NEWS

Citywalk News for August

Ferguson Farmers Market is getting comfortable in our new home at Plaza 501, located at 501 S. Florissant Rd. (Redundant, I know!) Have you been to visit us at our new home? If not, consider this a special invitation for you, your family, and friends! We now have electricity, fixed restrooms, a convenient ATM on site, and some great new vendors. This Saturday morning tradition brings you fresh fruits and veggies, picked within 24 hours of our market and brought directly to you by the friendly farmers who grow them. We are open during the months of May through October, every Saturday from 8am -Noon.


Enjoy live music in a festive family atmosphere, and discover a wide variety of edible delights, including homemade jelly, farm fresh eggs, cheese, honey, spices, and organic meats. You’ll also find an ever-changing array of gift and specialty vendors, selling everything from cut flowers and bedding plants to hand-painted artwork and small-batch soaps. Please stop by to make a purchase and support our local vendors, including; Audrey Gail Jewelry, Divine Handcrafted Gifts, Doggie Wanna Cookie, Fit-Tritionist, Garden Stepping Stones, Goose Creek Soap, I Love Ferguson, Kay’s Kreations, Llamazing Bath Products, Northern Arts Council, Pawtastic Treats, Ruministics, Alpacas of Troy, Earth Dance Farm, Dietz/Siebert Farm (Beef, Pork, and Gus’s Pretzels), Hahn Farm, Kamp’s Peaches, Larder and Cupboard, Metro Greens, Missouri Honey, Mr. B’s Salsa and Hot Pepper Products, Pappardelle’s Pasta, The Raw Juicery, Ricardo’s Street Grill, Cool Delights Shave Ice, Just Omelets, La Fuente Mexican Food Hank & Anita’s Coffees & Teas……. If it’s homemade, handmade or fresh and tasty, you can buy it at the Ferguson Farmers’ Market!


The Ferguson Special Business District Board, along with the Ferguson Main Street Board is focused upon making the Ferguson Downtown a more economically vibrant area. In order to achieve that goal, we are researching ways to make the commercial district pedestrian-friendly to attract more visitors to the small businesses along Florissant Rd. In the coming weeks, you will hear a lot about Traffic Calming, which is the deliberate slowing of traffic in residential and certain commercial areas. According to a recent Strong Towns (www.strongtowns.org) article, “The first step towards encouraging the growth of small and locally owned businesses is to make roads human-scaled. The goal is not to move people through your town’s retail areas, but to support the businesses in those areas. Do this by slowing down the cars, narrowing lane widths, widening sidewalks, adding bike lanes and parallel parking, and by growing an urban forest to provide shade and cleaner air to the pedestrians walking from store to store” (6/5/18).


What would traffic calming look like in Ferguson? It would reduce the current four-lanes to three lanes and add 45 downtown parking spaces. The reduction would be from Carson to Suburban. You might be familiar with this plan, it was conducted by the City of Ferguson in 2013. Although 2013 might not have been the right time, many residents, as well as members of the FSBD Advisory Board believe the time is now. The Ferguson downtown area is growing with new businesses that weren’t around in 2013 when traffic calming plans were drawn, such as: Style-Taneous Styles, Om Turte Cafe, Blessings Closet, Baked Woodfire Pizza, Red’s BBQ, Trader Jeans, Papa Johns, Drake’s, Natalie’s Cakes, Couturier for a Cause, Wild Blossoms Boutique, and Almost Picasso, to name a few.


With the average car traveling much faster than the posted speed limit, we think the time to act is now. There have been comments and complaints on social media and at council meetings about speeding on both residential and commercial streets. To illustrate safety concerns, consider an example of a car exceeding the posted 35 mph speed limit on S. Florissant Rd. A car traveling 50 mph requires 122 feet to stop while a car traveling 20 mph requires only 20 feet. To give you some perspective, market tents are 10 feet, when you walk the market the craft side has 12 tents, that’s how long it would take a car to stop if a child walked out in front of a car traveling 50 mph in our downtown district. Looking at it in another light, “If a car is traveling 40 mph and you are hit by it you have a 10% chance of survival, a car traveling at 20 mph has a 90% chance of survival” (Car Crash Detective, 9/15).


