Developer Paul McKee has two weeks to reimburse the city of St. Louis for legal fees associated with his Northside Regeneration project.
The city’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment voted Wednesday to give McKee until April 30 to pay approximately $57,000 in legal fees. That money is associated with a roughly three-year legal battle over McKee's proposal to redevelop portions of north St. Louis.
McKee, who wasn't at Wednesday' meeting, initially wanted until May 30 to pay the fees, which need to be paid to execute a tax increment financing agreement for redeveloping portions of north St. Louis. Bill Clendenin, an attorney representing McKee, attributed the delay to potential technical changes with the redevelopment agreement. He didn’t provide specific details.
“We originally requested 45 days,” Clendenin said. “We would respectfully request up until May 30. But I think it is very possible that we would pay the fees sooner than that and execute the redevelopment agreement.”
After Clendenin made that statement, St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green moved to amend the payment date to April 30. She said there was no need to wait the additional six weeks.
“If we want to just get this out of the way and get this done, let us the move the date to an April 30 date,” Green said.
The Board -- which consists of Green, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed – voted unanimously to give McKee the roughly two-week extension.
Elizabeth Brooks watched the meeting with members of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, a group that’s been fiercely critical of McKee’s plan. Brooks resides in the 5th Ward. She said she wasn’t happy with the decision.
“I’ve had to pay my taxes. I’ve never gotten extensions on anything,” Brooks said. “And I think he has a lot more money than me, so why shouldn’t he pay his also?”
McKee’s redevelopment proposal would use $390 million in tax increment financing as part of a 23-year, $8.1 billion redevelopment of two square miles in north St. Louis. Tax increment financing will be used to improve infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks and sewers.
McKee’s plan had been tied up in court until last year, when the Missouri Supreme Court threw out St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker’s decision to block the TIF agreement.