© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

St. Louis Aldermen Greenlight McKee’s Health Care Project

The city of St. Louis could be on the hook to pay for attorneys or staff from the Board of Freeholders - even if its members aren't approved yet.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 18 with final passage

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved nearly $8 million in incentives for a three-bed urgent care hospital proposed for the site of the old Pruitt-Igoe housing project in north St. Louis, in the footprint of Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration initiative.

“This is not a big business project for someone to get rich or anything but that,” Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, D-5th Ward, told her colleagues Friday. “This is to fill a void in our community that we’ve experienced since Homer G. Phillips closed.”

The hospital was originally supposed to be completed in March. The city eventually stripped the building permits, although they were later reinstated — one of several controversies that have dogged NorthSide Regeneration since the beginning.

The new agreement approved on Friday extends that deadline to June 2021. McKee hopes to eventually build a larger hospital and other medical buildings on the site, a project that would have to be completed by June 2023.

An attorney working with McKee said the developer hopes to begin working at the site by the end of this year.

Original story from Oct. 11

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is close to extending an incentive package to build an urgent care center in north St. Louis.

It’s a facility within Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration footprint, which has been mired in litigation for months.

Aldermen unanimously approved on a voice vote 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard’s bill to provide a roughly two-year extension to secure financing and build the urgent care facility, which will be located on the former Pruitt-Igoe site. The three-bed urgent care center was supposed to be completed by March, but it’s been stalled.

Under the proposed new agreement, McKee must provide proof of project financing by the end of this year. NorthSide would have to complete the urgent care by mid-2021 and finish an expanded facility by mid-2023. Aldermen approved an amendment on Friday restricting tax incentive payments to the developer if certain deadlines aren’t met.

Alderman Joe Roddy, D-17th Ward, had voted against the measure in committee. But he said the amendment made the proposal significantly better.

“I think everybody here recognizes we need to do more development in north St. Louis. And the concern is we want to have it properly before us,” Roddy said. “I think the big thing was this forced negotiation between the SLDC [St. Louis Development Corporation] and the developer. I’m very satisfied, and I think this is a very appropriate resolution to the issue.”

A partially built wall at the Northside Regeneration urgent care project collapsed last year after high winds. Pictured on December 28, 2018.
Credit File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio
A partially built wall at the NorthSide Regeneration urgent care project, shown in December, collapsed last year after high winds. The city revoked project building permits several months later.

The incentive package comes amid a major legal dispute between the city and McKee. The city tried to sever ties with the developer in June 2018, alleging that he failed to fulfill the requirements of the agreement. McKee’s lender, the Bank of Washington, filed suit against the city a month later.

A spokeswoman for McKee declined to the comment on the board's move.

Aldermen need to vote one more time on Hubbard’s bill before it goes to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s desk.

“It will be named, if approved, Homer G. Phillips Hospital, which pays homage the only hospital that we had in north St. Louis — and one of the first in this country to permit African American doctors and nurses to get the particular training,” Hubbard said.

Reporter Kae Petrin contributed to this article.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.