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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More From McKee on Historic Preservation

At a public meeting at Ames Elementary School last night in Old North St. Louis, Paul J. McKee, Jr. again discussed historic preservation for the NorthSide project.

Notable was a new figure for the number of legacy properties McEagle plans to rehabilitate. In a YouTube video on the developer's website, McKee stated that 60 historic buildings would be preserved. Last night, he said that number could be as high as 85. He also stated that the Landmarks Association of St. Louis (my former employer) would receive a copy of that list. Will Landmarks, city preservation officials and neighborhood leaders also be able to shape that list?

McKee had told the St. Post-Dispatch that he planned to rehabilitate the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, which is owned by the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and targeted to be converted into a hostel by the Gateway Chapter of Hosteling International. Last night, he said simply that he would help the Restoration Group with the project if possible.

Another major concern for Old North was addressed: the fate of over 60 properties in that neighborhood owned by McKee's companies but excluded from the boundaries of the NorthSide project. Board members of the Restoration Group asked what plans the developer has to sell those properties and prevent further deterioration to buildings.

McKee's answer was vague: "Once we get through the development process with the city we get the [Distressed Areas Land Assemblage tax] credits approved by the state...I'll be happy in the first quarter to sit down and dialogue about that with you."

What if McKee does not get the credits? "You'll be dealing with somebody other than me," he said.

Demolition will move rapidly after city approval of a redevelopment agreement, if McKee's plans hold true. McKee told the crowd that "within 18 months, anything that's going to be wrecked is going to be wrecked." According to the developer, half-destroyed houses like those this blog frequently covers cannot be demolished now due to state brownfield laws.

(I was unable to attend Monday's meeting, so this report is derived from videos posted by Doug Duckworth on Random Talk.)

7 comments:

barbara_on_19th said...

So all this time, the city has been contracting out demo after for McKee and LRA and breaking brownfield laws? Which laws are these?

Ben said...

He also announced the latest plans for the Clemens House: senior housing in the house and a museum/urban trailhead in the chapel.

Anonymous said...

I hope McKee moves swiftly. It's about time somebody does something for the ailing Northside...I live here and am glad he's doing something positive. The darkest of the night comes before dawn. It's about as dark as it's going to get and daylight is on its way!!!!

Chris said...

"According to the developer, half-destroyed houses like those this blog frequently covers cannot be demolished now due to state brownfield laws."

How convenient...

lynn said...

I can't decide if he's lying or deluded. He's told people that brownfields laws prevent demolition of half -existing houses (not true), that Landmarks Association will do free tax credit applications for them (totally made up), that existing businesses will thrive and be better served (hard to make that happen when they no longer exist on his maps), etc... whether he's a sociopath or an airhead, someone should start a McKee Lies blog.

Anonymous said...

"It's about time somebody does something for the ailing Northside..."

like demolish half of it and then run out of money? or like demolish half of it and then admit that his plans weren't quite as fleshed out as he lead everyone to believe?

"...senior housing in the house and a museum/urban trailhead in the chapel."

wouldn't it make more sense to put the museum in the house? seems like a poor candidate for senior housing.

"...someone should start a McKee Lies blog."

excellent idea!

Adam

Anonymous said...

Cashout: by fugazi

on the morning of the first eviction they carried out the wishes of the landlord and his son furniture's out on the sidewalk next to the family that little piggie went to market,
so they're kicking out everyone
talking about process and desmissal forced removal of the people on the corner shelter and location
everybody wants somewhere
the elected are such willing partners look who's buying all their tickets to the game
development wants, development gets
it's official
development wants this neighborhood
gone so the city just wants the same
talking about process and dismissal
forced removal of the people on the corner shelter and location
everybody wants somewhere everybody wants somewhere