Phone: (314) 843-0102
Fax: (314) 843-0508
flag image

Time for city officials to cut to the chase with Centrum

Mike Anthony
Executive Editor
November 21, 2012 - Centrum Properties' proposal to redevelop Crestwood Court appears to be moving forward.

Mayor Jeff Schlink broke a 4-4 aldermanic tie last week to name Centrum Properties the preferred developer for the mall's redevelopment.

Centrum, the mall's owner along with Angelo Gordon Co., submitted the only development proposal, and was rejected as the preferred developer by the Board of Aldermen with a 5-3 vote Oct. 9. The board voted 6-2 Oct. 23 to reconsider that resolution.

The next step, according to Schlink, is to convene a St. Louis County TIF Commission to consider Centrum's proposal. Interestingly enough, Schlink says he is against Centrum's proposal in its current form and will oppose it during a TIF Commission public hearing.

The total cost of Centrum's proposal for an open-air entertainment and retail venue is roughly $121 million, with economic assistance in the form of tax-increment financing, a transportation development district, or TDD, and a community improvement district, or CID, reaching roughly $34 million, according to revised numbers presented to the city.

Centrum earlier this month reduced CID and TDD sales-tax requests from 1 percent to 0.75 percent.

Sol Barket, of Centrum Properties, has told Crestwood officials he has a personal interest in the mall's redevelopment because Crestwood Plaza was the mall of choice for he and his family when he was growing up in the Kirkwood-Ladue area.

But some question whether Centrum has the financial ability to see the redevelopment of the mall through to completion. Barket acknowledges such concerns are "100-percent legitimate," but contends any difficulties his company has had are a result of the economy.

We believe the Board of Aldermen could help clear the air by imposing two simple conditions on the proposed redevelopment of the mall.

First, aldermen should publicly ask Centrum if it will agree the economic assistance being sought is nontransferable. That would quell any speculation Centrum's looking to recoup its initial investment — and then some — by flipping the mall property.

Second, we believe aldermen should insist Centrum provide proof it can obtain the required financing from a lender.

If those two conditions can be met, we believe the redevelopment should proceed to the next step. If not, we would have to question the logic of moving forward with the project.

Tags: Opinions Column

  • Related Editorial
    Call makes endorsements for next week’s elections
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony: Two Crestwood board races, two Mehlville seats, two Lindbergh seats, County Council seat contested in April 7 election
    Apr 01 2015
    South county voters will make some critical choices when they go to the polls next Tuesday, as seats are up for election on the County Council, the Lindbergh and Mehlville school boards and two wards ...
    Call makes endorsements for Sunset Hills aldermen
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony: Furrer hopes election brings ‘sharper group on the board’
    Mar 25 2015
    Sunset Hills voters will make some critical decisions for the city’s future when they go to the polls April 7....
    Misperceptions persist on Mehlville’s finances
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony
    Mar 18 2015
    Given the Mehlville School District’s current financial crisis, we’d like to clear up some misperceptions regarding the district’s finances....
    Mehlville in good hands with new superintendent
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony
    Mar 11 2015
    It’s no secret that the Mehlville School District faces some serious financial challenges....
    Stenger settlement ends lawsuit on trash districts
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony
    Mar 04 2015
    We applaud County Executive Steve Stenger for settling a lawsuit filed by three trash haulers over the county’s establishment of trash districts....
Site Search

Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.