by Michael R. Allen
The July 15 Quarterly Report of the Jordan W. Chambers 19th Ward Regular Democratic Organization reveals some interesting information about its contributors. Namely, that the following contributors, all real estate holding companies, share the same address:
That address is 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place in O’Fallon, Missouri . 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place is the address of the largest office building in the sprawling WingHaven development. This also happens to be the mailing address for Paric Corporation and McEagle Development, the well-known companies founded by wealthy developer Paul McKee, Jr. (Paric is now led by McKee‘s son Joe.)
Readers know that we have detailed the adventurous purchases of rogue real estate companies Blairmont Associates LC and VHS Partners LLC, and that we along with other northsiders have been wondering what the hell these silent speculators have been trying to do in our neighborhoods. But few people would have known that Blairmont and VHS shared an address with these other companies, because both Blairmont and VHS were registered anonymously and their only known agents were Harvey Noble and Steve Goldman of Eagle Realty Company and Roberta M. Defiore. Even fewer would have known the links between Blairmont, VHS, Noble Development Company and N & G Ventures. Without seeing this report, I would have never learned of this additional entity or of the definite link with McKee’s enterprises. Campaign finance disclosure again proves to be a valuable democratic tool. Together, these four companies own 244 north side properties and hold an option to buy one city-owned parcel:
VHS Partners: 101
N & G Ventures: 58 plus one option
Noble Development Company: 3
The holdings of these companies are geographically confined: most are in the 63106 zip code and the a well-defined southern part of the 63107 zip code; all are in either Ward 5 or Ward 19; nearly every property is a vacant lot, with only a handful of vacant buildings in the inventory. (Although we know that they did attempt to trick a legally-blind woman into selling her own house to them.)
The question remains: What exactly is the tie with McKee? And what is the plan for such a large area of the city?
The alternating silence and aggressive pursuit of properties by the entities at 1001 Boardwalk Springs Place is disturbing no matter how good their plan could be. These companies need to talk to their neighbors, who are very worried about the intentions and methods behind these companies. Consensus is built through communication; suspicion grows through silence.