Traffic calming is just one of the ideas for revitalization of our downtown business area. To show your support for this and other initiatives, come to Ferguson Main Street’s next public meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers of Ferguson City Hall. Updates can be found on the City Walk Facebook page. This meeting will focus on organization and operation for Ferguson Main Street.


All CityWalk business owners are invited and encouraged to attend meetings of the Ferguson Special Business District Advisory Board, which meets the 2nd Thursday of every month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Thomas Professional Building, 910 S. Florissant Rd. If you are the owner of a business in the Ferguson Special Business District and would be interested in serving on the Advisory Board, please contact Robin Shively at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.

Citywalk News for July

Ferguson celebrates “Summer Fun” is the 4th of July Festival’s Parade Theme for 2018 and it is perfect! We expect a lot of decorated floats this year with such a fun and easy theme! This year the festival will be on June 30th. The parade kicks off the celebration at 12 noon, starting at 500 S. Florissant Rd and heading north to January Wabash Park. The festival will feature live music, games, food and lots of new activities.


This year, through partnering with the City of Ferguson and Ferguson Parks and Rec, the 4th of July Festival is excited to announce a reduced rate for pool entry between 1:00 and 4:00, as well as duck races in the lazy river pool. Live music starts at 2:00 and fireworks conclude the day at 9:15. The all-volunteer committee has spent all year fundraising and planning for this one-day event and they hope you enjoy the new activities! Do you have ideas and want to get involved? The committee meets at the Ferguson Community Center the 1st Monday of each month at 6pm. The day’s schedule of activities are listed on Page 1 in this issue of the Ferguson Times.


Writing about parades, street closures and walking around downtown, brings up thoughts of walkable cities, which a number of economic groups say support a strong downtown district. A recent report by Strongtowns stated, “The first step towards encouraging the growth of small and locally owned businesses is to make roads human scaled. The goal is not to move people through your town’s retail areas, but to support the businesses in those areas. Do this by slowing down the cars…”. Ferguson Main Street and Ferguson CityWalk are working together to gather more information on becoming a more walkable city. In the weeks ahead, you will see new signs around town displaying walk times to the Plaza at 501 from different spots in town.


Friends of the Market is planning a walkable scavenger hunt in the fall and a put-put pub crawl in early 2019, all in hopes of getting people out and walking in our beautiful downtown district. FSBD and Ferguson Main Street are researching the 2013 traffic calming study that was done by the City of Ferguson. In the last five years a lot has changed and now may be a great time to reevaluate reducing Florissant Road from four-lanes to three in the downtown business district. History has shown a lane reduction slows traffic, increases foot traffic and helps increase business in the area.


Be sure and visit our new Ferguson Main Street website and sign up for a newsletter for the most up-to-the-date information on the downtown business district.


CityWalk business owners are welcome and encouraged to attend meetings of the Ferguson Special Business District Advisory Board, which meets the 2rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Mobile Eyecare Solutions, 248 S. Florissant Rd. For more information about FSBD and how to become involved, please contact Robin Shively at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.

Citywalk News for June

On Thursday, May 3rd, the first of several town hall meetings about the Missouri Main Street program was held in the Ferguson City Council Chambers. It was well attended by over 30 residents, business owners, city staff and council members. Those who were not able to attend may have seen it featured on Channel 4. An introduction to historic commercial district revitalization using the “Main Street Four-Point Approach” was presented by Community Development Coordinator Keith Winge of Missouri Main Street Connection. Participants then broke into groups based on the four points to discuss their ideas, goals and desires for the future of Ferguson Main Street. If you are interested in volunteering with the Ferguson Main Street organization, please email marveena@fergusonmainstreet.org and watch for a follow-up meeting to be held in June. Committees will be organized to focus on each of the four points.


