The city manager of University City, Gregory Rose, has pledged to provide regular updates on the progress of Novus Development’s project along Olive Boulevard.

Rose said that Novus is in the process of acquiring property for the project, which could take from six to 18 months. He said Novus is also working on obtaining the best financing for the project. He said Novus will eventually have to reappear before the city to go through the project’s zoning process.

Rose said the relocation of residents and businesses in the project area is contingent on when sales take place, and that the city council has approved a relocation assistance program for those wishing to remain in the city.

Rose said Novus would like to begin construction as soon as possible, but no date has been set. A start date is contingent on the purchase of needed properties. Rose expects the project to begin generating revenue for the city in about 24 months.

The Novus project extends from Interstate-170 east to McKnight/Woodson, with Olive as its central corridor.

The $190 million project, covering approximately 50 acres, is set to include retail, including a Costco, as well as offices, a residential component and possibly a hotel. In September 2018, the city’s tax increment financing commission approved $70.5 million in TIF for the project. The city council approved a redevelopment agreement with Novus in June 2019

Discussion Of Flooding

The City Council of University City on Aug. 12 addressed long-standing flooding issues, including a recent flood event that forced the evacuation of several apartment buildings.

Flood problems stem mainly from the River Des Peres, which runs through the city on its path through St. Louis city and county. Rose recently walked along part of the river that runs through the city. He said he observed problems with the maintenance and design of the channel, both of which he said contribute to blockages in the river and contribute to flooding. He said city officials are attempting to take steps to address those issues.

Rose said city officials will meet with representatives from the Metropolitan Sewer District and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to discuss solutions.

Rose said there are several choke points along the river’s channel where debris can build up. Councilman Paulette Carr said one major choke point is the bridge along Pennsylvania Avenue near Hemen Park. Carr is working with the city’s storm water task force to develop an early warning system for flooding.