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Clay to hold hearing on economic development

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Congressman William Lacy Clay is hosting a hearing at St. Louis City Hall Saturday on economic development of the north side.

The Missouri Democrat will be joined by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California and Congressman Al Green of Texas. All three are members of the
subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

Clay would give no details but said there would be several unique development opportunities discussed at the hearing.

"We will present witnesses that will stress the undiscovered opportunities in these neighborhoods and this is a very special opportunity," Clay said.

Clay says little has been done in the last 30 years to help blighted areas of north St. Louis.

But he says he supports the controversial Distressed Areas Land Assembly Credit passed by state lawmakers last year.

That allows developers who amass 75 acres or more in a distressed area can get big tax credits.

"I support any developer, any individual who wants to assemble parcels of land in order to make this part of the city look like it should, or like it did, and to make it viable and to make it place where people will want to put down their stakes," Clay said.

Developer Paul McKee, who owns more than 600 parcels on the city's north side, is seen by many as the main beneficiary of the law.

The hearing will take place Saturday at noon at St. Louis City Hall.

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