University City Commission Backs Plan for Tax-Supported Development at I-170 and Olive

By on August 23, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  A University City commission on Thursday night voted in favor of plan to provide up to $70 million in tax assistance for a $190 million retail-anchored development at Interstate 170 and Olive Boulevard.

The 10-2 vote from the Tax Increment Financing Commission came after a fourth round of public comment and with the city manager and mayor recommending approval. The commission’s vote followed more than two hours of comments from supporters and backers of the project.

The city council will have to grant final approval.

TIFs freeze property assessments and let the owners use the increase in taxes from development to help finance their project. The TIF University City is considering could be worth $70 million over 20 years.

The proposal, by Webster Groves-based Novus Development, has drawn some controversy because it would require the buyout of dozens of homes in University City’s predominantly African-American Third Ward. It also would displace some longtime businesses along Olive Boulevard, known for the international flavor of its restaurants.

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