Sunset Hills to weigh TIF proposal May 10

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen could vote Tuesday, May 10, on the Novus Development Co.’s request to raze 254 homes in Sunset Manor for a $163.9 million shopping center.

The board could have voted on the matter April 26, but canceled a meeting scheduled that night.

The Board of Aldermen now will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at City Hall, 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

Novus wants $42 million in tax-increment financing assistance to help construct a “lifestyle” shopping center. Novus President Jonathan Browne said the TIF assistance is needed to guarantee adequate profit. Without the help, he says, the project won’t go forward.

But several residents and businesses in Sunset Manor don’t want to leave, and Browne has made it clear eminent domain is an option.

The city’s TIF commission voted 6-5 earlier this month to recommend the board reject Browne’s proposal.

City appointees on the committee, however, favored the proposal, but one was absent and representatives of the county, the Lindbergh School District and the fire districts opposed Browne’s plan.

TIF Commission member Glenn Powers, director of the County Department of Planning, said that he feared motivation to oust a neighborhood was a driving factor in the city’s support, rather than a need for extra revenue.

TIF Commission Chairman and Ward 2 Alderman John Smith said the commission’s recommendation did not change his mind.