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Karen Hancock didn't want to live in the country

Corn surrounds a vacant collapsing home owned at 2325 Howard and owned by NorthSide Regeneration (Paul McKee) on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, in St. Louis. A Jackie Joyner-Kersee-owned urban farming outfit planted corn and soybeans on 60+ acres it's leasing from Paul McKee.Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

A city board has given approval for up to $5 million in tax credits to be used toward a planned grocery store and convenience store on the city's north side at North 13th Street and Tucker Boulevard.

The St. Louis Development Corporation Board of Directors voted 6-0 Thursday morning to allocate the tax credits to the St. Louis Grocery Group, LLC.

The two businesses – a fresh market and convenience store with attached gas station – are part of developer Paul McKee's NorthSide Regeneration project.

McKee has described the project as a multibillion-dollar redevelopment, to include hundreds of new housing units and a health care campus.

Thursday's vote was the second victory for the project in six weeks. In July, the Board of Aldermen fast-tracked and approved a bill to provide $2.8 million in tax-increment financing for the grocery and convenience stores. 

Aldermen Antonio French and Sharon Tyus, opposed the bill, arguing that St. Louis has enough gas stations and shouldn't be extending tax relief to build another one.

The bill's sponsor, Alderman Tammika Hubbard, argued that it was necessary to honor the city's promise to the federal government to develop areas adjacent to the coming National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

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