ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Construction will start on the long-stalled north side renovation project by the end of the year.
Developer Paul McKee says his plan to renovate two square miles of the blighted north side can be a model for the rest of the country.
The unprecedented plan to re-build two square miles of a major American city has been on hold for three years, as some north side residents sued to stop the project. But with Wednesday’s victory at the Missouri Supreme Court, McKee says the project’s ready to move on.
McKee received a $394 million TIF, tax increment financing from the city to re-build the streets, sewers and electric grid in the area.
He says that will be followed by new homes built by several developers he claims are already interested. At the same time, the development will try to attract businesses, offices, and retail stores from supermarkets to hardware stores.
But in an area filled with collapsing buildings, crime, and violence, why would any business person want to invest and bring in jobs?
“It takes a business person with the belief that we can and are putting the infrastructure in, and that’s why the TIF is so important, so when we come in with new streets, sewers, water, green space, and we create the infrastructure for good jobs, it takes CEO’s that have a social conscience, that want to make a difference in their community,” said McKee.
McKee says the first new streets, sidewalks and utilities will start installation by this fall. The project’s boundaries roughly are Natural Bridge on the north, Highway 40 on the south, Interstate 70 on the east, and Grand Avenue on the west.
You can see our full interview with McKee on the Jaco Report. It airs 5:30 Saturday afternoon and again at 8:30 Sunday morning on FOX 2.