Those committees are:


  1. Economic Vitality; business retention & recruitment, marketing & demographic studies, and developing a direction for downtown.
  2. Design; public spaces, facades, streetscapes, public improvements (sidewalks, parking, signs), and establishing a historic commission and museum.
  3. Promotion; logo & image development, special, historical & cultural events, retail promotions, and creation of brochures.
  4. Organization; structure & by laws of corporation, organization of committees, fundraising plans, downtown work plan, downtown information gathering, and public relations.

In other news this month, we extend our welcome to Ferguson-Dellwood Community Resource Center, a new member of our downtown special business district. They are located at 409 South Florissant Rd., in the same building as the Edward Jones office of F.S.B.D. board member Joe Meyer.


Two of our newer restaurants continue to set the table and spread out good eats for Ferguson residents and other patrons from beyond the city limits as well.


Red’s BBQ, which has been bustling at 304 South Florissant Rd., began at 3400 West Florissant and operated a food truck as well. Burned beyond recognition in the wake of August 2014’s unrest, the establishment moved to the corner of Goodfellow and Natural Bridge in order to continue operations. However, customers were few. Red’s has now come home to Ferguson, with a grand opening on November 11, 2017. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays a steady stream of cars enters and leaves, and numbers of orders are announced over the loud speaker at a lively clip. Asked if he will expand his hours beyond Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the owner asserts: “No.” They start cooking in the morning and serve until closing time (9 p.m.) or until the day’s smoked and grilled fare is gone. The menu includes Red’s famous rib tips, pork ribs, pork steak, chicken (whole, half, wings), beef, with beans and potato salad available as sides.


Long-awaited Baked Woodfire Pizza Joint had their soft open on March 5 with a fundraiser for FYI. Their official opening was on (what else?) Pi Day, March 14. Since then, Baked’s pizzas have been hot, both figuratively and literally. The pizzas are fired at 800 degrees. Not a typical chain pizza joint, the menu is extensive. They offer unique “table shares” such as pear and hot honey crostini, antipasto and roasted brussel sprouts. They serve generous, savory salads, and the gorgonzola dressing is a signature offering. The menu lists fourteen designer pizzas. Where else can you find Wake and Bake – a white pizza topped with an over easy egg? Vegan: try the vegan Hungry Planet Chorizo which incorporates plant-based chorizo and Daiya dairy-free cheese. They serve an Apple Pear Prosciutto; the Golden Greek with lamb, feta cheese and tzatziki drizzle; and the “Beetzza” – yes, roasted beets – try it, you will like it. Not into experimentation: flip the menu over and you can order a BYO pizza, assembling your preferred assortment of crust, sauce, cheese, proteins, veggies/fruit/nuts, and glazes. There is even an option for gluten-free crust. Leave room for dessert: cinnamon nuggets, gelato (vanilla bean, espresso and Nutella) and blood orange sorbet.


The Citywalk Advisory Board meets the 2nd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the offices of Mobile Eye Care Solutions, 248 South Florissant Rd. All Citywalk business owners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Interested Citywalk businesses should contact Robin Shively (cornersframing@gmail.com, or 314-229-0325) for more information.

Citywalk News for May

The Market, It is A-Changing

Most of us resist change. Change upsets equilibrium and can generate stress. Change sends us off into the unknown. Even though we may be curious about that unknown, we are also fearful – what if it doesn’t work out? And yet “Without change, there
can be no progress. Without change, there is only stagnation,” (quoted from a post on the Market’s Facebook page).

On Saturday, May 5, when the Ferguson Farmers’ Market opens its 2018 season, there will be a big change: you will not find the FFM at the Victorian Plaza.

On May 5, the Ferguson Farmers’ Market (FFM) will open at Plaza 501. This is great news! And why would that be great news?

