Historic North St. Louis Made All New
‘The near north’, ‘NorthSide Regeneration’, ‘NorthSide St. Louis’ – all these titles refer to the same 1500 acres on the north side of St. Louis city. They all attempt to name a project that is much bigger than words, because it is a collection of activities, developments and initiatives designed to positively affect the lives of residents across the next 100 years.
There are many statistics that reveal and demonstrate the reality of this area’s recent history – and point to the remarkable need for a new approach to ‘regeneration’. But for brevity’s sake we’ll offer just one: Today, in the area that we firmly believe will become a shining example of modern America, 37% of the school-aged children here are currently not in school.
It can change and ‘the near north’ will emerge into a spectacular example of what’s next in urban America. NorthSide St. Louis can once again become a gateway for liberty founded on gainful employment, mutual respect, joy and enthusiasm. Most importantly this place can once again provide a safe and vibrant environment for its residents to live, learn, work, play and pray while leading St. Louis to greatness.
On April 9, 2013, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously overturned a lower-court ruling that blocked our plans to regenerate about 1,500 acres of NorthSide St. Louis for nearly three years. This decision authorizes the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) development agreement between the City of St. Louis and NorthSide Regeneration, LLC and allows us to set in motion the first critical steps to making these plans a reality.
To the City of St. Louis, the entire Northside Regeneration Team, all our partners, and the many persons who have supported and encouraged us Midge and I want to say thank you. This ruling from Missouri’s highest court validates our commitment to stand by our convictions – and now green lights the start of the more tangible phases of what we believe is a historically significant project.
In the summer of 2012, NorthSide Regeneration LLC engaged Brian Schmidt and his firm, Missouri Wonk, to develop a series of analyses on the NorthSide redevelopment area. The result of these analyses is 10 papers spanning topics of history and demographics, education, health, crime, jobs and income, housing, past redevelopment attempts, land assemblage, public infrastructure, and a job creation strategy for the area based on food production and food science. The complete set of reports is available for review at http://mowonk.com/blog/
We’re ten years into this project and in some ways it’s Day One. We’re excited, we’re committed – and we’re very bullish on the future of this great city.
Paul J. McKee, Jr.
Master Urban Revitalization must happen in a sequence:
- Assemble the land
- Repair and replace the deteriorated infrastructure
- Sell land for development of new buildings to bring jobs
NorthSide Regeneration, LC has been assembling land for over 10 years utilizing private capital and Distressed Area Tax Credits. Over $103M has been invested privately as of December 2012 while receiving $42M in tax credits. 75% of the land has been purchased to date. Infrastructure repair and replacement requires a TIF which was approved by the City of St. Louis in December of 2009. The first traunche of the TIF will begin 6 months after a ruling from the Supreme Court of Missouri and will create over 300 construction jobs immediately. Once 100% of the land is assembled and TIF infrastructure work begins, land sales for new job development will begin and continue for over the next 15 years. NorthSide Regeneration will then be in a position to compete globally for new projects and job creation in the NorthSide.
NorthSide Regeneration is proud to have the support of many community leaders and organizations throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Their continued input and support is vital to the success of this project.
What is TIF? Why is it important?
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a mechanism created by legislators designed to help facilitate development and job creation. It is meant especially for areas that, because of blight or degeneration, are caught in something of a ‘development catch 22’. In other words, “but for the TIF” new development can’t happen.
Importantly, a TIF is not a tax increase. It only affects new (increment) tax created. All existing taxes continue to be collected by the existing taxing districts. But TIF allows a city to leverage the value of future incremental taxes to create the new public infrastructure needed for the new development to happen at all.
TIF disbursements are in accordance with Missouri State law and managed by the city. The developer must first spend the money from disbursements that are to be reimbursed.
- Projects on the scale of NorthSide Regeneration are most successful when supported by a broad range of organizations. We are proud to include many St. Louis municipalities and partners in this venture.