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Urban League to develop 3 properties on West Florissant Avenue

The organization plans to build a center and housing for senior citizens and a city plaza.

FERGUSON, Mo. — New developments are coming to West Florissant Avenue through efforts lead by the Urban League.

"When people see vacant abandoned lots that they know used to be businesses, it adds to the thought that a community is dying," Urban League President Michael McMillan said.

He believes Ferguson has come a long way since the uprisings from the Michael Brown shooting in 2014, but he says there's still more work to be done.

"When you look at St. Louis and you look at what happened in Ferguson, sadly what it did was it exposed the worst of us to the entire world, and so we will always be judged on what we did and did not do in Ferguson," McMillan said.

That's why he's leading efforts to purchase and develop three vacant properties on West Florissant Avenue.

"We worked with the county, looked at the neighborhood driven plan of what they wanted to see in the area and then purchased those three lots with the help of Centene Corporation and Emerson and then now are beginning to implement what the community said they want to see," McMillan said.

The properties are about half a mile up the street from the Urban League on West Florissant.

There will be a new city plaza, and across the street, they plan to break ground on a new senior center in just about six weeks.

"All told this will be about a $25 million infusion between these three projects and then also the staffing and the funding that we spend every year to continue to operate for the benefit of the community out here in Ferguson and Dellwood and North County," McMillan said.

They're holding a virtual town hall on February 3rd to discuss the plans, organize clean-up efforts and hear input from neighbors.

"The community needs to see action. They need to see that people still care, that Ferguson Dellwood and North County have not been forgotten," McMillan said.

The senior citizen building will have 44 units for housing and a senior center.

The city plaza will have a First Bank, banquet hall and a restaurant.

For more information on how to help, visit the Urban League's website.

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