Two buildings enter; one building leaves...
Which building would you rather see renovated first: the Arcade Building or St. Louis Centre?
Let's take a look at both, and what their redevelopment would mean for downtown.
The Arcade Building - The last remaining building to be redeveloped in the newly-reinvigorated Old Post Office Square (I'm assuming The Alexa is still going to proceed at some point). The historic two-story shopping arcade could lure upscale retail, boutiques, etc. Residential units would provide even more customers for the Culinaria and other retailers, as well as more users for Old Post Office Plaza. Add office space to the mix, and you have a building that would add life to the surrounding area seven days a week.
St. Louis Centre - A major eyesore directly across from the convention center. Renovating this building would go a long way toward improving the perceptions of the thousands of tourists and conventioneers who visit St. Louis every year. The first floor is large enough to accomodate the large, national retailers that downtown has lacked for years now. A redeveloped St. Louis Centre will also make the nearby Mercantile Library Complex much more attractive for rehab.
In its current condition, the contrast between the Arcade and the adjacent Paul Brown Building is very stark - completely dead to the east; thriving and bustling to the west. A renovated Arcade Building would be absolutely amazing to see and would cement the Old Post Office District as one of liveliest spots downtown.
Right now, The Laurel (the redevelopment of the former Dillard's department store attached to St. Louis Centre) is moving forward, which will eliminate one of St. Louis Centre's unsightly skywalks. This could potentially encourage the redevelopment the leasing of vacant space in buildings such as 555 and 501 Washington. If all of this were to happen, the void currently created by St. Louis Centre becomes much less noticeable.
I definitely want to see both buildings renovated, but the Arcade is the one I'd like to see renovated first.