Alderman Boyd: Crumbling north city ward a goldmine for developers

ST. LOUIS - A north St. Louis City alderman who says his ward has become a haven for drug abuse and prostitution also says its a goldmine.

Ward 22 Alderman Jeffrey Boyd says the same boarded-up buildings attracting all the trouble should be seen as a developer's dream.

"I'm asking other people to believe in our community and take the risk just like we're taking a risk and make good things happen," said Alderman Boyd.

Alderman Boyd and his wife have invested their own money into a once-crumbling brick warehouse in the 5700 block of Martin Luther King Drive. They've transformed it into "The Best Place," an event space where the community can meet for free and soon--once the full kitchen is installed--be able to host weddings and fundraisers.

Boyd grew up in the north city neighborhood and remembers what MLK Drive used to be: a thriving small business community.

He's working to bring that back as well as more affordable housing with the help of incentives for developers.

Among the vacant buildings in his ward are three St. Louis Public Schools including Stowe, Gunlach, and Hempstead. Boyd said a developer is currently working up a plan to renovate Stowe School.