Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Project's `New Money' Prospect Persuades Mayor

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Project's `New Money' Prospect Persuades Mayor

Article excerpt

After taking another look at the proposed mega entertainment complex that would be developed just east of Mid Rivers Mall, St. Peters Mayor Tom Brown said he will sign an ordinance that was passed unanimously at last week's aldermanic meeting.

He hasn't signed it yet and has asked that city administrative officials confirm some of the numbers that were offered by Landon Development Corp. of Southfield, Mich.

"If the figures are correct, then it's a very good project," Brown said Tuesday. "This would generate in new taxes a total of $2.2 million, if their numbers are right. That's all new money."

At Thursday night's meeting of the Board of Aldermen, representatives of Landon and AMC Theaters presented their proposal. Brown wanted to postpone their presentation because "two other developers were invited to that meeting. One didn't show up, and the other didn't know he was supposed to have a presentation ready."

The aldermen decided not to delay the project. They voted to terminate a contract with Spencer Creek Redevelopment Co. and go forward with the Landon project.

Brown said he had no advance knowledge of the proposal and wasn't ready to turn over "$1.6 million in taxpayers' money" from a tax-increment financing fund after only 45 minutes of deliberation.

"I have been through a landfill, McClay Road and a golf course," Brown said of city projects that have turned sour. "When they go right, it's wonderful. And when they go wrong, they say the mayor made a mistake. I want to make sure that what we're doing is positively right."

Brown said he is hopeful that Tim Wilkinson, director of finance for St. Peters, will be able to confirm such things as a projected total sales of $59,354,388 from the project, including an annual income of $27,659,688 from just the AMC Theater complex, which would have 24 screens. The development also would include a large bookstore, a home-furnishing store and four upscale restaurants.

Because the sizes of these properties are pretty well set, with the AMC Theater expected to be 88,511 square feet, the real estate taxes of $666,852 would be set. …

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