ST. ANN • The developer of the vacant Northwest Plaza shopping center says that Menards, a big box home improvement store, would become the first tenant anchor in the planned $106 million redevelopment.
Bob Glarner, a principal with St. Louis-based Raven Development, told the County Tax Increment Financing Commission on Wednesday night that the store would be the first of two major anchors. He said he was in discussions with other companies for the proposed 122-acre site
Raven has the land under contract.
Glarner said that Menards hopes to purchase 17 acres of the site and build a store of about 160,000 square feet.
The shopping center is St. Charles Rock Road and Lindbergh Boulevard. The Menards would be in the northeast corner.
Menards, based in Eau Claire, Wis., is privately owned. The company is moving into the St. Louis area market and is looking at sites in Richmond Heights, St. Peters and the O’Fallon-Lake Saint Louis area. Most of its stores are in the upper Midwest.
The developer is seeking $33 million in tax increment assistance over several phases and $7.8 million in brownfield tax credits from the state for environmental work. Glarner told the TIF Commission that both sources of funding were critical to proceeding with the development.
When it opened in the 1960s, Northwest Plaza, built by the Zorensky family at 1.8 million square feet, was the largest in the world. After changing owners several times, the property ended up in foreclosure. Raven bought it for $6 million.
The developer plans to tear down most of Northwest Plaza but proposes retaining the office tower. The old J.C. Penney’s, Macy’s and Burlington Coat Factory buildings potentially would be retained, Glarner said Wednesday night. The stores along Lindbergh, which are in Bridgeton, also would remain.
Today, the mall is largely abandoned. The mall interior is closed.