Clayco is partnering with US Equities to build the project, witha small share by St. Louis-based Hutkin Development Co., which willhandle the retail portion, Chapman says. "There's still a number ofapprovals that have to be done with the city, the county and theschool district, and Clayton has to approve the density andarchitecture review that's part of the public process," he tellsGlobeSt.com on Tuesday.

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His company joined with Brown Shoe last week in gaining about$14 million in incentives to help fund the project, including $6million in tax credits and $8 million in BUILD construction bonds.According to a Brown Shoe statement, the company will seek to gainmore than $43 million in incentives for the project.

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Officials from the state and city did not return calls forcomment, and a Brown Shoe spokeswoman refused to discuss theproject. In the company's statement, Gov. Matt Blunt said that theredevelopment will assure the creation of 700 new jobs and theretention of 600 existing jobs.

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Brown Shoe has been in the St. Louis area for about 130 years,and established its headquarters in Clayton in 1952. The firm,which has 13,000 employees worldwide, has 650 workers in thecurrent headquarters building. The company announced recently thatit would move its Madison, WI-based Famous Footwear chain, which itpurchased in 1981, to the Clayton area. About 270 employees will beoffered jobs and relocation assistance to the Clayton area, thecompany said in a statement. "Moving our Madison office, which hasthe smaller population of the two, will be the least disruptive toour business and our employees," said Famous Footwear president JoeWood in the statement.

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Brown Shoe chairman and CEO Ronald Fromm said in the statementthat the move will foster collaboration, increase the speed tomarket and strengthen a connection with consumers. "Additionally,we believe it will further enable us to attain our goal of doublingour rate of profitability while doubling our sales," Fromm said.His company operates 300 stores under the Naturalizer, Brown ShoeCloset, FX LaSalle and Franco Sarto names, as well as Shoes.com,and there are about 1,100 Famous Footwear stores nationwide.

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The venture building the project will reportedly make a $12million cash contribution to pay for infrastructure. After it isbuilt, the venture will then buy the property from Brown Shoe andwill lease it back to the company and the other tenants. "Clayton,the county seat for the St. Louis area, is a very desirabledowntown," Chapman says, in describing why his company wants to beinvolved in the project. "Brown Shoe were also looking to move toAddison, MO, St. Louis and even Texas, but they decided to stayhere. We want to help Brown get out of the real estatebusiness."

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He says the project will likely be done in more than two phases,with the first phase the construction of the 650,000-sf mainheadquarters building for Brown Shoe, being built on the site ofthe current building at 8500 Maryland. Then, the venture will teardown the existing headquarters facility and unused buildings on thesite, including 8400 Maryland, to make way for the rest of themixed-use project, which will include a 2,000-car parking garage."We have to wait until we have the first building done, so they canall move into it," Chapman says. Brown Shoe is also reportedlynegotiating with the Clayton School District, which has an acreavailable on the neighboring Clayton High School property.

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The Famous Footwear employees are expected to be relocated tothe current Brown Shoe headquarters by the end of this year.Construction for the new HQ will reportedly be complete bymid-2010.

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