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Friday, February 5, 2016

Stan Kroenke Might Get Tax Incentives For Maryland Heights Development ... Because St. Louis

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 10:18 AM

PETER POWELL/EPA/NEWSCOM
  • Peter Powell/EPA/Newscom

So let's get this straight.

Last month, Stan Kroenke didn't just pull the Rams out of St. Louis for sunnier pastures in Los Angeles Inglewood. Last month, Kroenke took a dump all over the St. Louis region — claiming in his proposal to the NFL that he had to get out not because he's greedy, but because we're lagging. No economic growth, no population growth — and it's not even just the city itself. According to Kroenke, we "lack a robust regional area."



And then, apparently, just days later, his attorney pitched the economic development committee in that same regional area (in this case, suburban Maryland Heights) on a plan for an 1,800-acre development — a plan that would apparently include some big tax breaks for the developer.

And by developer, we mean Kroenke.

See also: There's a Real Problem with St. Louis' Earning Tax — Not Everyone Is Paying It

This would all be absurd comedy if not for the fact that Maryland Heights is likely to say yes to those tax incentives.

As the Post-Dispatch reports,

After it’s done collecting all the proposals for the site, the council could decide to pitch in tax incentives to aid in the redevelopment — a likely move, considering smaller redevelopment projects for the city have gotten incentives. At the January meeting, [Kroenke attorney Alan] Bornstein told the committee that he already owned 425 acres of the proposed redevelopment area, had an additional 230 acres under contract and was in discussion with property owners to secure the remaining 1,100, according to meeting minutes.

He also suggested that the project would require significant tax incentives, saying that a “public/private partnership would be necessary,” according to the minutes.

Now, we like to believe we have some pride. If Kroenke & Co. were pitching the city of St. Louis itself on the project, perhaps, perhaps, we'd be slamming the door in his face. After all, we're still paying off the Edward Jones Dome. We can't just keep getting donkey-punched by this guy and coming back for more.

But this St. Louis. We have 92 municipal entities. We don't work together as a unit. Ever.

And if Maryland Heights doesn't say yes to Kroenke's plan, well, he could go elsewhere. Surely one of the 91 others is desperate enough, and pathetic enough, to say yes. So maybe Maryland Heights might as well ... yes. That's really how the logic goes.


The whole thing is so ridiculously sad. And we all know it's sad, but we can't seem to make it stop.

We can send Stan Kroenke literal boxes of shit. We can flip him off on national television. But as long as someone in our fractured metro region keeps taking his phone calls, we're still his doormat. And how can we blame him for using us to wipe his shoes?

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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