to the maximum amount needed at night by the Webster students and more than double Stogel's estimate of the daytime needs of judges and academics.

So, you gotta ask -- why the hell would the state go into competition with itself with a second garage when it's already worried about the first one's being a losing proposition?

Don't bet on getting a straight answer from City Hall.

To hear the false babbling of Stevie and Francis and them, you'd think the Old Post Office was located in a Sahara of parking.

Pure camel piss.

There's a river of space for cars.

With more on the way.

"That's why nobody can finance a garage without government money, because there isn't a market for it," says one insider.

But the benighted hounds of Frankie the Saint keep yapping for more.

Hard to keep barking that tune with a mouthful of refried crow, though.

Hard to get re-elected with this much stench fouling the political airspace.

Sniff, sniff -- can you say St. Single Term?

Speedloader can.

Enjoy the meal.

Save room for dessert.

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