Paul McKee (developer)
McKee grew up in the suburb of Overland and attended Chaminade College Preparatory School and received a degree in civil engineering from Washington University. He is married to Marguerite "Midge" McKee. The two have four children and 14 grandchildren. They live in the wealthy suburb of Huntleigh.
In 2017 the historic James Clemens Mansion (named for a cousin of John Marshall Clemens, Mark Twain’s father) a property McKee owned, caught fire catching area houses on fire and depositing asbestos for several blocks. The building deteriorated greatly during McKee’s ownership and was unsecured. His initial response to the fire was to deny any asbestos was present in the Clemens Mansion. This was refuted by residents in the area affected and the Environmental Protection Agency was brought in to sample the area. The EPA was initially denied access to the property by Paul McKee. After releasing positive results of asbestos contamination in the area the EPA was allowed access and McKee later retracted his earlier statement. The EPA determined that it was his obligation to remediate the affected area.
McKee's entrepreneurship started with the co-founding of construction firm Paric Corp. in 1979. He is a founding member of the board and former chairman of BJC HealthCare, the area's largest employer. He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to politicians of both political parties. McKee says that he favors neither party particularly strongly, but "follow[s] the business agenda". McKee was the primary organizer of a bipartisan trade mission to People's Republic of China to stimulate trade between that country and businesses in the region, with a particular focus on using the underutilized Lambert-St. Louis International Airport as a cargo stopover from China to South America.
Some of McKee's major developments through McEagle include WingHaven, a 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) mixed use project and is the corporate home to MasterCard Operations Center in O'Fallon; NorthPark, a joint venture with Clayco Realty Group including 5,000,000 square feet (460,000 m2) of planned commercial and industrial redevelopment in North St. Louis County and is corporate home to Express Scripts; and Hazelwood Commerce Center, a 151-acre (0.61 km2) industrial park in Hazelwood, Missouri.
NorthSide development proposal
McKee's envisioned redevelopment project in the Old North Saint Louis, JeffVanDerLou and Saint Louis Place neighborhoods was initially referred to as Blairmont, in reference to one of the shell companies used to acquire lots and buildings in the three neighborhoods. In May 2009 the redevelopment idea was publicly revealed as "Northside," a $8.1 billion vision covering some 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) of the city. It would include four commercial centers totaling over 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2) of new retail and office space, 1,000,000 square feet of light industrial space, new homes, parks, and a trolley line. The commercial space would play host to 22,000 new jobs, in addition to the 43,000 construction jobs created in building the development. McKee expects the project to take 15 years. He has asked the City of St. Louis for $409,917,496 in tax increment financing to get the project off the ground. NorthSide's emphasis on renewable energy and massive construction follows the Obama Administration's priorities and, if started in a timely manner, could be a candidate for additional funding from the White House's Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiatives.
McKee himself describes the project at this point as a vision rather than a plan, but has already sunk $65 million of his own money into it. He began the project by covertly buying up houses in the area. McKee addressed concerns at a public meeting with neighborhood residents in May 2009, and he and his wife, Midge, have since participated in over 150 meetings. McKee has given up on including the northern part of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood, where residents made some of the earliest objections, although he still refuses to sell the lots and buildings he owns there, even after repeated requests from legitimate buyers. Recently, several buildings owned by McKee in the area have mysteriously burned down. The southern part of Old North Saint Louis is still in the vision area.
- Wagman, Jake (2009-05-24). "McKee's path paved with headiness, political savvy". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Mueller, Angela (February 22, 2008). "Paul McKee Jr. lobbies to land Chinese airlines". St. Louis Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Logan. "Express Scripts to add 1500 Jobs". STL Today.
- Brown, Lisa R.; Christopher Tritto (January 4, 2008). "Kiel: Blues, McKees take the stage". St. Louis Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Logan, Tim (02.09.2009). "Slay on St. Louis economy, incentives, Ballpark Village, Blairmont". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2009-05-26. Check date values in:
- Appleson, Gail (2009-05-22). "Critics, skeptics greet Mckee". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- full text of TIF application at Archived December 17, 2010, at WebCite