ST. LOUIS ( -- Real estate development in booming across St. Louis with many of the buildings going up in the Central West End. 

Developer Lux Living is proposing building a seven-story 150-unit apartment building on Lindell near Taylor. Non-profit Optimist International currently occupies the prime real estate and has since the early 1960s. 

"The community gets a lovely new addition and we get to downsize. Technology has allowed us to do things we never dreamed of maybe 10 years ago," said Optimist International Executive Director Benny Ellerbe.

The city is hoping developers will be willing to help rebuild neighborhoods in north St. Louis City in exchange for a tax break. 

“If we’re making an investment into your businesses, we want to make sure that business is also making a compounding return on social impact on our community at large," said Neal Richardson, executive director for the St. Louis Development Corporation. 

The St. Louis Foundry is the poster child for the deals. The Foundry will get a tax break on its next phase in exchange for giving back $1.8 million to go toward creating affordable housing in North City. 

“We want to ensure that the development that’s happening on south city and south of Delmar actually benefits those communities north of Delmar," said Richardson. 

The money will be used to do everything from demolish delipidated buildings in North City to rehabbing other homes, even incentivizing grocery stores to build in food deserts.

“I think it’s a good idea, definitely spreading the wealth around. I think that’s a great way to definitely build up more communities," said Marcus Heinen, who works in the Cortex. 

Plans are not finalized for the proposed apartment building at Lindell and Taylor. If the city approves the plan to demolish Optimist International, the goal is to begin construction this fall. 

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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