South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Dierbergs withdraws TIF request for Crestwood mall; cancels public hearing

Crestwood mall redevelopment will move forward using past tax incentives
The demolished Crestwood Plaza property in 2017.

Dierbergs Markets has reversed its request for millions of dollars in tax incentives for its redevelopment of the former Crestwood mall site, now stating the project will move forward using incentives Crestwood approved years before.

The St. Louis-based grocery store chain previously asked for $17 million in tax incentives for the shopping center it proposes on half of the property that had once been the Crestwood Plaza mall, including $13.5 million in tax increment financing, or TIF, and $3.5 million in a community improvement district, or CID. 

The other half of the property will be a new 81-home Mcbride Homes subdivision, which is not seeking tax incentives. 

In a letter July 12, Dierbergs Vice President of Real Estate Brent Beumer told Crestwood Dierbergs would now be able to move forward with its $67 million redevelopment project using $15 million in TIF incentives the city approved in 2016 for a prior developer, UrbanStreet Group. 

A public hearing at the Crestwood TIF Commission scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, has subsequently been canceled at the request of Dierbergs. 

The entire site has $25 million in TIF, CID and other incentives for a large-mixed use development a prior Crestwood TIF Commission approved for UrbanStreet, including the $15 million in TIF, $5 million in CID and $5 million in a transportation development district, or TDD. 

Under Missouri statute, TIFs can last up to 23 years. Because the previous TIF for the site was approved in 2016, Dierbergs has approximately 18 years remaining on the existing TIF.  

The ability to move forward with the project using the previously approved incentives was made possible by the acquisition of two properties located near the mall site along Watson Road: Calvert’s Auto Express and City Music, said Beumer. 

Dierbergs previously requested the creation of a new TIF redevelopment area despite the existence of the 2016 TIF because it appeared at the time that Calvert’s Auto Express and City Music properties would have to be acquired through eminent domain. Missouri law prohibits acquiring property through eminent domain under a TIF plan after five years have passed since the adoption of the plan. 

“It was clear that for our proposal to be successful, it was important that we acquire the two outlet parcels along Watson Road,” Beumer said. “We are pleased to report that we have executed a letter of intent with the owner of the City Music property and are in active and productive negotiations with the owner of the Calvert property … We are confident that we will complete acquisitions of the … properties without the need for eminent domain.” 

Beumer added he did foresee the need for the TIF Commission to reconvene at a later date to consider removing the McBride Homes parcel from the boundaries of the 2016 redevelopment plan since McBride is not seeking incentives. 

Moving forward under the 2016 plan also allows Crestwood, Lindbergh Schools and other taxing districts to “realize full tax revenue more than five years earlier than anticipated,” said Beumer. 

City Administrator Kris Simpson said in a statement, “We look forward to continue working with Dierbergs to make their portion of this project a reality and bring new life to the former Crestwood Mall site.”

Dierbergs and McBride Homes first approached the city in December with a joint proposal to redevelop the mall property into a shopping center with a Dierbergs grocery store as the anchor tenant, along with an 81-home subdivision. 

Crestwood Plaza, which was built in the late 1950s, officially closed its doors in 2013 when its last remaining stores shuttered. The property has been vacant ever since and has seen a small number of proposals, including the one from UrbanStreet Group, who bought the property in 2014 and demolished the mall structure in 2016. 

Another proposal from Creve Coeur-based developer Walpert Properties fell through in 2020.

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