The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will consider renewing a development agreement for Northside Regeneration’s long-stalled urgent care center, even as the developer and the city continue to tangle in court over the larger development project.
The bill would give Paul McKee a two-year extension to secure financing and build the facility, which would be located on Jefferson Avenue on the former Pruitt-Igoe site. The bill, introduced Friday by Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, D-5th Ward, would also requalify the project for more than $8 million in tax incentives.
The three-bed urgent care center was supposed to be completed by March, as required by the development agreement between Northside Regeneration and the city. But after a partially constructed wall collapsed at the site last year, the city revoked the project’s permits, then reinstated them a month later. As of this week, the site is overgrown with weeds, and there are few signs of construction.
It’s unclear whether the agreement can be renewed while the city and McKee remain at odds. The city tried to sever ties with the developer in June 2018, alleging that he failed to fulfill requirements of an agreement for the overall development, worth an estimated $8 billion, which would cover nearly two square miles in north St. Louis. But McKee’s lender, the Bank of Washington, filed suit against the city a month later, arguing that the developer is bound by a different set of agreements. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3 in the bank’s suit against the city.
St. Louis’ deputy mayor for development, Linda Martínez, said she could not comment on whether the existing urgent care agreement is still valid or whether the city plans to resume working with the developer.
“We became aware of Board Bill #103 last Thursday, September 12,” Martinez said in a statement. “It’s our assumption that the board bill was generated by or at the request of the project sponsor. We are currently reviewing the board bill, other related documents, and financial projections. Until we complete that review and discuss the same with the project sponsor, we will not be able to make any further comments.”
The sponsor, Alderwoman Hubbard, could not be reached for comment. Representatives for the urgent care center agreed to a scheduled interview with St. Louis Public Radio this week but later backed out.
Under the proposed new agreement, McKee must provide proof of project financing by the end of this year. Northside would have to complete the urgent care by mid-2021 and finish an expanded facility by mid-2023.
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