Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Building Must Boot Bosley's Campaign, Hud Office Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Building Must Boot Bosley's Campaign, Hud Office Says

Article excerpt

A federal agency Tuesday ordered that owners of the Drake Plaza building kick out their newest tenant, Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr.'s campaign.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development takes issue with the owners' renovation of the office space leased to the Bosley campaign and says the rent may be too low. HUD holds the mortgage to the building in Midtown and has monitored the operations since an earlier owner defaulted in 1989.

A local HUD official emphasized Tuesday that the dispute was with the current owners of the building, not with the Bosley campaign. "The Bosley campaign has done nothing wrong," said Paul Dribin, a local HUD official who wrote the letter ordering the owners to break the lease. "We just want that space vacant until this matter is resolved." However, a spokesman for the owners said the Bosley campaign was the victim of discrimination by HUD and the media. "I will comply," said the Rev. Staccato Powell, referring to the HUD letter. "However, if this is directed just at Bosley, it's discrimination on its face." Powell represents the A.M.E. Zion Development Corp., the general partner and one of several owners of the building. Powell said HUD should treat all the commercial tenants of the Drake Plaza building equally. Either all should be forced to move or all allowed to stay, he said. Dribin said HUD's only dispute was with the owners' renovation and rental agreement of 1,100-square feet in commercial space and an apartment, both leased to the campaign. "We're not talking about existing leases" that met HUD approval, Dribin said. Bosley campaign manager Lloyd Jordan said late Tuesday, "We have no knowledge of (HUD's order). We are not involved in this." Jordan earlier has said the campaign leased the space about a month ago in the ground floor of the building at 311 North Leonard Avenue. Dribin said he hoped Bosley's campaign wouldn't be too inconvenienced by the move. "If this was a plumber or anybody else, we'd still be mandating that they leave," Dribin said. …

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