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Blairmont, Locust Street Covered in Today’s RFT

by Michael R. Allen

There are two excellent articles in today’ Riverfront Times pertaining to controversial development matters:

Phantom of the Hood, Part 2 by Kathleen McLaughlin

The newest member of the RFT staff has written a great article on Paul McKee’s north side project. Some of the new information she dug up includes the fact that McKee’s attorney Steve Stone of Stone, Leyton & Gershman was involved in drafting the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Act. McLaughlin includes a choice quote from State Sen. John Griesheimer, original sponsor of the tax credit: “My idea of redeveloping is taking a blighted area and bulldozing it, putting mixed-uses in.” The “bulldoze the ghetto” rhetoric gains some credibility. Kathleen McLaughlin’s byline is definitely one to watch; she is tenacious and smart.

Rebuilt to Suit by Randall Roberts

Randall Roberts’ last story for the RFT covers the tension between St. Louis University and the developers and businesspeople who are transforming Locust Street (as well as parts of Olive and Washington) east of Grand into a force that puts the “life” in that fables intersection Grand Center advertises. The last part chronicles the livery stable demolition, bringing to light SLU’s promise to demolish no more of its holdings north of Lindell. Roberts has a fine sense of public journalism, and of how an article like this one can make a difference for the better. While this article comes out too late to make a difference in the livery stable fight, its timing is still good since few know SLU’s next step on Locust Street. I’m confident that McLaughlin will continue Roberts’ legacy of providing critical coverage of development and preservation issues in the RFT.

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