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Developer’s vision for old Pruitt-Igoe site includes hospital and hotels

(courtesy M Properties)

Northside Regeneration’s plans for the old Pruitt-Igoe site became public this week, including a $72 million complex of medical buildings, commercial and office space and two hotels.

Developer Paul McKee’s company bought the 34-acre site from the city for $1 million last summer. Northside Regeneration had held the option for several years, and McKee previously received state approval to build a three-bed urgent care facility within the former federal housing site.

That project finally began to move forward this year as Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard (5th Ward) sponsored legislation for $6.45 million in tax increment financing for the facility.

The Housing, Urban Development and Zoning committee easily approved the TIF on Friday. But as part of the presentation, Northside Regeneration revealed the urgent care is just the first phase in a ten-year plan the developer is calling HealthWorks Village/Innovation District.

“This is going to be the catalyst. Once people see things starting here, I think it changes the perception of the north side,” said William Laskowsky who works for McKee at M Properties.

The master plan includes a community hospital, medical office building and a nursing school, student housing, Bone & Joint Replacement Surgical Center, as well as commercial office space and two hotels.

The development is just across the street from the 100-acre site where the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is planning a new $1.75 billion facility.

“People will start to see land cleared and buildings coming up, and that’s exciting,” Laskowsky said.

The Pruitt-Igoe site is now an urban forest that has sat empty since the last of the federal housing buildings were imploded in the mid-1970s.

St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Otis Williams said it’s good to finally have a vision for the area.

“We’ve been long awaiting this,” he said. “We think it’s an executable vision; now we just need to make it happen.”

Laskowsky said they’re seeking about $4 million in Brownfield Tax Credits from the state of Missouri in order to remediate the site and deal with underground utilities. The TIF funding will help pay for two access roads for the urgent care facility and surrounding infrastructure.

The urgent care facility is slated to open in the summer of 2018.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

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