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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Land Trust" Idea Gaining Support

Tax credits could revive land trusts - David Nicklaus (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 14)

Kinder says the tax credits won't work for a developer who wants to displace residents. No more than 5 percent of the acreage in a targeted area can consist of owner-occupied homes, and Kinder said he's willing to consider language that will protect renters, too.

Jeff Rainford, Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff, says he's excited about the proposal. "This would be a bold stroke," he said. "We are cobbling together a lot of cool stuff in this city already. This would allow for something really innovative and imaginative and comprehensive."

One immediate question:

Does "innovative and imaginative and comprehensive" include Paul McKee's plans for the near north side?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Way to "lead" on this issue, Mayor Slay. Let McKee buy the land, the critics build the story, the Post report it, the Repubs draft and introduce the legislation and then you can take credit for the future development.

Oh, and the aldermen are guilty too. Nothing has stopped them from publicizing the matter, or taking action. Lame.

tobyweiss.com said...

>Oh, and the aldermen are guilty too. Nothing has stopped them from publicizing the matter, or taking action.<

What's stopped the affected alderman from talking or taking action is the upcoming election.

A controversial project pisses off the people you need to vote for you and/or a profitable project helps pay for your campaign.

The people who have this project in play need all the current players to remain in the game. Campaign contributions can buy a whole lot of "I saw nothing, I knew nothing."

Unknown said...

I'm all for legal and ethical development, even large scale. Just because the city is doing it, however, does not guarantee either. Does this sound eerily familiar?

Taken from the city's OWN WEBPAGE

...While the Shelleys were fighting to reverse segregated housing [by legal challenge to housing covenants], other institutions were reinforcing it, whether by design or benign neglect. The most conspicuous were, ironically, funded with tax dollars: urban renewal and public housing.

Mill Creek Valley was an African-American district from the mid-1800s through the turn of the century. A mix of homes, tenements, shops, saloons, dance halls, and night clubs gave the area a special character. Its population grew markedly after World War II, as black population in the city surged. The St. Louis electorate passed a bond issue in 1954 to redevelop the area. Some 20,000 people lived from Market and Vandeventer to the Mississippi River, and between 20th and Grand, extending south from Olive to the railroad tracks; 95 percent of them were black. Demolition of the area began in 1959 to make way for Laclede Town, Grand Towers, the Ozark Expressway (US 40), and a 22-acre extension by the St. Louis University onto the Civil War-era Camp Jackson site. Nearly forty churches were razed in the process.

Some displaced residents moved to The Ville, others to the area between Delmar and Natural Bridge on both sides of Grand. This shift accelerated the black migration already in progress to University City, Wellston, and Pine Lawn. To accommodate the poorest displaced residents, the St. Louis Housing Authority continued to construct public housing on the north side-a decision reinforcing the racial segregation of the city. When the Land Clearance and Redevelopment Authority started demolishing blocks of Mill Creek Valley with bond issue money, the NAACP called it a "Negro removal project." The net result displaced thousands, reinforced the north-south division, and dealt a final death blow to a center of African-American culture.

Anonymous said...

Be careful when local leades want more power and the ability to become urban and social designers!

The suggestion in the PD article, giving more power to local government, is very scary and should be quickly denied:

Michael W. Jones, executive assistant to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, also finds the tax-credit idea appealing. He suggests that Kinder amend his plan to let government bodies — like St. Louis Development Corp. or the County Economic Council — receive the tax credits and resell them. Those entities, Jones said, have the patience and the vision to assemble sites before private developers see their value.