VP Gisele Marcus Helps Guide the Regional Chamber to Boost Development in STL

By on July 30, 2019

From The St. Louis American:  St. Louis Regional Chamber Vice President Gisele Marcus wants to “revitalize” St. Louis, making it a more desirable city for young people to live and work.

One important way Marcus wants to remake the city is through a new economic development entity. The project, Alliance STL, started with the goal to encourage more companies to come to the St. Louis region with plans to expand and therefore increase the workforce.

The program is modeled after the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s production efforts to invest in the city after its civil unrest in 2001.

“The goal was actually to revitalize the area that had some civil unrest,” said Marcus. “So what it looks like now is an area where you have residential living that is affordable.”

Marcus was struck by the idea after visiting Cincinnati with a working group from the chamber.

“We have an opportunity to go visit what we would call comparable cities and have the opportunity to learn what it is that they’re doing – if they have fixed some of the challenges that we have and how they’ve done that,” she said.

“They too, like us, have had some social unrest, I would say, from a racial perspective, longer ago than Ferguson. Moreover, they’ve had the opportunity to address that.”

Cincinnati’s project is a public-private partnership called 3CDC. It has spurred development in rental in the city where the ground level of buildings houses businesses and the upper levels are usually apartments or condominiums.

The learning between regional chambers is reciprocal, Marcus said. “They actually replicated programs we have here,” said Marcus.

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