I used to decry the complete demolition of MCV and the historic architecture that was lost, but it's hard to know if that area would have ended up becoming another Soulard/Lafayette Square or not. The central location would suggest that gentrification might have eventually occurred, but that hasn't been true for much of the areas immediately surrounding DT and Midtown. Similar vibrant neighborhoods with a mix of uses are now almost entirely gone with few remaining buildings, and most of which are in poor condition.
The frustrating part with SLU is that while planning theory and land use strategies changed considerably since the 1960s and 1970s, the school's approach did not. Large-scale demolition and renewal-style planning continued to be a favored tool and the surrounding neighborhoods did not benefit from the school's growth. The SLU med campus is the best example of that. I'm hopeful that they've changed their approach and initial plans for the med school suggest that's the case.
I think it's also hard to ignore the parallels between SLU and Wash U. While the neighborhoods surrounding the campuses are clearly very different, Wash U has focused their redevelopment efforts in areas that many would have considered "unsafe" 20 years ago (some may still consider it "unsafe", see the Mary Queen of Peace v. Our Lady of Lourdes debate). The school's efforts greatly helped to stabilize those neighborhoods and now the school is actively developing property in the Loop. In their minds, a vibrant and safe Loop is a huge recruiting tool for them. I think SLU should take a similar approach with Grand Center. For example, they currently sit on two corner lots at the intersection of Grand and Lindell. Activating those lots with new mixed-use projects (student housing above first floor retail) would be a great start. Instead, we have dog parks and fountains, which would be fine if these were not key opportunity sites.