  • Plaza 501 was originally built to house the farmers market (depending on who you ask).
  • Plaza 501 has more space. It is just simply bigger.
  • Plaza 501 will allow the businesses that depend on the Victorian Plaza parking lot to better utilize it to accommodate for business growth.
  • Plaza 501 already has a covered area, permanent bathrooms, electricity and running water.
  • The Maline Greenway will eventually connect to the Plaza at 501, allowing people going to the market to get there by foot or bike which would reduce parking needs
  • Businesses near Victorian Plaza need the parking spaces. There are 261 parking spots adjacent to Plaza 501: 39 in the back lot, 30 in the lot behind Ferguson Brewing Company, 27 next to Meineke, 30 at the Edward Jones lot, 67 in the Cork lot, 42 in Marley’s lot, and 26 in the Papa John’s lot. There will be four handicap parking spaces (as there were at Victorian Plaza).
  • Crosswalks and lights will make approaching the FFM safer.

So, what do the vendors think of this change?

John Phillips of Hank & Anita’s Coffee says: “…the location is highly visible. The accessibility is so much greater. The signage is excellent, and the pavilion is perfect. We expect larger crowds all summer!”

“It will give BKM Fitness, New Chinese Gourmet, Natalie’s Cakes and More, Aldi and other surrounding businesses utter a sigh of relief for their customers parking on Saturday morning. Our New location has great off-street parking, no interference to local business and a perfect design area for a very well-organized farmers market.” Meats & Moore

“The 501 Plaza is the perfect spot for the Ferguson Farmers Market. There are fixed restrooms, electricity, and ample room to grow the market.” The Raw Juicery

To end with another Facebook user’s comment about this change: “I don’t know why this didn’t happen years ago!!!”

OmTurtleYoga & Spa Opening Cafe

Angie Carron, owner of OmTurtleYoga & Spa established in Ferguson and Florissant since 2013, has decided to expand her current yoga studio in Ferguson to include a cafe! She has partnered with Kaldi’s Coffee and Firepot teas as well as other wellness minded vendors to provide the very best in superfoods for our community. She’s also working with local artisans to sell unique goods in her Urban Market. Soft opening targeted for summer 2018 at 415 S. Florissant Rd.

Citywalk News for April

Baked Wood Fired Pizza Joint held their grand opening on Pi day, March 14. Located at 235 S. Florissant Road, the new pizzeria offers unique recipe pizzas, baked in a wood fired oven. The menu also includes appetizers, wings, salads. Gelato is on the dessert menu.

MISSOURI MAIN STREET

Have you heard? The Ferguson Downtown Special Business District (FSBD) has received a grant from the Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC). MMSC is dedicated to the development of a sustainable, volunteer-based organization that will carry out an economic development program based on the preservation of historic assets in the downtown commercial district.

The Main Street America movement has helped revitalize historic downtown areas for more than thirty-five years. It is a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The MMSC volunteer Board of Directors includes Main Street professionals, revitalization and preservation specialists, professors, attorneys, bankers, legislators and Missouri Department of Economic Development staff members. The MMSC has already served 178 Missouri Communities.

During the next two years MMSC will provide FSBD with training and mentoring to establish a volunteer revitalization organization. This organization will in turn engage the entire community as a participant and beneficiary. The group also will attend regional revitalization workshops and conferences conducted by MMSC.

This is great news for small businesses. The Main Street Connection process supports entrepreneurship and private investment in historic districts. Ferguson residents, business owners, and community leaders are invited to a meeting at Ferguson City Hall, Council Chambers, Thursday, May 3rd, 6-8pm. No registration is required. Missouri Main Street Representatives will present the Main Street 4-Point Approach® to Revitalization. Attendees will form groups based on these four points: organization, economic restructuring, design and promotion, and discuss what the community would like to see happen in each of the four areas. Typically, each group generates a large list; then prioritizes by casting votes for the most important, achievable activities to implement in the first year of work, putting other choices on the “back burner.” At the end of the evening, each group will report their top priorities. This information will then be used by the four corresponding committees to draft Action Plans for the CityWalk Board to consider.

