Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Levee Opens Way to Industrial Park, If

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Levee Opens Way to Industrial Park, If

Article excerpt

With the Old Town Levee project under way, St. Peters is hoping to establish an industrial park on the north side of Interstate 70 off the Mid Rivers Mall Drive extension.

The $11.5 million levee will be completed in the next couple of years. The levee is to protect 644 acres from flooding, as well as a section of Interstate 70 and the historic Old Town district of St. Peters, which has roots dating to 1796.

One of the first customers for the industrial park was to have been Whittaker Homes, which received a special-use permit Oct. 10 from the Board of Aldermen to build a wholesale lumber operation, including milling, light assembly and a batch plant on 12 acres east of Mid Rivers Mall Drive and north of Ecology Drive. That plan is on hold. Whittaker was to have given the city 40 acres in the southwestern part of St. Peters in exchange for the 12 acres for its plant in the industrial park. St. Peters wanted the 40 acres for its new Woodlands Park. City Administrator Robert Irvin said the city was ready to exchange the land, but Whittaker decided to reopen negotiations. Irvin said Whittaker is asking for the city to pay to run a railroad line to its proposed building site but that that wasn't part of the original deal. When he approached Brad Goss, the Whittaker attorney who negotiated the transaction, Irvin said Goss told him, "I'll talk to Tom," as in Mayor Tom Brown. Irvin has resigned as city administrator, effective Jan. 10. Brown was unavailable for comment Thursday. Goss said several obstacles have surfaced since the original deal. "My understanding of our deal was that I was going to trade 40 acres of ground suitable for their park and they were going to give us 12 acres of ground ready to go for industrial use," Goss said. One of the reasons Whittaker wanted the ground for its lumber plant was rail service. …

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