Saturday, May 23, 2009

300 Buildings - 60 "Heritage Properties" = 240 Demolitions Paid For By You

"Flatiron" corner building at St. Louis & Glasgow owned by McKee's VHS Partners LLC
"Heritage Property"?... No! Demolished in January 2008

At last weeks closed-door "stakeholder" session about McKee's North City Development Project, Bill Laskowsky of McEagle Development announced that McKee's various shell companies own around 300 building, of which about 60 "Heritage Properties" would be spared from demolition. The remaining 240, 80% of the buildings would presumably be bulldozed for new development.
Pruitt's Store Building & adjoining row houses at St. Louis & Glasgow owned by
VHS Partners LLC. "Heritage Property"? No, this rare Italianate style corner
building and row houses were demolished. The row houses and a smaller building
behind the corner had been attacked by brick rustlers. See this earlier post.
More photos from a 2007 post at Elology of Absense.

With the passage of changes to the Land Assemblage Tax Credit last week at the end of the legislative session, Paul McKee will be able to redeem $20 million in tax credits to recoup costs of property purchases and demolition/land clearance. Very interesting that we now have a tax credit for destroying historic buildings as well as rehabilitating them!

1935-37 Montgomery owned by McKee's N & G Ventures LC. These buildings
were intact prior to attack by brick rustlers. If this was your property would
you allow this to happen and do nothing to stop it?

When an individual or developer uses the Historic Tax Credit program (Missouri or Federal) they are held to the Department of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. What standards will be used to determine what buildings will be considered “Legacy Properties”? What standards will govern what homes and buildings that can be demolished at tax payer expense? Will there be any standards?

1930 St. Louis Avenue owned by McKee's N & G Ventures LC.
Will this be considered a "Heritage Property"?

Thursday night Paul McKee said: “We are going to attempt to hang on to every historic building can hang on to and save”. Hopefully he will make good on this statement, because it would be complete turn around from his track record to date.

2900 St. Louis Avenue at Glasgow (same intersection as the lost "flatiron"
and Pruitt Store buildings) owned by McKee's Sheridan Place LC.
Will this make the "Heritage Properties" list?

Next week, McKee will be taking his redevelopment plan to the Mayor's office and St. Louis Development Corporation for review. All the talk of job creation, green power, transit loops are great, but some tough questions need to be asked and answered regarding how redevelopment will occur at the neighborhood level. Will the remnants of history that remain be obliterated as they have for the last five years? As taxpayers, we the citizens of St. Louis must be sure that the mistakes of the 1950's and 1960's are not repeated. Urban Removal is not the answer for North St. Louis.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I see the need for a rehab smackdown between Paul McKee and Amy Gill!

Dellvt said...

not the Flat Iron. Son of... When I lived in on the IL side of the river and drove down 70 everyday for work, that building was one of my favorites. Nice work, McKee...

In reading the media reports from the meeting I was struck by something. No one took McKee to task for his behavior with these properties. All he said was, "Sorry." and they just let him get away with it.