This is what I am telling residents of Lafayette Square and officials at Praxair.
The City will work with Praxair to help find a more suitable site to operate their business. But, I will not support their plans to operate at the current location, unless and until they can accomplish two very important tasks:
(1) Praxair must provide documented evidence that residents and businesses in the Lafayette Square neighborhood are comfortable with their interim plans for limited operations at the Chouteau facility.
(2) Praxair must provide detailed plans to the City outlining exactly what they plan to do at their Chouteau facility.
So far, the City has not received Praxair’s detailed plans or any indication that their neighbors support their plans to reopen. Thus, I have denied their building permit application to make repairs in order to reopen.
Finally, I have heard some people argue that Praxair is the victim of new residential growth in the City. That’s putting it backwards. Lafayette Square and the entire City are enjoying strong growth, but the residential neighborhood existed long before Praxair came to town. Lafayette Park is, in fact, the oldest park in the City of St. Louis.