St. Louis County Council seeks investigation of real estate deal

The St. Louis County Council voted Tuesday night to ask the federal government and the Missouri attorney general to investigate a multimillion-dollar real estate deal between the county and top campaign donors to County Executive Steve Stenger.

With the help of public subsidies, developers Robert and P. David Glarner rebuilt the former Northwest Plaza in St. Ann. The county has a 20-year-lease on office space in the development, where it’s one of the main tenants.

Stenger initially touted the deal as saving taxpayers millions, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in February that the deal would cost millions more than previously stated. The county’s lease for 150,000 square feet is expected to cost taxpayers between $69 million and $77 million.

The council is considering voiding the lease, saying the Glarners contributed $365,000 to Stenger’s campaign funds.

Stenger did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, despite the county charter requiring the county executive to attend council meetings. He has repeatedly said the council’s effort is designed to hurt his re-election bid, and he has defended the deal to redevelop the former shopping center.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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