St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri

At the turn of the 20th century, St. Louis, Missouri was the fourth largest city in the nation. Although a combination of suburbanization, industrial restructuring, and job loss have created a smaller St. Louis today relative to other U.S. cities, in 2008, the "Gateway to the West" marked its first net population gain during a decade since 1950. Today, the city is home to more than 310,000 residents. Demographically, St. Louis is 49 percent African American, 46 percent white, 3 percent Latino and 2 percent Asian.

In 2008, St. Louis received an Urban Renewal Award from the World Leadership Forum — a not-for-profit organization that promotes leadership internationally, especially in the areas of science, technology, education and the arts — for its progress in urban revitalization, specifically in the areas of tax credits, Brownfield redevelopment, tax exempt financing and housing credits. In addition to these revitalization efforts, the city is also home to many community wealth-building efforts that contribute to the city's revival.

The historic Old North neighborhood is one area that has received a significant amount of attention. At the forefront of the effort, the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group has been working in the community since 1981. This community development corporation has been pivotal to the rehabilitation of multiple historic buildings, development of affordable housing, and neighborhood clean-up work. Today, the Restoration Group is working with the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance on a $35 million redevelopment effort to convert 27 vacant historic buildings into 80 mixed-income apartments and more than 34,000 square-feet of commercial and retail space.

The Restoration Group has also actively collaborated with the University of Missouri at St. Louis, leveraging its resources as an anchor institution to spur revitalization. The University's Community Partnership Project focuses on neighborhood stabilization, historic preservation, home maintenance, financial literacy, environmental health and safety, community organizing, and leadership development.

The Project's Old North Healthy Community Initiative has been instrumental in improving access to healthy food in the community, aiding the establishment of a CSA [community supported agriculture] program, urban community gardens, and the Old North Grocery Co-op. The Co-op, which just opened in 2010, is another part of the effort to eliminate the area's food desert and help revitalize the community.

Another project in the area is the Urban Food Café, a non-profit café dedicated to fostering a stronger community by serving as a community-gathering place while providing quality food. Striving to be a catalyst for economic revitalization in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood, this social enterprise café will provide job-skills training with financial literacy and profits from the café will go towards funding The Urban Studio art programs.

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

Anchor Institutions

Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation

Founded in 1915, the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the nation. Today, it manages than 400 individual charitable funds that total more than $170 million in assets - nearly triple what it had at the beginning of the decade. In 2009, the Foundation distributed more than $33 million through nearly 1,800 grants. Read more about Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation...

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Beyond Housing

Established in 1980 and merged with Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Louis in 2003, Beyond Housing is a nonprofit housing group dedicated to providing affordable renting housing for large, low-income families. Working with the 21 municipalities that comprise the Normandy School District, Beyond Housing is undertaking the 24:1 Initiative - a comprehensive community-driven strategy to revive this historically overlooked area through community engagement, education, community health and wellness, commercial and residential real estate development, research and resource development. Read more about Beyond Housing...

DeSales Community Housing Corporation

Formed in 1976 to promote investment in Fox Park and Tower Grover East neighborhoods in St. Louis, DeSales Community Housing Corporation focuses its program activities in four main areas: housing development, property management, technical assistance, and neighborhood improvement. To date, DeSales has helped generate more than $45 million in housing investment in the community. Read more about DeSales Community Housing Corporation ...

Emerson Park Development Corporation

Located in East St. Louis, the Emerson Park Development Corporation was initially formed by a group of concerned residents in 1985 and officially incorporated in 1989. Since 2000, EPDC has helped generate more than $65 million worth of investment in the Emerson Park Neighborhood through Metrolink development, new rental housing, and new for-sale housing. Read more about Emerson Park Development Corporation...

Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group

Working to revitalize the community in a way that respects its historical, cultural and urban character, the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group was formed in 1981 by a group of residents, small business owners, and community leaders. The Group has been involved in the rehabilitation of multiple historic buildings, development of affordable housing, and neighborhood cleanup. Currently, the group is working with RHCDA on a $35 million redevelopment effort of 27 vacant historic buildings into 80 mixed-income apartments and more than 34,000 square-feet of commercial and retail space. Read more about Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group...

Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA)

Focused on revitalizing St. Louis-area urban core neighborhoods, the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance is a nonprofit group that provides capacity building technical assistance and resources to nonprofit community-based development organizations through a predevelopment loan fund. Since 1997, RHCDA has provided more than $472 million worth of investment through the development of more than 3,616 homes and 23 commercial units. Additionally, the organization is currently developing another 307 homes and nine commercial units with total development costs of $71 million. Read more about Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA)...

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Red Brick Community Land Trust

Formed in 1999 by residents from several neighborhoods in South St. Louis, the Red Brick Community Land Trust strives to create sustainable and diverse neighborhoods in St. Louis through permanently affordable housing. Red Brick is currently renovating eight homes to sell to families at 60 and 80-percent of area median income; this effort is linked to its co-sponsorship of the Financial Education Program, which provides financial counseling to community members. Read more about Red Brick Community Land Trust...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

City Food Co-op

Founded in 1980 and located in St. Louis's Marine Villa neighborhood, City Food Co-op is a member-owned and -operated food cooperative that supplies organic food, personal care items, and "earth-friendly" household products. At least one adult of each member household is required to work at least one four-hour shift each month at the co-op. Read more about City Food Co-op...

Old North Grocery Co-op

Located at the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and North 13th Street, Old North Grocery Co-op opened in 2010 in a community that is considered one of the city's food deserts. In addition to offering food products that are locally grown from no more than 100 miles away, the Co-op will have cooking, food preservation, and nutrition classes as well as space for community events. Read more about Old North Grocery Co-op...

Cross-Sectoral

Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation

The Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation was founded in 1997 with the mission to connect institutional resources with the needs of low- to moderate-income families and individuals in order to build assets and create sustainable change. To date, the organization has helped more than 4,000 individual purchases homes, provided micro-business loans or technical support to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, and mange Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for more than 1,500 families. Read more about Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation...

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Graybar

Specializing in supply chain management services and distribution of high-quality components, equipment and materials for a number of industries, Graybar is an employee-owned Fortune 500 company. With more than $5.4 billion in revenue in 2008, Graybar, headquartered in St. Louis, has thousands of employees at more than 240 distribution centers throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Read more about Graybar...

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

Founded in 1864 and headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest privately owned construction firms and has nine community-based offices nationwide. Today, it is 100 percent employee owned with more than $3.5 billion in annual revenues and 1,700 full-time salaried and 3,100 weekly payroll employees. Read more about McCarthy Building Companies, Inc....

Individual Wealth Preservation

Community Action Agency of St. Louis County

The Community Action of St. Louis County works in 97 municipalities and provides services to 22,000 low-income people in St. Louis County annually. Areas of work include counseling, employment training, energy assistance programs and weatherization, nutrition education, community gardens, and financial literacy. Read more about Community Action Agency of St. Louis County...

Local Food Systems

City Seeds Urban Farm

A project of Gateway Greening, the City Seeds Urban Farm occupies 2.5 acres and provides job training, therapeutic horticulture, and education on nutrition and food preparation to those at risk of chronic homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and recidivism. Supplying two area farmers' markets, the farm features 48 raised veggie beds, a native plant nursery, dwarf fruit tree orchard, ornamental shrub borders, drip irrigation, rain water catch cistern, outdoor classroom, harvest station, tool sheds, composting bins, a greenhouse and 3 bee hives. Read more about City Seeds Urban Farm...

Social Enterprise

Angel Baked Cookies

Currently employing 12 teenagers in the economically depressed North City-area of the city, Angel Baked Cookies is a non-profit venture that sells cookies, while teaching youth valuable job and life skills. Started in the spring of 2007 as a program of North Grand Neighborhood Services, the teens learn everything from preparation and packaging procedures to practicing one-on-one sales and visiting local businesses. Read more about Angel Baked Cookies...

