Better Family Life Cultural Educational and Business Center*

St. Louis, MO

Better Family Life, Inc. is a community development not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the prosperity and growth of the American family. Organized in 1983, Better Family Life’s mission is to plan and establish social, cultural, artistic, youth, economic, housing, and educational programs that help to promote positive and innovative changes within the metropolitan St. Louis and East St. Louis communities. Much of its programming is geared towards people who are unemployed, underemployed, disadvantaged and skill deficient.

In 2005, Better Family Life and its 100 full-time employees were operating out of six locations scattered across the St. Louis area, without a central hub or space for permanent programming. MBS used NMTC funding to relocate and centralize their operations in the formerly abandoned Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School building on the north side of St. Louis.

Today, the 60,030 square foot building has been restored and converted into an advanced, sustainable facility that hosts existing programs as well as allowing for the expansion and the creation of new programs. The facility offers: job, life, and specific skill-based programs; cultural programming and activities; financial and asset-building programs; computer literacy training; and continuing education classes.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Quick Facts 

Total Development Costs: $13.1 million

Square Footage: 60,030 Square feet

Developer: McCormack Baron Salazar

Tax Credit Investor: Fifth Third Bank

NMTC Qualified Low Income Community Investment: $13,000,000

Construction Jobs: 15

Permanent Jobs: 77

Investment Date: February 2012

Other Key Project Financing: Better Family Life & Philanthropic Donors, State Brownfield Tax Credit Equity, Federal and State Historic Tax Credit Equity, CDA Funds from the City of St. Louis

Opening Date: January 2013

Occupancy: March 2013

Awards: NCDF’s Real Estate QLICI of the Year (2012)–Honorable Mention