ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Some big names are lined up to testify in favor of Paul McKee at City Hall today but skepticism remains whether the developer can pull off his big vision for north St. Louis.

McKee supporter U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, says it’s time to give McKee his $400 million city tax break.

“We need to get into the mindset in St. Louis of converting brownfields into green fields,” he said Monday.

Privately, McKee’s critics say apart from a bank in Washington, Mo., no major banks have stepped forward to invest money in his northside redevelopment plan, raising questions of whether the whole plan is adequately capitalized.

Clay didn’t have an answer for that concern on Monday.

“I’m more focused on us as a community pulling it off, of an entire city-wide effort,” he said.

Another top supporter of McKee scheduled to testify Tuesday is Mayor Francis Slay.

“If anybody can do it, Paul McKee can,” Slay said. “He has the passion, he has the vision, he has the commitment to get it done.”

“Everybody wants to know what’s going to happen if he does not succeed. What I would say the better question is, what will happen if he does succeed?” the mayor added.


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