McMurphy's Grill

Opened in 1990, McMurphy's Grill was the first-in-the nation full-service restaurant for training homeless/mentally ill clients. As a project of the non-profit St. Patrick Center, the program enables 30 to 40 people per year to develop the necessary employment skills to work in the restaurant industry. Read more about McMurphy's Grill...

Urban Studio Café

The Urban Studio Café is a non-profit café dedicated to fostering a stronger community by serving as a community-gathering place while providing quality food. The café will provide job-skills training with financial literacy and profits from the café will go towards funding The Urban Studio art programs. The social enterprise is striving to be a catalyst for economic revitalization in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.

Transit-Oriented Development

The Loop Trolley

Receiving more than $25 million in federal funding, the St. Louis Loop Trolley Project is a $44 million project that will help foster economic development between Forest Park and The Loop. Currently looking for sources of local matching funds, the Project will run 2.2 miles, including nine stops and connections to two MetroLink stations.

University & Community Partnerships

Community Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)

Active in the Old North St. Louis community for the past decade, the Community Partnership Project received a HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] Community Outreach Partnership Centers grant that enabled it to utilize the physical, economic, intellectual, and creative resources of the university in the local community. The Project, which has continued since the grant expired, is focused on neighborhood stabilization, historic preservation, home maintenance, financial literacy, environmental health and safety, community organizing, and leadership development. Read more about Community Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)...

Neighborhood Leadership Academy (Univ. of Missouri)

Bringing together a diverse group of up to 20 current or potential neighborhood leaders each year, the University of Missouri-St. Louis's Neighborhood Leadership Academy offers 10 sessions over a four-month period on leadership training that focuses on community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills. Each participant completes a personal leadership development plan and designs a community-building project for their neighborhood. Read more about Neighborhood Leadership Academy (Univ. of Missouri)...

Old North Healthy Community Initiative (Univ. of Missouri)

A component of the Community Partnership Project, the Old North Healthy Community Initiative is focused on improving access to healthy food in the Old North neighborhood. Through a partnership between the University and the community, the Initiative is helping to establish a CSA [community supported agriculture] program, grocery co-op, urban community gardens, and an expansion of North City Farmer's market. Read more about Old North Healthy Community Initiative (Univ. of Missouri)...

Old North Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)

Focused on integrating the Old North neighborhood's recent history with its more remote past, the Old North Partnership Project strives to revitalize the neighborhood and strengthen the sense of identity among residents by leveraging the area's historic capital. In addition to encouraging the historic preservation of the buildings, the Project is also committed to recording the oral history of local residents, developing a bicycle tour of the neighborhood, creating a community museum, and using archaeology to uncover more about Old North's history. Read more about Old North Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)...

Pagedale Development Project

A collaboration between the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, the School of Architecture, and the Institute of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Beyond Housing, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pagedale Development Project strives to create a long-term, sustainable revitalization of Pagedale, a lower-income, majority African American suburb of St. Louis County. The project will integrate a comprehensive asset-building strategy that includes the establishment of a grocery store, development of affordable housing, and management of IDAs. Read more about Pagedale Development Project...

Social Enterprise

Angel Baked Cookies

Currently employing 12 teenagers in the economically depressed North City-area of the city, Angel Baked Cookies is a non-profit venture that sells cookies, while teaching youth valuable job and life skills. Started in the spring of 2007 as a program of North Grand Neighborhood Services, the teens learn everything from preparation and packaging procedures to practicing one-on-one sales and visiting local businesses. Read more about Angel Baked Cookies...

McMurphy's Grill

Opened in 1990, McMurphy's Grill was the first-in-the nation full-service restaurant for training homeless/mentally ill clients. As a project of the non-profit St. Patrick Center, the program enables 30 to 40 people per year to develop the necessary employment skills to work in the restaurant industry. Read more about McMurphy's Grill...

