On developer Paul McKee’s Blairmont project, which is buying up hundreds of properties in north St. Louis with plans to build a new mixed-use community: Slay said he supports the effort, but that McKee would have to go through the same city approval process as anyone else. He welcomed McKee’s private investment and big plans. “What Paul McKee is doing is he’s putting his own money in, completely at risk. … He’s buying up properties that, in the vast majority of cases, no one else wanted. This is a real opportunity for an area that has been starving for private investment for a long, long time.”
A new mixed-use community? Does the Post-Dispatch know something the public doesn't? Sure there's been speculation of a "Winghaven East," but with the downturn in the economy, I thought everyone was now expecting a huge industrial park a la Northpark.
And Mayor Slay: how hypocritical! You talk of your progress in getting problem property owners prosecuted (see Toby Weiss's commentary on those dubious claims), yet you're supportive of a (still secretive) development that has skirted almost all nuisance ordinances on the books! Yikes. Residents of St. Louis deserve some dialog in these "big" projects.
At least we know exactly where Mayor Slay stands now. Should help me (and others) in the voting process come March 3, 2009.
Kudos to the Post-Dispatch for making Slay speak on Blairmont!
EDIT: Might I add that the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit renders the statement that McKee's finances are "completely at risk" a little ridiculous.