Lindbergh school board should let Crestwood do what’s best for city

To the editor:

Let me state that I am no fan of corporate/developer welfare.

If the owner of the development can’t make the numbers work, so be it. The opportunity dies. Unfortunately, corporate welfare is currently alive and well. Does North St. Louis ring a bell?

Another activity alive and well is the old educational cartel, regarding the redevelopment of the former Crestwood mall. The sky is falling. Lindbergh Superintendent Jim Simpson declares that tax-increment financing, or TIF, for residential property is unheard of. Really? A quick search at

identifies area TIF projects. The following projects are a sampling of mixed-use and strictly residential: Hanley Station, Hadley Township Redevelopment, Dogtown Walk II, 5700 Arsenal, Southside National Bank and Carondelet South, to name a few.

Dr. Simpson and the school board claim there will be undue stress on the district that is busting at the seams now if the TIF is granted and more children introduced into the district. Having been in the largest class at Lindbergh High School, I know what busting at the seams is. He says 250 new students come into the district each year. Having 225 more apartments would be adding about 75 children, if the ratio is one child for every three apartments. So that is 325 more kids if the project moves forward with TIF.

But he failed to mention how many graduate each year. Oops. Don’t quote me, but it is about 400, not counting dropouts.

Would this mean Lindbergh really is not busting at the seams?

Here is what is unheard of, the educational cartel telling you what the project really consists of. The development is mixed-use, meaning along with the apartments there is also retail and commercial space. It is not just a residential development.

The school board should either let the city do what is best for the city of Crestwood or get in the development business.

Taxpayers beware: If Crestwood approves the TIF, be ready for the educational cartel to start the tax-rate increase war cry.

Remember, it’s for the kids.