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Board of Aldermen get first look at McKee legislation

By Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis Public Radio – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is getting its first look at legislation authorizing a controversial development on the city's north side.

The bills introduced Friday authorize Paul McKee to develop nearly two square miles in north St. Louis, as well as the use of tax increment financing.

April Ford-Griffin is the lead sponsor of the legislation - most of the redevelopment area is in her ward. The agreement requires McKee to maintain his properties, she said. Eminent domain will not be allowed without additional approval from the Board of Aldermen.

And Griffin is especially pleased with language that requires McKee to fund training programs for area residents.

"Residents have said they want development, but if you're promoting that you can bring companies and jobs, they want opportunities to be able to get a job," she said.

Griffin and the city will negotiate additional agreements with McKee for the smaller redevelopment areas within the project. Those deals will have specific timelines, she said.

"Even though you say it may take you ten years to develop just say Section A, we're going to give you three years to start. If you say it's going to take you ten years to complete, you can't just sit here for ten years and do nothing," she said.

The first committee hearing on the project is Thursday, October 22 at 10am at City Hall.