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Who and What is Kingsway Development, LLC?

Kingsway Development LLC is a for profit development company focusing on residential and commercial development in the Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods on St. Louis City’s North side.  Kingsway Development was started by a local business owner who has operated his company in the neighborhood for over 20 years.

 

When was Kingsway Development Started?

Kingsway Development started as an initiative of the Kingsway Merchant’s District. After years spent trying to recruit developers to the district, and witnessing the accelerated deterioration of the district, Kevin Bryant, a local businessman, with over 20 years’ experience running a successful marketing agency stepped up to the challenge. He began and coordinated the initiatives and work that became Kingsway Development, LLC.

 

Why is Kingsway Development Important?

The Kingsway area has steadily deteriorated over the years with hundreds of empty lots, vacant and abandoned buildings and deteriorating housing stock. This deterioration, coupled with a steady loss of population and rising crime rates have a significant and negative impact on the quality of life of residents in this formerly vibrant and beloved community. With the support of former 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy and leaders in the community, Kingsway Development applied to the City of St. Louis and was chosen by the City of St. Louis as the designated developer for the area.  In addition to the City, Kingsway Development has the responsibility for the review and approval of tax abatements in the area.  With Kingsway Development, the community has a historic opportunity to promote interest in our area and bring new commercial and residential development resources into our community.

 

Does Kingsway Development have the Power of Eminent Domain?

NO. Kingsway Development does not have the power of eminent domain.  One of the specific requirements of Kingsway’s Master Development Plan with the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) was that eminent domain will not be used to threaten or acquire any property in the district. Kingsway Development cannot grant the power of eminent domain to any other developer interested in building or rehabbing any properties in the Fountain Park or Lewis Place neighborhoods.

 

What is Kingsway Development’s approach?

Kingsway Development focuses entirely on supporting businesses, home owners and families  in the development area. Kingsway Development serves as a vehicle and a magnet to attract other interested small and medium-sized developers to invest, help rebuild, upgrade and improve commercial and residential properties, create new homes and businesses, and revitalize the social, economic and cultural environment for businesses, families and children to thrive. Kingsway does this through strategically investing in the worst areas of the community and thereby mitigating the risk of other investors, developers or banks. Kingsway also takes an active role in attracting additional resources that are available for the community’s benefit including tax abatement, grants, home ownership assistance and other educational opportunities.

 

What is Kingsway’s Redevelopment Plan?

Kingsway Development's redevelopment plan is focused on helping to define proposes development priorities within the area and actively seeking partners and/or independent developers to take them and identifies over 20 catalytic projects to stimulate reinvestment in the area. The redevelopment plan was developed in partnership with neighborhood leadership, urban planners and City officials  who met for one over a year to stabilize an effective strategy. and issued the Kingsway Development then helped to form a Steering Committee  Kingsway Development Steering Committee Report that identified priorities to address in the community and incorporated those ideas into a functioning plan. Additionally, development experts were engaged to help identify priorities for new construction, rehabilitation of existing structures, and investments in neighborhood safety. The master plan was then formalized, presented to, and approved by the St. Louis Development Corporation.

 

What does Kingsway’s Redevelopment Plan do?

The Kingsway Development’s redevelopment plan approved by SLDC outlines the Ten (10) Stages of commercial and residential development that will take place in the district over the next ten years.

 

What are master development rights?

Under Chapter 99 of Missouri State law, Chapter 99 redevelopment rights gives the designated developer and the City the power to approve 10-year tax abatements in the designated development area.

 

What is tax abatement?

A tax abatement is a reduction of taxes granted by a government to encourage economic development. The most common type of tax abatement is a property tax abatement granted to a business as an incentive to come to a city or expand existing operations within the city. Tax abatement does not reduce or eliminate taxes. Abatement freezing taxes at their present level for a designated number of years in exchange for agreed upon improvements to real properties.A tax abatement is a reduction of taxes granted by the city to encourage economic development. The most common type of tax abatement is a property tax abatement granted to a business or developer as an incentive to invest in an area or expand existing operations within the redevelopment area. In addition to Kingsway Development’s own projects, any developer, individual or group interested in securing tax abatement for their project in the development area will need a letter of support/approval from Kingsway Development LLC, the designated developer for the area, as well as the approval of the City of St. Louis.

 

Who can participate in the redevelopment plan for the area?

The redevelopment plan was created as a development strategy to oversee the commercial and residential redevelopment of the area. The redevelopment plan allows for Kingsway Development and any other interested developers to engage in commercial and residential development of the Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods. The only requirement is that anyone interested in developing or starting construction projects in the area must comply with all the guidelines established by the City of St. Louis and work with the designated developer and community residents to ensure development activities are in line with the area’s approved master redevelopment plan. 

 

Who implements the redevelopment plan?

The implementation of the redevelopment plan is administered by Kingsway Development LLC, the designated developer, and overseen  community input by Park Place Housing & Economic Development, a nonprofit community development corporation. Additionally, a series of neighborhood committees have been established to review and ensure every step of the process honors the redevelopment plan and new investments made in the area are in line with the priorities laid out in the plan.

 

Who decides how the plan is implemented?

Residents of the development area decide invited to participate in how the plan is implemented. Although Kingsway retains Master Development rights until the year 2029, Kingsway has committed to community oversight of all of its development activities through the formation of a community based, resident controlled 501©3 neighborhood Housing and Economic Development organization known as “Park Place”. The redevelopment plan acts as an accessible guide to decisions about redevelopment through tax abatement, sale of vacant lots, and fundraising for special projects that all that want to be involved in the process has access to.  Every Through this process, every redevelopment proposal under the plan must be reviewed by the community through the various community development committees. This provides the opportunity for residents to make informed decisions about the future of their communities. 

 

What progress development projects haves been started?

  1. Elevation Workspace: A new shared office space is planned for the old USEDC building next to Launch Code on Delmar. This will be the first co-working space of its kind in our area, and

  2. Aubert Affordable Housing: We plan more than 20 units of naturally affordable single-family housing for the 700 block of Aubert, including both rehab of existing structures and new construction on vacant lots.

 

When will these projects break ground?

  1. Elevation Workspace: Elevation Workspace space recently secured funding for construction of the project. Rehabilitation of the USEDC building is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2019.

  2. Aubert Affordable Housing: Funds are currently being secured for the start of the rehabilitation phase of the project. Rehabilitation of existing homes is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2019 with new home construction planned for Fall 2019.

It is anticipated that this project will start later in 2019.

 

How were projects identified?

Kingsway Development is focused on building on the strength of Delmar Boulevard. Kingsway Development, in partnership with neighborhood residents, has identified a phasing strategy that fits with the needs of the market. Residential development will begin on the 700 block of Aubert, then 700 block of Bayard, and so on. It will then proceed north.  Any developer can participate in this redevelopment plan and on various phases of the plan.

 

How can others participate?

Anyone interested in rehabbing or building in the development area should make sure that:

  1. They are in compliance with the redevelopment plan priorities established by the community.

  2. They submit their plans for review to the appropriate City agencies, Kingsway Development, the Park Place Housing and Economic Development and the area’s various development committees.

  3. In case the project needs tax abatement, they should also submit a request for tax abatement support or approval to the City of St. Louis and to Kingsway Development LLC.