3 min read
Posted on 02.15.13
  • 3 min read
  • Posted on 02.15.13

From the home office:

Thank you, Sal Martinez, thank you for your kind introduction. Sal is always an outstanding MC for these events. He really did a great job on the housing authority representing the City of St. Louis. Under Cheryl Lovell's leadership, the housing authority has been kept out of the news for all of the wrong reasons, and kept it in the news for all the good reasons.

I am delighted to be here with Alderman Kennedy and all of the other distinguished guests who are here today to celebrate yet another phase of the North Sarah development here in North St. Louis. This is something that took a lot of work, took a lot of teamwork, but, of course, that's how things happen. The City of St. Louis is proud to have been a very strong partner to help make this happen.

The North Sarah development is something that is going to provide a lot of opportunities for this neighborhood and for people throughout the city. We will see the transformation of what were once disinvested blocks in the 18th ward into a new, affordable, sustainable community that will be much more livable for more people and much more enjoyable for more people. 35 abandoned LRA buildings and lots will be returned to a viable use. North Sarah not only brings a high quality, affordable, and sustainable housing development, but also brings new residents into the neighborhood and an opportunity to grow businesses and other amenities in this neighborhood, like coffee shops and maybe a neighborhood restaurant. That's something that is very exciting.

This is an addition to Phase 1, and already we are working on Phase 3. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves but I am excited about that opportunity as well. We have been involved in multiple levels of assistance with this great project through the Affordable Housing Commission, the Housing Authority, the very important Hope VI funds, Community Development Block Grants, Streetscapes, LRA parcels, which we worked hard to make part of this project, and the LCRA tax abatement.

The other thing I want to mention is that Executive Order 46, which sets workforce goals for minorities, women, and apprentices, will apply to this project. That will assure that the workforce is reflective of the diversity that we love, enjoy and embrace in the City of St. Louis.

Again, I want to think Alderman Kennedy for his leadership in his ward, in City Hall, and in helping to make this project go forward. Without his leadership, this would not happen. I certainly want to commend the Housing Authority, and Cheryl Lovell and her staff for their coordination with HUD to gain approval for the use of federal money for this project. I know we have a HUD representative here, James Heard and his team, and a lot of other people. Under Cheryl's leadership, the Housing Authority has become one of the best housing authorities in the entire nation. I want to thank McCormick Baron, a quality developer, who knows how to put teams together. Certainly, Vince, I want to thank you and your team, and all of the other people that will be recognized and participate in this as well. This is a true partnership; we can all be proud of it.

I am looking forward to the ribbon cutting here, and on to Phase 3. Thank you all for your support and best wishes.