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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trojan Horse?: St. Louis Public Radio Examines NorthSide This Week

Today, St. Louis Public Radio aired the third story in its four-part series on the NorthSide project. Today's story by Matt Sepic carefully looks at community concerns about eminent domain and relocation. Part of the story deals with the Trojan Ironworks, an active family-owned maker of steel beams and metal other building components, located in St. Louis Place. McEagle Properties' Chairman Paul J. McKee, Jr. told an audience of north side residents assembled at Central Baptist Church on May 21 that he would not relocated a single job out of north St. Louis, but would bring many thousands more. Trojan may not have the resources to survive relocation. Sounds like the developer and the small iron works are on the same page.

The entire St. Louis Public Radio series is available online here.


barbara_on_19th said...

You mean both are in financial difficulty? Sounds like Trojan Iron works will be just fine if left alone. How are they supposed to relocate an ironworks for $3000 and $10,000 for the building?

samizdat said...

Three grand wouldn't move the employee lockers. That's funny. Barbara, did McEagle really offer them 3KUSD? Wow. I used to work for a rotogravure printing company (since defunct: thank you, management!). We moved our operations from Crestwood to Dupo, IL. Let me tell ya', moving an industrial operation ain't like packin' up the household in boxes. Heavy industrial machinery, like, oh, I don't know, a Rotomec or Cerruti press, each one over one hundred feet long, needs special care to properly remove and reassemble. Electrical, elctronics, hydraulics, individual cylinder stations, weighing 10,000 to 15,000 lbs. apiece. All of these need specialty trades to do the job. Millwrights, electricians, machinists, they don't come cheap. I supply this information in the hope that those of you who have never worked in an industrial setting may grasp the enormous logistical demands needed to accomplish a move of this nature. I fear that the City may lose jobs that we have now, for jobs which we may, and I mean MAY, receive in the future. Just like what is happening in the CORTEX development area. CORTEX and Northside seem to have the same problems: undercapitalisation, a presently poor economy, competition from other locales, wishful thinking, wasteful and unnecessary demolition, secretive planning, etc. I'm not wishing ill on these projects. One hopes that at the very least, they will generate further interest in their respective areas. My concern is that they seem to encompass great dreams with little reality.

barbara_on_19th said...

The owners of Trojan Metal were offered $10K for their building without relocation assistance. They declined. The current TIF application offers $3000 for relocation as a flat fee, or, the owner can front the money and try to recoup "actual costs". The owner can try to negotiate more as part of the sale, although the eminent domain part of the application kicks in if the developer has tried and failed to buy the building at their desired price and can persuade the alderwoman to use eminent domain.

Jeff S said...

I must say, this is a fantastic presentation by St. Louis Public Radio. One of the best laid out pieces of journalism I have ever seen. Well organized, content and interviews of multiple media style, and very informative. Kudos to them.