ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Developer Paul McKee is going on a charm offensive, looking to raise confidence and money to make his long-stalled NorthSide Regeneration project a reality. He is expected to break ground in June or July of this year, but so far his finances are looking a little thin.
After eleven years of buying up north St. Louis properties and allegedly putting $60 million of his own money on the line, Mckee, 68, told KMOX he is eager to start, but that will come almost half a year after he received a $390 million tax break package from the city.
He said the public court fight over taxes made him too risky, but “now that its behind us it’s a completely different attitude for when [banks] talk to us.”
That attitude has not directly translated to loans, at least not yet.
Only one bank, the Bank of Washington in Franklin County has lend McKee money for the project. McKee declined to say how much money the bank lent him and said he has received some positive responses from other banks.
“You go to bankers with projects. You don’t go to bankers to say ‘hey I want you to come down and join me.’ That’s not how it works,” he said.
Publicly, McKee said he plans to raise $100 million by selling TIF notes to the public this spring. He will use that to pay for streets and sewer work in the areas where he hopes to lure developers to build something.