Messenger: Pier St. Louis developers back for handout from city already on the hook

Feb 20, 2018

As a hard-luck property, the tract of land at 11000 Riverview Drive on the northern tip of the city of St. Louis might contain some of the most expensive dirt in the city.

Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the Interstate 270 bridge, the property is owned by Tony Daniele and his wife, Beth. Along with their partner, Illinois banker Mark Repking, they have grandiose plans for a lighthouse, a hotel, restaurants and a public marina.

Daniele, a former city police officer, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in 1988 for his role in a police pension fraud and extortion scheme. Repking did a year in federal prison in 2007 in a bank embezzlement case. Their attorney, Bill Kuehling, says they’re really “good guys” trying to do something important for the city.

Their property, though, has the sort of history that should worry aldermen scheduled on Wednesday to consider one of two bills regarding Pier St. Louis, which would create a Community Improvement District and allow the developers to recoup about $9 million in sales taxes on the site over 20 years for investment in “public infrastructure.”

In the mid-1980s, the property was a golf course that was regularly flooded. It also was part of a development scheme pitched by developer Floyd Warmann. The Democratic insider and power broker floated several big ideas along the riverfront over the years, from a casino to an entertainment barge.

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