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McKee says public money will be used for infrastructure

By Maria Altman, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Developer Paul McKee says any public money used for his proposed NorthSide project will go toward infrastructure.

McKee is asking for $95 million in tax credits from the state and $410 million in tax increment financing from St. Louis, half of which he wants the city to guarantee by backing bonds.

The developer also is working with the city to go after federal stimulus money.

McKee says none of it would go to him.

"Public money coming into the project is a misnomer," McKee said. "The federal government, the state government, the city government, whether it's TIF or stimulus dollars cannot come to the developer directly. They come for infrastructure."

McKee says the money will be used to improve sewer, electrical and water systems and streets, all of which he says are crumbling on the north side.

He made his comments Wednesday on KWMU's St. Louis on the Air.

The developer also said his project was different from other failed plans because it will create jobs. He's proposing four job centers that he has said will create 22,000 jobs.

McKee answered questions from listeners, many of whom were critical of the developer and the NorthSide project. But McKee says the "silent majority" of residents on the north side support his plans.

The developer recently launched a website on the project at www.northsideregeneration.com.