Clemens House: Can Paul McKee Rehab Historic North Side Property? (PHOTOS)

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The property, Allen says, has been declining for years and if McKee wants to save it, "he needs to get on it quick."

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

In our interview, McKee brushes aside concerns from preservationists, saying he has spent more than $1.5 million to stabilize it. "Could I spend more? Sure. But unless you're willing to give me more money to spend on it, it's stabilized now as best we can."

He adds, "It's important to us. We're doing everything we can."

McKee says that his original plan involved senior-housing apartments on the site and that he may continue on that path.

With the Missouri Supreme Court ruling in his favor -- allowing him to access financing that a lower court had ruled out -- McKee says he'll begin working to get the necessary approvals from the city once again. He laments that he faced a three-and-a-half-year delay due to the court battle, which he says had to be resolved before he could move forward.

"We're at square one again," he says, noting that he has to get his larger redevelopment plan reauthorized at city hall before he can break ground on projects within the NorthSide Regeneration effort (which covers about two square miles of the north side).

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

By late fall, he says, he hopes to finish getting city hall's authorization so he can begin work in winter and early spring.

There are dozens of historic properties he plans to rehab and restore, McKee adds. "It's not just Clemens."

Still, in response to concerns from preservationists, he says, "That's their focus. Preservation to us is just a piece of what we do. It's not the main course.... It's the integral of all of this stuff that's important...jobs, housing, historic preservation...new development."

McKee says, "It's got to be seen in the total environment of the whole north side."

Below are more photos of Clemens House, all courtesy of Hannegan.

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

Continue for more photos of Clemens House.


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