ST. LOUIS • The Missouri Supreme Court will consider developer Paul McKee’s massive NorthSide Regeneration plan this week, and people far beyond north St. Louis will be watching closely to see how it rules.
The court will hear 40 minutes of oral arguments Wednesday morning on the case, which has blocked nearly $400 million in tax increment financing — and McKee’s plans — for nearly three years. There’s no time frame for when the justices will rule.
At stake is the future of McKee’s grand plan to remake some of St. Louis’ most battered neighborhoods with potentially thousands of new homes and hundreds of acres of office, retail and industrial space. But also, more broadly, the ruling could affect the way cities and developers use one of the region’s most popular incentive programs.
The case hinges on St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker’s 2010 ruling that McKee’s plan was too vague to justify blighting two square miles of the city and authorizing nearly $400 million in TIF financing. It was a plan, he wrote, without any particular project.
….. This could turn out very bad and allow developers to get TIF money with no plan what to do with it. I don’t trust McKee at all and this ruling could change how TIFs are handled in Missouri. They already abuse Eminent Domain around here and this would allow them to blight whatever they wanted and apply for TIF money and never build anything. I’m sorry you better not get almost half a billion dollars without showing a master plan. We also don’t need the near north side to look like Winghaven Phase 2..