CityWalk business owners have a standing invitation to attend meetings of the Ferguson Special Business District Advisory Board, which meets the 2rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. FSBD meets at Mobile Eyecare Solutions, 248 S. Florissant Rd. For more information, please contact Robin Shively at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.

Citywalk News for March

Welcome to Citizens Against Discrimination, located at 111 Church St., Suite 201. Kawana Waddell, owner of Style-Taneous Styles, plans to open a women’s boutique at 426 S. Florissant Rd. She anticipates a soft opening around March 16th and a Grand Opening on March 31st.


Congratulations to Nehemiah Project’s Epicenter: they recently opened a second-hand boutique, Couturier for a Cause, at 104 S. Florissant Road. Proceeds from sales support the Nehemiah Project, and affordable housing agency that serves Ferguson and surrounding cities.


REVITALIZING THE DOWNTOWN: A WORK IN PROGRESS


With the downtown TIF (Tax Increment Financing) ending in 2023, there is a need to bridge the gap to continue work begun in the downtown Ferguson Special Business District (FSBD). The good news is that FSBD has received a Downtown Revitalization Grant from Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc., which assists revitalization programs in Missouri’s historic commercial districts. You’ll be hearing a lot about this initiative in the future. For a moment, let’s look at some of the recent history of the FSBD,with the assistance of Steve Wegert, former mayor and current president of Sportsprint, 6197 Bermuda Road.


The downtown area was marketed by the Ferguson Station Business Association (FSBA). In the early 2000s, the FSBA hired Shannon Howard and began to rebrand, moving away from the long-recognized train theme. The business owners wanted to develop a more up-to-date image. Thus, CityWalk emerged. During this time, the organization began expanding its trademark events, such as Northern Lights and Street Fest.


Prior to this, the FSBA survived on self-taxing revenue from the business licenses issued in the district. They raised approximately $35,000 annually with which they could carry out special projects, sometimes with the help of loans from the city. An example is the Victorian street lights you see in downtown Ferguson.


In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s there was a big push in marketing Ferguson as “the place to be.” This led to the establishment of a TIF district to fund projects which would enhance the downtown district. Steve Wegert named many, many business owners and entities who were instrumental in this phase of downtown Ferguson’s development and feared leaving anyone out. However, most significant were Joe Lonero and Farzad Faramarzi.


Farzad relocated his popular Thyme Table restaurant on the strip renovating a vacant Hardees and opened the Savoy banquet center in the old Savoy theatre. When Joe Lonero was unable to persuade Starbucks or Panera to locate in the downtown area, he established the Corner Coffee House (sadly, now closed). Vincenzo’s restaurant, the purchase and complete renovation of the old Sportsprint building to include lofts and retail space, the Brewhouse and Streetcar Lofts all followed. Many of those projects would not have been possible without funding from the TIF. CityWalk continued to add to projects to make downtown Ferguson a destination for persons outside of Ferguson. The Farmers Market developed into a CityWalk project. Later, concert nights were added. Much work remains, because revitalization is a work in progress. The world changes and business districts must evolve as well to attract customers. More next month on the Main Street Grant.

Citywalk News for February

Happy birthday to Faraci Pizza.. The Ferguson original is celebrating fifty years: happy golden anniversary!


The much anticipated “Baked Wood-Fired Pizzeria” has already been mentioned in Sauce Magazine. The new restaurant plans to be up and running by the end of February. Employment applications are now being accepted.


