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Alderwoman pushes back on subsidies for apartments in Forest Park Southeast

“An entertainment development is really different than a residential housing development, especially when it's 200 units," Tina “Sweet T” Pihl said.
Credit: HDA Architects via St. Louis Business Journal
This rendering shows the proposed multifamily complex in Forest Park Southeast.

ST. LOUIS — A redevelopment agreement that granted incentives for a future retail and entertainment development in Forest Park Southeast could be re-examined after the developer requested to build an apartment complex instead.

Green Street Real Estate Ventures plans a 268-unit apartment building, with a parking lot and garage, for a site at 4591 McRee Ave., west of Green Street’s new office and Bar K, a bar and dog park, according to city documents from the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority.

The developer originally planned to build retail and entertainment at the site when the city in April 2020 granted 10 years of 90% property tax abatement for the entire 18-acre redevelopment area at 4565-4591 McRee.

In documents posted for a meeting last week that was canceled, LCRA officials agreed with Green Street’s position that the change to the plans was not substantial enough to require restarting the incentive process.

But the area’s representative on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Alderwoman Tina “Sweet T” Pihl, wants the change in plans to trigger a restart of the incentives process for the site. As part of that, Pihl wants the plan to return to the Board of Aldermen, which initially approved the incentives along McRee when the area was represented by former Alderman Joe Roddy.

“I'm currently opposing the project because these have been substantial changes that drastically shift this project, and they haven't been reviewed by my constituents,” said Pihl. “An entertainment development is really different than a residential housing development, especially when it's 200 units. That's probably going to be almost 600 new people, and it will impact the neighborhood a lot differently (than entertainment or retail).”

Green Street had no comment, a spokeswoman said.

Pihl already has held up subsidies for another project a developer tried to revise, the second phase of City Foundry in Midtown, eventually lending support only after developer New + Found agreed to make a $1.8 million contribution to the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, to be used in north city and the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.

Read the rest of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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