Urban Studio Café

The Urban Studio Café is a non-profit café dedicated to fostering a stronger community by serving as a community-gathering place while providing quality food. The café will provide job-skills training with financial literacy and profits from the café will go towards funding The Urban Studio art programs. The social enterprise is striving to be a catalyst for economic revitalization in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

Beyond Housing

Established in 1980 and merged with Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Louis in 2003, Beyond Housing is a nonprofit housing group dedicated to providing affordable renting housing for large, low-income families. Working with the 21 municipalities that comprise the Normandy School District, Beyond Housing is undertaking the 24:1 Initiative - a comprehensive community-driven strategy to revive this historically overlooked area through community engagement, education, community health and wellness, commercial and residential real estate development, research and resource development. Read more about Beyond Housing...

DeSales Community Housing Corporation

Formed in 1976 to promote investment in Fox Park and Tower Grover East neighborhoods in St. Louis, DeSales Community Housing Corporation focuses its program activities in four main areas: housing development, property management, technical assistance, and neighborhood improvement. To date, DeSales has helped generate more than $45 million in housing investment in the community. Read more about DeSales Community Housing Corporation ...

Emerson Park Development Corporation

Located in East St. Louis, the Emerson Park Development Corporation was initially formed by a group of concerned residents in 1985 and officially incorporated in 1989. Since 2000, EPDC has helped generate more than $65 million worth of investment in the Emerson Park Neighborhood through Metrolink development, new rental housing, and new for-sale housing. Read more about Emerson Park Development Corporation...

Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group

Working to revitalize the community in a way that respects its historical, cultural and urban character, the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group was formed in 1981 by a group of residents, small business owners, and community leaders. The Group has been involved in the rehabilitation of multiple historic buildings, development of affordable housing, and neighborhood cleanup. Currently, the group is working with RHCDA on a $35 million redevelopment effort of 27 vacant historic buildings into 80 mixed-income apartments and more than 34,000 square-feet of commercial and retail space. Read more about Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group...

Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA)

Focused on revitalizing St. Louis-area urban core neighborhoods, the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance is a nonprofit group that provides capacity building technical assistance and resources to nonprofit community-based development organizations through a predevelopment loan fund. Since 1997, RHCDA has provided more than $472 million worth of investment through the development of more than 3,616 homes and 23 commercial units. Additionally, the organization is currently developing another 307 homes and nine commercial units with total development costs of $71 million. Read more about Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance (RHCDA)...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

City Food Co-op

Founded in 1980 and located in St. Louis's Marine Villa neighborhood, City Food Co-op is a member-owned and -operated food cooperative that supplies organic food, personal care items, and "earth-friendly" household products. At least one adult of each member household is required to work at least one four-hour shift each month at the co-op. Read more about City Food Co-op...

Old North Grocery Co-op

Located at the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and North 13th Street, Old North Grocery Co-op opened in 2010 in a community that is considered one of the city's food deserts. In addition to offering food products that are locally grown from no more than 100 miles away, the Co-op will have cooking, food preservation, and nutrition classes as well as space for community events. Read more about Old North Grocery Co-op...

Local Food Systems

City Seeds Urban Farm

A project of Gateway Greening, the City Seeds Urban Farm occupies 2.5 acres and provides job training, therapeutic horticulture, and education on nutrition and food preparation to those at risk of chronic homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and recidivism. Supplying two area farmers' markets, the farm features 48 raised veggie beds, a native plant nursery, dwarf fruit tree orchard, ornamental shrub borders, drip irrigation, rain water catch cistern, outdoor classroom, harvest station, tool sheds, composting bins, a greenhouse and 3 bee hives. Read more about City Seeds Urban Farm...

Individual Wealth Preservation

Community Action Agency of St. Louis County

The Community Action of St. Louis County works in 97 municipalities and provides services to 22,000 low-income people in St. Louis County annually. Areas of work include counseling, employment training, energy assistance programs and weatherization, nutrition education, community gardens, and financial literacy. Read more about Community Action Agency of St. Louis County...

