At least one potential tenant for a revitalized Crestwood mall stepped back from discussions after hearing the Crestwood Board of Aldermen rejected Centrum Properties as its developer in early October.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill would not occupy the proposed District at Crestwood, Centrum partner Sol Barket said Tuesday night. Other possible occupants, like AMC movie theaters, are looking for projects with firm opening dates before they sign on, he said.
Alderman were split 4-4 Tuesday whether to continue conversations with Centrum as the project's developer. Mayor Jeff Schlink provided the deciding vote.
The board has not approved a redevelopment proposal, but their vote Tuesday allows the city to determine whether tax increment financing (TIF) should be used for the project. (The developers previously stated they'll need nearly $27 million in economic assistance through TIF and transportation development district, or TDD.) The city can now send notifications to affected taxing districts, including Lindbergh schools, to appoint members for a TIF commission. This group will evaluate the request for economic assistance and make a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen.
While several aldermen expressed concern last month over the proposed economic assistance and lack of confirmed tenants, they met with Centrum representatives for a work session last week to see whether they could reach some common ground. Centrum gave some leeway on their proposed tax rate but do not plan to reduce their economic assistance request, according to areport from Call newspapers.
The city’s planning firm for the project told aldermen last week that the new development would require a careful mix of tenants to be successful, Alderman Daniel Tennessen said.
There's also been some question whether the project, which focuses largely on restaurants and live entertainment offerings, would have an adverse effect on existing business in Crestwood. Alderman Darryl Wallach emphasized the need for a unique grocery option considering the nearby Schnucks and Shop ‘n’ Save.
Despite the loss of Toby Keith’s restaurant, Barket mentioned establishments like Dave & Buster’s and Howl at the Moon are interested in the project. The restaurants in the new development would likely be more expensive than current offerings in Crestwood, he said.
Aldermen Bob Deutschmann, Paul Duchild, Jerry Miguel and Tim Trueblood voted against the developer. Miguel said he was in favor of continuing discussion with Centrum, but did not support steps to begin the TIF process.