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Kenrick Redevelopment Project Stalled

It may be at least several months before the TIF process gets back on track.

The changes being made to the controversial Kenrick Plaza site plan by developer GJ Grewe may delay the project by several months, or even call into question the future of the Walmart-anchored redevelopment.

The changes are being made to avoid having to move the guy-wires that anchor a nearby radio tower, a move that Grewe said was necessary to avoid “years of litigation.” However, having to build around the cables may mean changes to the size and shape of retail spaces in the development, which could affect the profitability of the profitability of the project.

Shrewsbury Director of Administration Jonathan Greever said it would be at least 60 days from the moment he gets the go-ahead to reconvene the commission before the TIF would be voted on. The commission would have to meet again, ask the questions it may have about the updated cost/benefit analysis and then set a date for a public forum. With winter holidays coming, it could be March or later before the process gets back on track.

“It’s a hard thing they are trying to do,” said Affton School District business director and TIF commission member John Brazeal, who worked on a similar project as a city administrator in Arnold. “They didn't start this to end up where they are today.”

“I think we are back to starting over,” Brazeal said of the TIF commission process.

Greever said he didn't think that Grewe's changes to the site plan would require the whole TIF process to start over. Instead, he described the process as being “suspended.”

Greever also said that if the changes require the retail spaces to be smaller, and therefore less profitable, that would be a major problem.

The changes were announced to the TIF commission at its . Mark Grimm, special counsel to Shrewsbury on this project, said the changes to the plan and revisions to the by planning consultant firm PGAV would likely take about a week. Several weeks later, however, the city on the scheduled for Nov. 30.

Shrewsbury Mayor Felicity Buckley has said that the increased tax revenue from the $48.9 million redevelopment is necessary to help the city pull out of its .

Frank Johnson contributed reporting to this story.

Tony Rivera December 09, 2011 at 02:17 PM
And Patch - I'm slightly disappointed that you didn't pursue this angle of the story. You commented on my previous post, then above simply said "having to build around the cables may mean changes to the size and shape of retail spaces in the development." You knew at the time this article was published that Grewe maintained two years ago that the guy wires drove the site plan. And you didn't question why he's bringing that up now as though it's the first time it's ever been mentioned? You have a great chance here to expose the dirty underbelly of the "negotiations" (there's a reason that's in quotes) between the developer, the consultants, past officials, and the city of Shrewsbury.
Tony Rivera December 09, 2011 at 02:33 PM
As I noted on the previous article on the topic, something STINKS in Shrewsbury. The guy wires were always a known factor. In fact, Grewe, PGAV, and Bert and Barry all used the guy wires to convince the citizens of Shrewsbury that we HAD to have big box retail at Kenrick, and have done so for YEARS. Citizens pleaded for mixed use, something less intrusive. But we had to have big box. Why? Let's look at just a few of the examples: BOA Work Session, Jan 9 2010: "Grewe...mentioned the TV tower guy lines. The most logical user...is a bix box retailer." Blighting Study, Feb 24, 2010: "The primary issues associated with these anchors and guy wires are that theirlocations on the theater site have a significant influence on how the site can be configured and, in that regard; the anchor locations impede certain types of development." TIF Plan - Aug 30, 2011 - even includes pictures of the guy wires! And yet, after all this time using the guy wire excuse as a means to manipulate the citizens of Shrewsbury into believing that a taxpayer-financed Wal-mart development is the only option for Kenrick, Grewe says plans are delayed because we need to deal with the guy wires? Obviously something false going on here. Is Grewe pulling out of the deal? Can the city sue him for failure to follow through, similar to the way he sued Columbia IL (and lost, though he nearly bankrupted the city in the process?) Shrewsbury - you reap what you sow!

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