Richard Baron | St. Louis Public Radio

Richard Baron

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“How do you define development?” questioned Richard Baron, the Chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based for-profit community developer McCormack Baron Salazar, on Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2012 - One rainy day in the late fall of 1968, a young black woman named Jean King was looking out of the window of her apartment in the Darst public housing project just south of downtown when she noticed a little boy pick something up from the ground. He put it in his mouth and she realized it was a soggy piece of bread. She ran out and took him by the hand and led him to his mother and told her what had happened. King still remembers the boy's name -- Andre Smallwood.

Jason Epperson

Jean King and Richard Baron first met in 1968, when the two joined forces to protest conditions and rent hikes in St. Louis public housing.

Together, they earned a reputation as “imaginative leaders” and community advocates, attracting the attention of author/filmmaker Daniel Blake Smith.

Courtesy McCormack Baron Salazar

A historic St. Louis School building has a new lease on life as a new development in north city’s 22nd Ward.

The Arlington School, designed by pioneering St. Louis Architect William Ittner was built in 1898.  The school was closed in 1994 and fell into extreme disrepair.  I filed a story for NPR in 2009 about ten of Ittner's schools, including Arlington, which were facing uncertain futures.

McCormack Baron Salazar

Over the past four decades Richard Baron has made a name for himself as a pioneering developer of blighted urban neighborhoods.  Baron’s firm, McCormack Baron Salazar has completed scores of projects in St. Louis and across the Midwest.  As a native of Detroit, Mich., Baron came to Missouri in the late 1960s. 

St. Louis Public Radio’s Adam Allington sat down with Baron at a housing conference of the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he asked him to elaborate on some of the development challenges—and similarities—between Detroit and St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Ever since the housing bubble popped four years ago, politicians and policy experts have been scrambling to find effective models – including private-public partnerships – to help low- and moderate-income Americans afford good housing.

If you were listening to NPR's Morning Edition around 6:30 a.m. or again around 8:30 a.m., you might have heard a familiar name - developer Richard Baron, of McCormack Baron Salazar.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 24, 2010 - St. Louis urban developer Richard Baron sees positive signs in federal efforts to promote collaboration in community development, but he believes the state of Missouri needs to get on board with city officials.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 2, 2009 - Missouri has been at the heart of the nation's story of race from the first chapter. It entered the Union as part of the Missouri Compromise; it drove abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy across the river to Illinois where he was killed, and it deepened the divisions in the Union by claiming Dred Scott for slavery. So it isn't surprising that important chapters of the history of housing segregation played out on Missouri soil.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 26, 2009 - St. Louis urban developer Richard Baron doesn't waste words summarizing what he believes the nation's cities need to start fixing decades of neglected blight: A plan.

Baron, the chairman of McCormack, Baron and Salazar, was to deliver the keynote address Feb. 27 at a Saint Louis University symposium on the complex relationship between property ownership and economic stability. His topic: "Urban Neighborhoods: Can the Stimulus Package Reverse the Course of the Last 40 Years?"