Date: June 18–23, 2006
Location: St Joseph, MO
Sponsor: Heartland Health, Herzog Contracting Corp., and Missouri Western State University
Chair: John M. Walsh III
Subject Area: Corridor Redevelopment, Economic Development
Summary of Recommendations
Heartland Health Systems, Herzog Contracting Corporation, and Missouri Western State University (MWSU) asked for a ULI Advisory Services panel to help assist in the planning and development efforts in the Riverside Road corridor and the city of St. Joseph. The panel recommended that a “New Frontiers” approach be implemented. “New Frontiers” balanced new development potential in the Riverside Corridor and eastern part of the city while refocusing interest and opportunity in the downtown core.
The proposed “New Frontier” plan envisioned recapturing the vitality of the city core and in-town neighborhoods, updating commercial strips, and building well planned developments in fringe and infill locations. A strategy such as this bolsters tax revenues and ensures the city’s competitive standing. The panel divided its planning and design work into three levels of analysis. The first, the Riverside Plaza plan, was a near-term plan for the Riverside Corridor and Heartland, Herzog and MWSU properties. The recommendation for institutional, mixed-use, residential, and industrial development was meant to revitalize the eastern part of the city. The second proposal, the Cityscape plan, was created to link the eastern parts of the city to the west with better infrastructure connections (cars, bikes, and walking) and attractive streetscaping. The last recommendation, the Two Rivers plan, was a long-term plan for the region, calling for dense growth to occur within the river and greenway boundaries but not beyond them. St. Joseph needed to implement a number of economic development tools and techniques that weren’t currently in use, like municipal bonds, capital improvement programs, and tax increment financing. Overall, the panel found that if St. Joseph built upon its strengths, a strong community and niche market, it would enter a promising economic future.