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McKee has plans to buy Pruitt-Igoe site

Developer Paul McKee outlined his plans for an urgent care hospital at 25th St. and Maiden Ln. in July of last year.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Developer Paul McKee is asking the state of Missouri for permission to relocate a proposed urgent care facility to the former Pruitt-Igoe site in north St. Louis.

The three-bed care center had originally been slated for construction at 25th Street and Maiden Lane, just a few blocks north of the Pruitt-Igoe site. That location, however, is within the 100-acre footprint of a proposed site that the city is hoping will attract the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. In order to accommodate the potential relocation of the NGA, McKee decided to move the urgent care center several blocks south within Pruitt-Igoe site.

McKee’s plan for the $6.8 million medical campus received a certificate of need from a state committee in November. The committee is scheduled vote on Monday on the developer’s relocation proposal

A spokesman for McKee said the plan has not changed other than moving it a few blocks.

"The purpose of the hospital, the vision of the hospital, the budget for the hospital, the community it serves, all of that is very consistent," Jim Gradl said. "It’s just moving it five blocks to accommodate the needs of an agency that has 3,000 jobs attached to it."

While McKee owns the previous site at Maiden Lane and 25th Street, the city owns the land where McKee now proposed for the facility. McKee has an option to buy the 33-acre Pruitt-Igoe site from the city’s Land Clearance and Reauthorization Authority for $1 million.

"If the CON [Certificate of Need] Committee approves the move, then yes, we’ll exercise the right to buy that property," Gradl said.

Gradl said the location works well because expected infrastructure improvements in the area will make it easier for people to get there. He said the NGA’s relocation to north St. Louis would also make it attractive.

"If they do select the north side property, then the health-care campus would be very convenient to all those people that are part of the Geospatial employment, but also anything that develops around it, as well," he said.

The project is expected to occupy just four acres, but McKee’s agreement with the city requires him to buy all 33 acres of the Pruitt-Igoe site. St. Louis Redevelopment Corporation’s executive director Otis Williams said the city is on board with McKee's plan.

"Essentially it would provide density and earlier development of the Pruitt-Igoe site," Williams said.

Williams said the city has no responsibility to clear the wooded land or do any sort of environmental work. If the state approves the urgent care facility's relocation, Williams said the sale is expected within the year.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.