ST. ANN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Northwest Plaza used to be one of the premiere malls in the St. Louis area. That was more than a decade ago. Now the nearly two-million square foot property sits vacant, just waiting for its new developer to make the once vibrant mall new again.
The first step in the redevelopment process was officially taken Tuesday morning. St. Ann city officials and workers with Ramen Development came together at the north St. Louis County location for the ground-breaking ceremony.
As of now, Menards is the only company that has agreed to build on the property. The mayor of St. Ann hopes after Tuesday, that all changes.
“People were doubting it was going to happen. It’s been a long process to get to this point, but I think the developer we’ve worked with, Raven Development, a local company, has been approached by a lot of companies over the last six months,” Mayor Michael Corcoran said. “That whole tide has shifted and now he gets to pick and choose which ones he wants to go to.”
While the developer will have a strong say in who goes into the retail space, the fact is, no one has agreed to.
Aside from generating interest among companies, city officials are also challenged with trying to change years’ worth of negative public opinion about the mall.
The mayor does not think that will be an issue.
“We’re very confident that we can work with security here and our local police department,” Corcoran said about the area that has been plagued by crime. “We are going to go for a more family-oriented venue…we’re going to have to bring retailers that are coveted in this region.”
The U.S. Treasury Department gave $10 million of New Markets Tax Credits to Raven Development. The entire overhaul will cost an estimated $106 million.