McKee’s Open Letter on the Future of Northside Regeneration

by Michael R. Allen

Before the end of 2010, the Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded $8 million in Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credits (DALATC) to Paul J. McKee, Jr.’s Northside Regeneration LLC. Because of a St. Louis Circuit Court ruling, Northside Regeneration’s redevelopment ordinances currently are invalid pending either refinement addressing the ruling or successful appeal.

DED included the first-ever clawback for the DALATC that requires Northside Regeneration LLC to return the full amount within 30 days of a final court judgment upholding the circuit court ruling. DALATC has no clawback provision, a flaw noticed by many observers when the credits were considered by the Missouri General Assembly in 2007.

In May 2009 at a public meeting, McEagle showed this rendering of the Northside Regeneration project looking southwest toward downtown from Cass Avenue and 13th Street.

With the fate of Northside Regeneration questioned, this Wednesday McKee himself published an open letter to “the people of St. Louis” entitled “A Perspective for the Year 2011.” The St. Louis Business Journal posted that letter here.

Of special interest to readers of this blog is this passage about the James Clemens, Jr. House:

Now in 2011, the structure has been stabilized and our Team along with MHDC will revisit our
original request and restart the renovation. McEagle made a commitment to the people of the
Northside and to the historic preservationists that we will renovate, and reuse the historic and
reinvent salvageable structures in the Northside area. We will stand tall and meet our commitments
even when unforeseen problems occur.

The delay in starting The Clemens House has nothing to do with the approval process for the balance
of the Northside Regeneration. The Northside Regeneration approval process will be finalized in
specific redevelopment agreements with the City, currently under consideration.

In an itemized list of projects underway is the “demolition and environmental cleanup of over 187 buildings” as well as recycling of demolition materials suggesting interest in deconstruction. Other projects mentioned are historic rehabilitation of an unnamed school building for a charter school and rehabilitation of another unnamed historic building for biotech companies.

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  • Eric

    So it’s bs, is that what you’re saying?
    What about those 187 buildings? Sell them to the city, then the city should have a restoration-incentive program to the citizens.

  • Chris

    God, that “tower in a park” portion right in the middle of the rendering makes me want to vomit.

  • Anonymous

    I always suspect the worst, which is that the city elected politicians are deliberately allowing the crime problem in the North Side to roll on with little resistance in order to destroy the value of the remaining property and run off the remaining citizens.  This allows the “redevelopment” money to go further.