University & Community Partnerships

Community Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)

Active in the Old North St. Louis community for the past decade, the Community Partnership Project received a HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] Community Outreach Partnership Centers grant that enabled it to utilize the physical, economic, intellectual, and creative resources of the university in the local community. The Project, which has continued since the grant expired, is focused on neighborhood stabilization, historic preservation, home maintenance, financial literacy, environmental health and safety, community organizing, and leadership development. Read more about Community Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)...

Neighborhood Leadership Academy (Univ. of Missouri)

Bringing together a diverse group of up to 20 current or potential neighborhood leaders each year, the University of Missouri-St. Louis's Neighborhood Leadership Academy offers 10 sessions over a four-month period on leadership training that focuses on community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills. Each participant completes a personal leadership development plan and designs a community-building project for their neighborhood. Read more about Neighborhood Leadership Academy (Univ. of Missouri)...

Old North Healthy Community Initiative (Univ. of Missouri)

A component of the Community Partnership Project, the Old North Healthy Community Initiative is focused on improving access to healthy food in the Old North neighborhood. Through a partnership between the University and the community, the Initiative is helping to establish a CSA [community supported agriculture] program, grocery co-op, urban community gardens, and an expansion of North City Farmer's market. Read more about Old North Healthy Community Initiative (Univ. of Missouri)...

Old North Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)

Focused on integrating the Old North neighborhood's recent history with its more remote past, the Old North Partnership Project strives to revitalize the neighborhood and strengthen the sense of identity among residents by leveraging the area's historic capital. In addition to encouraging the historic preservation of the buildings, the Project is also committed to recording the oral history of local residents, developing a bicycle tour of the neighborhood, creating a community museum, and using archaeology to uncover more about Old North's history. Read more about Old North Partnership Project (Univ. of Missouri)...

Pagedale Development Project

A collaboration between the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, the School of Architecture, and the Institute of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, Beyond Housing, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pagedale Development Project strives to create a long-term, sustainable revitalization of Pagedale, a lower-income, majority African American suburb of St. Louis County. The project will integrate a comprehensive asset-building strategy that includes the establishment of a grocery store, development of affordable housing, and management of IDAs. Read more about Pagedale Development Project...

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Graybar

Specializing in supply chain management services and distribution of high-quality components, equipment and materials for a number of industries, Graybar is an employee-owned Fortune 500 company. With more than $5.4 billion in revenue in 2008, Graybar, headquartered in St. Louis, has thousands of employees at more than 240 distribution centers throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Read more about Graybar...

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

Founded in 1864 and headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest privately owned construction firms and has nine community-based offices nationwide. Today, it is 100 percent employee owned with more than $3.5 billion in annual revenues and 1,700 full-time salaried and 3,100 weekly payroll employees. Read more about McCarthy Building Companies, Inc....

Anchor Institutions

Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation

Founded in 1915, the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the nation. Today, it manages than 400 individual charitable funds that total more than $170 million in assets - nearly triple what it had at the beginning of the decade. In 2009, the Foundation distributed more than $33 million through nearly 1,800 grants. Read more about Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation...

Cross-Sectoral

Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation

The Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation was founded in 1997 with the mission to connect institutional resources with the needs of low- to moderate-income families and individuals in order to build assets and create sustainable change. To date, the organization has helped more than 4,000 individual purchases homes, provided micro-business loans or technical support to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, and mange Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for more than 1,500 families. Read more about Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation...

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Red Brick Community Land Trust

Formed in 1999 by residents from several neighborhoods in South St. Louis, the Red Brick Community Land Trust strives to create sustainable and diverse neighborhoods in St. Louis through permanently affordable housing. Red Brick is currently renovating eight homes to sell to families at 60 and 80-percent of area median income; this effort is linked to its co-sponsorship of the Financial Education Program, which provides financial counseling to community members. Read more about Red Brick Community Land Trust...

Transit-Oriented Development

The Loop Trolley

Receiving more than $25 million in federal funding, the St. Louis Loop Trolley Project is a $44 million project that will help foster economic development between Forest Park and The Loop. Currently looking for sources of local matching funds, the Project will run 2.2 miles, including nine stops and connections to two MetroLink stations.