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That’s big!

St. Peters officials say a developer plans to build a 500,000-square foot “spec” building – equal to nine football fields under roof – in Premier 370 Business Park on the Mississippi River flood plain.

Mayor Len Pagano said no user has been identified but Duke Realty Corp., which owns much of the land in the park, is expected to submit detailed plans for the development to the city’s planning and zoning commission at their March 4 meeting. City officials did not say how the building would be used.

The business park is a more than 800-acre development at Hwy. 370 near Interstate 70. Dayton Freight, a trucking company, is the only tenant in the development, having opened a 51,000-square-foot distribution center in 2011.

The project could break ground sometime in the next 60 days if development plans are approved by the city’s Board of Aldermen. The building and its parking lot will be built on 30 acres on the south side of Premier Parkway South, east of Executive Center Parkway.

Pagano broke the news of the building at the board meeting on Feb. 26. He and other city officials say the new building could be a catalyst for development at the park, which has stalled in recent years. City officials have touted its easy access to rail transportation and nearby interstates 70 and 370 and its proximity to 370 Lakeside Park, which has a 140-acre lake.

How many jobs the new development would generate and its tax revenue remains an unknown. “One of things we’ve kept on promoting was jobs, jobs and jobs,” Pagano said. “This is here will be a mega job (development).”

Alderwoman Terri Violet (Ward 3) is happy to see jobs in her ward. “I’m excited about this, I think it’s great and welcome it with open arms,” Violet said.

City officials have been trying to boost the fortunes of the development, including asking St. Charles County officials last year to remove a ban on residential development to attract developers. The city had agreed to the ban in 2007 as part of agreement on flood control.

In 2012, the city won a lengthy court battle brought by environmentalists over development on the flood plain. There also has been a debt restructuring issue for the levee district that protects the business park. Ownership of some land in the development has changed.

Pagano said city officials also are hearing that more development may be on the way at the park. “Things are really happening right now,” Pagano said. “We have had stumbling blocks in the past but those stumbling blocks are behind us.

Premier 370 will be the place to go, there will be so many jobs there, I’m very proud of it.”

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