We are catching up on all the summer better blocks that have been happening over the last few weeks. Lets start in St. Joseph Missouri where the better block is resulting in greater business investment in the downtown. The revitalization of downtown St. Joe, a community on the fringes of Kansas City, has been a matter of discussion since at least 2009 when a planning study identified potential investments. Saint Joseph is identified by the slogan, “Where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended.” It has always been a jumping off point for adventures and has the excellent entrepreneurial spirit that feeds successful better blocks.
The before and after photos say it all.
Incubating business during the better block is a key test of a true demonstration project. For we can build all the bike lanes, cafes and street furniture in the world, but if you dont have somewhere to walk and bike to then it is all for not. Businesses change the way they market and operate in a walkable community. Parking spaces are sacrificed for places to set and linger and park your bike. Awnings are re-built to shade the window shopper and flowers are put out to catch the eye of the people moving at 3 MPH.
Happy to here that at least one of the pop-up shops is going perm in this mid-size town, Lucky Tiger a vintage vinyl and clothing store is open as of this past Friday. For all the details on the project follow them on Facebook . Congratulations St. Joe, You made a lovely Better Block!