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McKee opponents fight north side redevelopment plan in court, even as city approval nears

Developer Paul McKee Jr. (photo: Matt Sepic/St. Louis Public Radio)

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Opponents of developer Paul McKee's plans to rebuild two square miles of north St. Louis are fighting the issue in court, even as the board of aldermen appears set to approve the plan.

McKee is seeking a form of public funding called tax-increment financing, which needs the approval of city leaders.

But St. Louis Attorney D.B. Amon said Thursday the city's TIF commission rubber stamped McKee's application without examining McKee's finances, and other questions remain.

"There's no documentation in the TIF Commission that says who owns Northside Redevelopment [sic]," Amon said. "Nobody knows who."

However the TIF application submitted in September includes a letter from a bank clearly addressed to Paul McKee at NorthSide Regeneration, LLC.

McKee attorney Paul Puricelli said the TIF commission followed all the proper procedures in approving the finance plan.

"Ultimately I believe that the court is going to hold that the TIF commission did exactly what they were supposed to do, made an appropriate review, and recommendation to the aldermen," Puricelli said. "But ultimately it is with the Board of Aldermen who are charged with reviewing this. It's not with the TIF Commission, they make recommendations."

On Thursday, a judge delayed a hearing on the case.