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University City project

Specifics on a project proposed by Novus Cos. at Olive Boulevard and Interstate 170 in University City.

UNIVERSITY CITY • The City Council here on Thursday night selected a firm to redevelop the corridor immediately east of the Olive Boulevard and Interstate 170 interchange

The choice of preferred developer went to U. City L.L.C. — an affiliate of Novus Cos. The council's vote authorizes the city manager to negotiate a redevelopment agreement.

The company has submitted a proposal to redevelop the area into a mixed-use development with retail, restaurant, office, multi-family residential, senior living and hotel uses.

The designation as preferred developer would end if the city and developer don't enter into an agreement for the project by March 31, 2019.

A redevelopment agreement would provide for the construction and financing of the redevelopment project, including possible use of tax  assistance or other incentives.

Jonathan Browne, president of Novus, said his firm was first selected for the project in late last year, but Thursday's vote was necessary because the redevelopment area's boundaries were slightly changed to add residential property.

City Manager Gregory Rose said a redevelopment agreement should be reached by June.

Tentatively called University Place, the retail/residential plan by Novus calls  for redeveloping about 50 acres – with about 40 acres of that being commercial.

A public hearing on the proposal has been set for 7 p.m. May 23 at the Mandarin House, 8004 Olive Boulevard. 

At the meeting of the city's Tax Increment Financing Commission on April 5, Browne and others with Novus – the only developer to submit a proposal for the area – made a presentation on the about $200 million plan that would be built out in phases.

Development would include about 30 acres of retail north of Olive and about 20 acres of retail, with a residential redevelopment project of about 10 acres within and adjacent to the retail area, south of Olive. Commercial development would include about 200,000 square feet of stores and restaurants.

Browne said the plan could also include a 44,000-square-foot, four-story hotel; a 20,000-square-foot office building; a 240,000-square-foot luxury apartment building; and an 88,000-square-foot four-story senior living building, all south of Olive.

Also Thursday night, the council agreed to solicit applications for now-Mayor Terry Crow's vacant council seat. Crow was sworn into office as mayor on Monday, but he had two years of his council term remaining.

Councilman Steve McMahon said the city charter required that a replacement – to serve a one-year term – be appointed by June 22.

Applications are being posted on the city's website and are due by May 11, he said, with the council to determine who will serve in the post as early as their May 14 meeting. The final year of Crow's term then will be on the April 2019 ballot.

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