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Praxair will move to Cahokia

Praxair, June 24, 2005.
Praxair, June 24, 2005.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Praxair announced Monday it will permanently relocate its industrial gas distribution operation to Cahokia.

The decision comes nearly one year after a massive explosion at the company's former site damaged several homes in St. Louis' Lafayette Square neighborhood.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's administration tried for months to keep Praxair in the city, and had even offered a location near the airport.

But now, Slay's chief of staff Jeff Rainford says the news is good for both parties.

"The folks in Lafayette Square were extremely nervous after the explosion, and now they can sleep well at night knowing that that business is not going to re-open there," Rainford said. "And then the added benefit is it's a nice location for a combination of retail and residential."

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said Monday that Illinois offered Praxair $950,000 in tax credits to lure the company to Illinois from Missouri.

A Praxair spokesman says the Cahokia site should be fully operational within 18 months.