Former Site for Centene Plaza Sells After All
Our former editor, Tim Lee, recently pointed me to this article that ran a couple weeks ago in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. From the article:
The Centene Plaza project in downtown Clayton, proposed in 2005, promised a world-class retail and office development designed by a world-renowned architect.
It was derailed last June when protracted legal fighting over the city’s attempt to take parcels by eminent domain ended with a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in favor of the defiant owners. The court ruled 6-1 that the parcels were not blighted and were beyond the reach of condemnation for a private purpose.
Sheehan disclosed this week that about three months after that ruling, the city of Clayton quietly arranged for all three landowners to sign sales contracts with the city, contingent upon Centene’s development’s moving forward. A city official confirmed that the sales were arranged.
But shortly after, Centene committed to Ballpark Village, beside Busch Stadium.
The Centene development would have worked out just fine if officials hadn’t first tried to pretend that the area was "blighted." Apparently, property development is possible even without forcible eminent domain seizures! Who’d have thunk it?
Any of you who have yet to read Tim’s excellent eminent domain study should be sure to check it out.