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The St. Louis Housing Authority, McCormack Baron Salazar, and U.S. Bank Celebrate the Grand Opening of North Sarah II

July 18, 2014 | McCormack Baron Salazar

Saint Louis, MO - Today, representatives from the Saint Louis Housing Authority, McCormack Baron Salazar, Global9 development, Urban Strategies, U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation, and government officials gathered with partners and residents to celebrate the Grand Opening of North Sarah Phase II.

Following the theme of “Planting the Seeds to Grow Our Neighborhood,” the event focused on the economically resilient and environmentally sustainable aspects of the new community sprouting up in the long‐vacant north central corridor of the City of St. Louis. These aspects include green buildings, native landscaping, a fresh food retailer (who aims to make connections to urban farmers), and partnerships to support entrepreneurs in the new commercial spaces.

“This community is a living, breathing example of the Housing Authority’s commitment to growing housing, economic, and social opportunities for our residents,” explained Housing Authority Executive

Director Cheryl Lovell. “This nurturing environment is serving to replace the last public housing family high‐rise in Saint Louis at 3501 Franklin Avenue – marking the beginning of a new era for how we house and support our neediest families. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

The second phase of the community was made possible through a $7.8 million HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Housing Authority. Additional funding included equity from U.S. Bank generated from tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission, a first mortgage provided by U.S. Bank, HOME funds provided by the Missouri Housing Development Commission, and funding from the City of St. Louis. The Housing Authority invested an additional $6.5 in resident supportive services, site acquisition and site preparation.

"A city is only as great as its people's well‐being, and I'm proud that we helped this project succeed to improve the quality of life for residents, the area's environment and the economic vitality of St. Louis as a whole," said Vihar Sheth, senior vice president of U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation.

The first two phases of North Sarah have 223 economically‐integrated apartment homes geared towards families from all income levels plus 12,000 square feet of commercial/retail space. Amenities include a playground, computer center, fitness room, and community clubhouse. The development is a certified Enterprise Green Community with sustainable features that reduce the impact of the new community on the environment while reducing utility costs for residents. In addition to the physical improvements, the development team has partnered with the non‐profit Urban Strategies, Inc. to engage residents of the community and help lower‐income residents follow upwardly‐mobile life paths, by connecting them with health, financial, recreational, educational, employment and entrepreneurial services. Another non‐profit, TAALKE LLC, was engaged to coordinate disadvantaged business contracts and facilitate job training and Section 3 hiring opportunities for residents.

 

“What stands out about this community is the holistic approach that united the development team, the City, the Alderman, and the neighborhood,” said Vince Bennett, Chief Operating Officer of McCormack Baron Salazar. “This effort has gone beyond just bricks and mortar. This has resulted in a strong collaborative that not only provided high‐quality, safe, sustainable housing, but that also generated jobs, new businesses, more opportunities for social engagement and upward mobility, and healthy, fresh food options.”

 

The North Sarah project was developed by co‐developers McCormack Baron Salazar and Global9 in partnership with the St. Louis Housing Authority. KAI Design & Build served as the lead Project Architect and McCormack Baron Ragan Management Services, Inc., an affiliate of the Developer, is the property manager. R.G. Brinkmann Company, in collaboration with Simms Building Group was the General Contractor.