Legislative hearings get underway next week on the measures that could finally lead to the start of Paul McKee’s massive redevelopment project for north St. Louis.
A court case held up the $8.1 billion project for three years. The measures up for debate would give McKee access to an additional $192 million in tax assistance, and restart the project’s clock. Mayor Francis Slay and Congressman William Lacy Clay are both expected to speak in support at Tuesday's hearing.
Chairman Fred Wessels says he expects some opposition, but smooth sailing from his Housing, Urban Development, and Zoning committing.
"My feeling is, and I think a majority of aldermen feel, how many developers have we had that have taken on large part of north St. Louis, and wanted to do something serious job creation and some housing? None, really," he said.
Ald. Christine Ingrassia, who has a small portion of the project in her ward, says most of the people she's talked to want to see McKee's project succeed, "because it's kind of our only option at this point," she said. "I would like to see him do a little bit of compromising with the residents who have made his area in this TIF area for many years and have kind of waited it out."
Ald. Antonio French, who sits on the HUDZ committee, wants to push for language that will make sure McKee actually completes some projects with the tax incentives he’s seeking. And the activist group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment has its own series of proposed amendments that would give residents living in the redevelopment area more say, but organizers do not think they can stop the project completely.
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