The announcement of a major new project in the City means different things to different listeners. To baseball fans, the plan for a new downtown ballpark was a bittersweet thing: excitement, well-stirred with nostalgia. To the owners of dozens of large and small St. Louis companies, though, a new ballpark, a casino, a high-rise condo building, or new homes mean revenue and jobs.
I came across the following information from SLDC’s Rodney Crim and Ivie Clay while I was reviewing the past year for tomorrow’s State of the City speech.
In all, 80 minority- and women-owned firms worked on the project, receiving 130 contracts totaling $65 million. In addition to Kwame as one of the project managers, the companies included L.D. Ingram Studio, project manager for the installation of the Busch Stadium and other signage throughout the stadium; and Druids Woodworking, which supplied the woodwork in owner Bill DeWitt’s suite. Also, BRK Electric; BAM; Darren Clay; DKW Construction; F&F Heating and Cooling; Furlow Trucking; Galaxy Painting Co.; Hope Readimix; JP Henry; Kirkwood Masonry; Krys Tile Flooring; Legacy; Midwest Trenching; MJ Mechanical; NEB Contracting; Renaissance; Sharks and Sharks; The Door Guy; Wayne Automatic Sprinklers; and Weaver Construction.
Since construction began last fall, Pinnacle Entertainment has utilized black-owned companies for construction management and design services for its $400 million gaming, entertainment, and residential development on Laclede’s Landing. These companies include Document Imaging Systems; Kwame Building Group; Legacy Building Group; TSI Engineering; and David Mason & Associates. MHR and ADE companies are also serving as minority inclusion consultants. When the project is finished in 2007, the company will have over 1,300 permanent jobs in the casino, hotel, local office, and business operations. Pinnacle is also committed to hiring a significant number of African-Americans and utilizing black-owned businesses on a regular basis.
Many of the new housing developments in North St. Louis have African-Americans and women in significant leadership roles, such as the Minority Contractors; Ned Amos; Arthur el-Amin; Mary “One” Johnson; Gary Johnson; Ken Hutchinson; and Walter Allen. These developers have purchased hundreds of acres of LRA-owned abandoned vacant lots and buildings and turned them into new neighborhoods with new market-rate homes.