RELEASE: U City Working to Reinvest in 3rd Ward; Best Model for Residents and Local Businesses

University City hopes to implement a unique TIF that will benefit schools, businesses and the whole community

(UNIVERSITY CITY, MO/April 28, 2018) – University City officials have announced their desire to redevelop the area along Olive that runs east of I-170, which poses great potential for further commercial and residential development expansion.

The plans include commercial development along Olive/I-170, updating the Olive Commercial Corridor and improving the 3rd Ward residential neighborhoods. The City hopes to fund this development from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and use it in a unique way to accomplish a broad strategy of redevelopment, beyond just building a new retail area. The revenues generated from the TIF will be used to improve the quality of housing, increase homeownership opportunities, and improve the overall quality of life in the neighborhood. This plan will result in long-term city benefits that include higher property values for the whole city, more employment opportunities, increased revenue for city services, and improved neighborhood stability.

The City’s website states that it “seeks to use this unique opportunity to bring attention to and reinvest in the 3rd Ward and Olive Boulevard, a part of the city that has long been neglected. The City envisions a healthy, vibrant, stable residential neighborhood north of Olive that is racially and economically inclusive.” Gregory Rose, University City’s City Manager, wants to assure the University City community that eminent domain will not be used to acquire owner occupied properties.

University City sent out a request for proposals to several local developers in an effort to attract the most qualified candidates. City officials wanted to ensure they were being thorough in the selection process and adhering to their commitment to better the community. Council selected Novus as the developer at a City Council meeting on Thursday, April 26.

“City and Council only want what’s best for the city and its residents. We have been diligently studying several different tax plans and analyzing the impact they’ve had on communities, both short and long term. The Council won’t make any decision until they have collected input from various stakeholders and will make a decision that is in the community’s best interests,” says Rose.

City officials want to make sure all residents have a chance to voice their opinions and are holding multiple public forums on the matter. “We want to provide multiple opportunities to get the public involved and provide them with accurate information,” Rose continues.

Councilmembers Clay and Smotherson are hosting a Homeowners meeting on Monday, April 30 at 5:00 p.m. at the Heman Park Community Center, 975 Pennsylvania Ave. That meeting will be directly followed by a joint School Board and City Council meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A TIF commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heman Park Community Center, and the TIF commission public hearing will be held on Wednesday, May 23 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Mandarin House Banquet Hall, 8008 Olive Blvd.

The Council is scheduled to vote on the matter in the latter part of June.

For more information, contact LaRette Reese, University City’s City Clerk, at lreese@ucitymo.org or 314-505-8605.

About University City: University City was incorporated on September 4, 1906 by founder Edward Gardner Lewis, as a city of learning, culture and beautiful neighborhoods. This diverse community of about 34,000 provides beautiful neighborhoods, thriving business districts, and is a great place to live, learn, work, and be entertained.

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