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St. Louis seeks cutting ties with Paul McKee over north city development

ST. LOUIS - After nine years, the City of St. Louis pulls the plug on a deal with developer Paul McKee.

Mayor Lyda Krewson issued a statement Tuesday announcing the termination of the agreement with McKee’s Northside Regeneration, LLC, but she did not attend a media briefing regarding the matter.

McKee quietly began amassing more than 1,500 acres of derelict properties in north St. Louis in 2002. In 2009, the City of St. Louis officially partnered with him, approving $390 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for his projects.

McKee has been credited with spearheading the hugely successful Winghaven project in St. Charles County.

City leaders expected similar results in North St. Louis.

Congressman Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) is among those who credit McKee for getting the ball rolling on the new National Geospatial Agency (NGA) headquarters in North St. Louis: a $1.75 billion federal project, bringing 3,000 to 4,000 jobs to the area.

Work is underway on a grocery and gas station near the NGA site. Clay said he remains a McKee ally. He has also said McKee is set to deliver on a new hospital development near NGA.

City leaders now say state and federal authorities are reviewing McKee’s dealings.

City leaders are accusing of McKee of fabricating land deals, in part, to secure $43 million in state tax credits. They also allege McKee failed to keep up properties, pay $273,000 in property taxes, and above all, deliver on most of his promised developments.

Statement By Northside Regeneration, LLC:

“The recent events surrounding Northside Regeneration’s redevelopment project—a lawsuit

filed by the Missouri Attorney General and the City’s purported termination of NSR’s

development rights—are disappointing, but it is telling that these actions come on the heels of

NSR’s real progress for the citizens of north St. Louis. It should not be lost on those who are

interested that the State and City waited until NSR brought a $1.7 billion federal development

project, a grocery store and long needed health care to north St. Louis before deciding to take

these actions. NSR understands that others who currently curry governmental favor would

now like to capitalize on the opportunities created by NSR. But NSR is confident that Missouri’s

courts and citizens will not tolerate such inequity. NSR will respond to the Attorney General’s

action in due course, but would like for all to know that any notion that tax credits were

misused or did not benefit north St. Louis is false. NSR is confident the claims are without merit

and will vigorously defend itself.”