FERGUSON, Mo. - As the five year anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting approaches, a major project, and investment are announced to bring new economic revitalization to the Ferguson and Dellwood areas.
The project is a new business strip mall on West Florissant in Dellwood that will be called the Urban League Plaza. It would be anchored by First Bank. Sweetie Pies would move there from its location across the street. At Home Care would also be in the center. There will also be space for other minority-owned businesses and additional services.
The announcement was made this afternoon at the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center not far from where the center would be built.
There was quite a different scene at the proposed center site back in November of 2014 after the Michael Brown grand jury decision. An Advance Auto Parts Store and Juanita`s Clothing Boutique that used to be there were among the businesses which were burned to the ground.
The plaza is the vision of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. The President and CEO of the Urban League, Michael McMillan, says funding for the six to seven million dollar project is still coming together but he is optimistic that it will happen. $750,000 in donations were also announced for the Save Our Sons program. That's a project that helps African American men and others find jobs. $500,000 was from state funds and $250,000 was from Ameren. A $50,000 grant was also announced to help local residents with financial services.
Leaders hope to break ground for the six to seven million dollar plaza early next year. Construction is projected to take about a year and a half.