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First KIPP High School opens in St. Louis (copy)

FILE PHOTO: Students fill the hallway after the hearing the last bell for dismissal on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, during summer session at KIPP High School in St. Louis. In July 2019, the SLDC awarded up to $8 million in federal new markets tax credits KIPP St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan | lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

The St. Louis Development Corp. approved two rounds of federal new markets tax credits Thursday, one for a charter school system and another for a development in Midtown.

Up to $8 million in the federal credits will go to KIPP St. Louis, which runs five charter schools in the city. The system wants to use credits to help finance the acquisition and renovation of a building at 3740 Marine Avenue for a new elementary school, which will be its sixth location. That building formerly housed the St. Louis Language Immersion School, which moved to Pine Street downtown. The project will cost about $7 million.

KIPP also plans to use the credits to relocate its Wisdom Academy from 2647 Ohio Street in the Fox Park neighborhood to a larger building at 1224 Grattan Street. It plans to acquire and renovate the building, which formerly housed St. Louis College Prep School, for about $3 million.

SLDC also approved allocating $5 million in new markets tax credits to a project rehabbing the historic Nash Building at 3000 Locust Street. Clayton-based student housing developer Collegiate Development Group plans an $8.2 million project to turn the 1920s auto dealership into about 8,100 square feet of office space and 18 apartments. The developer plans to move its staff of about 10 people to the Midtown area and said it could grow that number by 25, according to a report from SLDC.

In May, the St. Louis Development Corp. again received a $35 million federal allocation of new markets tax credits, the same as it received last year. The office, which works with nonprofits and developers to find eligible projects that can use the credits as part of their financing, has consistently won allocations from the U.S. Treasury, receiving over $400 million since 2004.

Also Thursday, the SLDC board approved contributing $100,000 over two years to MOKAN, a consortium representing the interests of minority contractors. MOKAN will use the funds for a pre-apprenticeship program to educate and train people who have been unsuccessful getting a job in the construction trades. The program is also funded by St. Louis University, The Stifel Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and MOKAN member companies.

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Jacob Barker is a business reporter for the Post-Dispatch. 314-340-8291