Audrey Spalding
We've been working for a while to get studies, draft studies, or reports from the Midwest China Hub Commission that might be able to show that $300 million in warehouse and facility construction subsidies  is warranted. After all, third party market research shows that there is a great deal of vacant, developed warehouse space available already.

So, when we received a bundle of studies, draft studies, and progress reports this week from the Midwest China Hub Commission, the first thing I looked for were documents showing that warehouse space was needed.

But those documents show something entirely different.

According to reports commissioned by the China Hub Commission:
[Existing warehouse space] provides a short, medium and long-term solution for warehousing and ground handling needs in respect to this project.

And:
[Runways, ground handling, and warehouse space are] sufficient to manage and handle wide body air cargo flights from China. A recent on-site visit by a major international logistics firm has provided validation.

In fact, a study commissioned by the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA) estimated that 45 million kilograms of cargo could be shipped to international destinations. Incidentally, that is almost exactly the amount of cargo that could be handled by existing facilities, according to the Midwest China Hub Commission reports.

And yet, as legislators were debating creating $300 million in tax credits to subsidize warehouse or facility construction, the RCGA pushed to publish a report purporting to show that $300 million in construction tax credits would result in more than 27 million square feet of warehouse space being construction, and that 20,000 jobs would be needed to construct and operate that space.

To add insult to injury, KMOV recently reported that the RCGA receives a great deal of taxpayer money, and doesn't keep track of it very well.

What floors me is that given previous studies commissioned by proponents — including the RCGA itself — that 27 million square feet RCGA estimate is nonsense. And so are the related jobs estimates.

All of this leaves me wondering, what is that $300 million actually for?

After all, based on warehouse space analysis commissioned by China Hub proponents, $300 million for construction subsidies is likely $300 million too much.



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Audrey Spalding