GOOD TIME TO “REBUILD TOGETHER”


In 1973 a small group of neighbors and friends, who had seen houses in their community deteriorate, banded together to dedicate one day to elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners who needed help to maintain their homes. A movement was born, Rebuilding Together, and eventually blossomed into a national organization. Rebuilding Together – St. Louis joined the effort in 1992. More than fifty neighborhoods from around the St. Louis region have benefited from Rebuilding Together.


Rebuilding Together has provided free home repairs for many years in Ferguson. The next project is scheduled for May 5, 2018. Emerson will supply funds and volunteers, as they have in prior years.


This is a project that benefits all of Ferguson, including Ferguson CityWalk. Improvement of homes adjacent to CityWalk businesses can only improve business by setting a tone that is hospitable, and strengthening pride in the neighborhood.


Rebuilding Together is looking for 10-12 homeowners on one block that meet their low-income requirements and that need home repairs, so they can participate in the May 5 Rebuild Together project. Ideally, they would have applications in hand before the end of February, in order to complete their evaluation process by deadline. For an application follow this link: http://www.rebuildingtogether-stl.org/wwwroot/docs/New2014_Homeowner_Application.pdf . To get further details on the organization and contact information, go to http://www.rebuildingtogether-stl.org/discover#vision or contact Dave Ervin, at (314) 918–9918, or dervin@rebuildingtogether-stl.org .


CityWalk business owners have a standing invitation to attend the Ferguson CityWalk Advisory Board. The FSBD meets the 2rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The meeting location for February has not yet been determined. To get this information, please contact Robin Shively at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.

Ferguson Receives Downtown Revitalization Grant

The Ferguson Special Business District has been selected in a competitive application process to participate in a cost-sharing Affiliate Grant that provides training, mentoring, and technical services to revitalization programs in Missouri’s historic commercial districts. The grant is provided by Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. (MMSC)

Citywalk News for January

“Blessings and Treasures”

Two Ferguson businesses emphasize the values of reusing, recycling and repurposing in two different ways.


There are blessings to be discovered at Blessings Closet Thrift Boutique, 307 S. Florissant Road which opened October 2015. The Boutique provides fashionable, low-cost apparel options for the everyday individual. Blessings Closet is a 501(c) 3 organization with a non-profit program called “DRESS LIKE YOU’RE BLESSED.” The mission is to help persons with limited resources to assemble an outfit for job interviews, as well as for their first days on the job.


Nikki Wilson, owner, remarks: “Some people don’t realize how awesome you can look for around ten dollars. I believe that everyone should be able to obtain simple things like clothing and still be stylish.” Nikki’s hope is “that people will open their closet and think of how they can be a blessing to others with what they already have that they no longer wear or can’t fit.” Blessings Closet is currently accepting monetary and clothing donations. For more information, you can email blesssingscloset@gmail.com or call 314-877-9888.


Treasures are to be uncovered at Hidden Treasures, 220B N. Florissant Road, also a new and used boutique, of a different flavor. Hidden Treasures began its sixth year of business this November 2017. The business evolved before the store front opened. Owner Jeniece Andrews began in a small way, with one to two yard sales a year. After her husband was laid off, she started vending at flea markets. The next thing she knew she was buying jewelry, buying gold. Jeniece also began doing estate sales.


Hidden Treasures prices are affordable, although this is not intended as a thrift boutique. Visit the shop and you will see clothes, jewelry, furniture, antiques and objects d’art. Are you mad about shoes? Well, here you will find shoes upon shoes: really stylish and in mint condition. Ninety per cent of clothing in stock is new, not used. If it is used, it has been used gently. Do you like vintage clothing? Upscale resale? Come and explore. Need help with an estate sale? Call Jeniece at 314-757-2858 or email her at jenieceandrews@gmail.com.


Hidden Treasures best kept secret is that they are here! They are not so hidden: the store is right next to Little Caesar’s. Welcome New Businesses: People’s Healthcare Services located at 49 N Florissant Road inside Schnuck’s has joined the Ferguson CityWalk roster of businesses.

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FERGUSON CITYWALK
110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
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