County Council moves forward with plan to approve bonds for Save-A-Lot to build headquarters at Northwest Crossings

The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday moved forward with the process to approve Chapter 100 bonds to keep Save A Lot’s headquarters in the county.

Approval of the bonds would allow Save-A-Lot to move from Earth City and build its new corporate headquarters at Northwest Crossings in St. Ann. It would also allow the grocery store chain to pay 50 percent of assessed personal property taxes on computers and other office equipment for the next 15 years. In return, Save-A-Lot would retain over 450 jobs and add at least 64, according to St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

Menards, a Charter Communications call center, Starbucks and county government offices have already moved into NWC while Save-A-Lot has expressed interest in moving its headquarters to the NWC site with tax incentives. It has turned down offers from cities in Kentucky and even Kansas City but is still awaiting the bill from the county council to give them some $4 million in incentives.

While all seven council members approved the initial introduction of the bill, there was some hesitancy. Councilman Sam Page, 3rd District, said he would support the order but would still like to review and compare leases related to Northwest Crossings.

“I would be very interested in reviewing the lease Save-A-Lot has with Northwest Plaza and comparing it to the lease St. Louis County has with Northwest Plaza, but we may not actually have a mechanism to do that,” Page said. “We will continue to support this but for now we’re going to move this along.”

Last week the council approved a report requesting the U.S. attorney and Missouri attorney general investigate government leases initiated by County Executive Steve Stenger and some of his donors.

By a vote of 5-0 with one abstention and one absent, the seven-member council approved a report from its Ethics Committee calling into question whether County Executive Steve Stenger took campaign money from developers of the Northwest Crossings (NWC) legally.

The report alleges Stenger and his staff ignored the advice of the St. Louis County Department of Public Works when negotiating the leases of NWC, which went to the county’s Workforce Development, Board of Elections and a satellite office for the county assessor.

Those leases include contracts with Bob and David Glarner, who according to the report have given Stenger’s campaign over $365,000 as of April. The report goes on to describe the handling of the leases as unusual.

The council is backed the committee’s call for federal or state law enforcement agencies to investigate whether Stenger broke any laws when he moved some county operations to NWC.

Bill Moran started Save-A-Lot in 1977 in Cahokia, Illinois. Since then it has grown to include over 1,300 corporate and licensed stores in 36 states, the Caribbean and Central America, with 16 wholesale distribution centers.

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