Feb 6, 2017
Despite approval by the Board of Alderman, the biggest development project in Clayton real estate history is drawing the ire of some residents who feel a special election is the only way to settle the issue.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the “We Want a Vote” political action committee has submitted a petition seeking a public ballot question regarding Centene’s efforts to augment its headquarters with a $772 million proposal that includes three office towers, thousands of new parking spots and a theater along with retail and apartment space.
Disgruntled homeowners in the area have a variety of complaints over the plans including everything from concerns over traffic to anger over a $75 million tax abatement package. Others claim a lack of transparency in the approval process and feel that the project runs afoul of the city’s master plan which envisioned green space and a retail and restaurant promenade in some of the areas the company will be using.
Defenders of the idea point to the increased tax revenue to support education and say that traffic studies have not indicated any undue impact from the development. They contend that tax abatement was negotiated down for the project which they argue has been moved forward in public meetings and conforms to the master plan.
The residents’ petition still must have its signatures verified and officials are trying to assess what effect a ballot issue might have on the project, which began preparatory demolitions after receiving approval late last year.