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We were proud to see Dutchtown persevere and move forward through the pandemic in 2020. Hand in hand with our neighbors, DT2 · Downtown Dutchtown made great strides in organizing volunteers, welcoming new businesses, securing improvements at Marquette Park, and much more. You can read about our 2020 here.

It’s another year later, and the global health crisis persists. Nonetheless, our community continued to progress in building a better Dutchtown for everyone. And for that, we should all be Dutchtown Proud.

Introducing Dutchtown Main Streets

In the summer of 2021, the organization formerly known as Downtown Dutchtown (DT2 for short) unveiled a new name: Dutchtown Main Streets. While the organization had previously had a broader scope than just the area around Meramec and Virginia, we felt it was important to let our neighbors know our belief that every street in Dutchtown is a Main Street.

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Dutchtown-based developer Lutheran Development Group is always up for a challenge. At the tail end of 2021, LDG and their co-developer Rise Community Development announced that they had secured funds for the Marquette Homes project, adding 60 affordable apartments across 14 severely deteriorated buildings and vacant lots in Dutchtown and Gravois Park. Prior to that, this partnership resuscitated 15 buildings in the neighborhood with their Chippewa Park project. Now they’ve announced the acquisition and planned rehab of a long-troubled property at 3025 Chippewa Street.

Floor plans for 3025 Chippewa Street.
Click to see floor plans.

Sitting on the Dutchtown-Gravois Park border at Chippewa and Minnesota, the two-story building is catty-corner from Lutheran Development Group’s headquarters. The building is over 7,700 square feet, anchored at the corner by a commercial space. Global Mart, a known haven for drug sales, gun violence, and other nuisance activity, formerly occupied the storefront. LDG worked with neighbors to get Global Mart shut down in 2021 and restored some peace to the corner of Chippewa and Minnesota.

LDG plans to rehab 3025 Chippewa from the ground up, providing eight affordable apartments for residents at or below 60% of the area median income. They will also be seeking a suitable tenant for the 650 square foot commercial space at the corner.

3025 Chippewa Street on the Dutchtown/Gravois Park border.

Funding the Rehab of 3025 Chippewa

The estimated cost of the acquisition and complete renovation will be $700,000. In addition to individual donations and traditional financing, a significant portion of the project’s funding will come from benevolent Missouri state tax credits provided by the Affordable Housing Assistance Program (AHAP). Businesses can acquire these tax credits by making a project-specific donation to Lutheran Development Group. The credits then offset the businesses’ tax liability at a higher rate than a traditional charitable contribution deduction.

An Example of the Potential Tax Impact on Your Donation

(Please consult your tax professional—this example is for demonstration purposes only.)

A business with a net income of $100,000 would result in a tax liability of $6,250 (assuming a standard Missouri business tax rate of 6.25%). When that business makes a $10,000 charitable contribution and deducts the value from their taxable income, their tax burden would be reduced to $5,250 ($90,000 x 6.25%).

However, by utilizing AHAP tax credits, businesses receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction of their taxes due as opposed to a decrease in taxable income. Through AHAP, businesses receive tax credits equaling 55% of their donation. Therefore, the same donation of $10,000 nets $5,500 in tax credits. Assuming the same income and tax rate as illustrated above, the tax due is again $6,250. However, using the tax credits rather than a deduction, the business can offset their tax burden by $5,500—leaving their tax bill at just $750. The tax credits available through AHAP provide a great mechanism for maximizing your business’s philanthropic budget while supporting the positive transformation of our community.

For information about AHAP benevolent tax credits and qualifying donations, contact Vicki Schrader at vicki@ldgstl.org or (314) 922-9573.

3025 Chippewa Street on the Dutchtown-Gravois Park border.

More About Lutheran Development Group

Founded in 2015, Lutheran Development Group has invested more than $35 million in real estate development in south St. Louis City. Serving more than 200 households, LDG’s work includes the creation of over 200 affordable apartments, five single-family homes, the removal of blight from more than 140 vacant lots, and the development of education, arts, and community spaces.

With more than $30 million planned in future projects, LDG is not slowing down and is wholly dedicated to its mission of supporting individuals so they can live lives of purpose, in place, for community. We recently highlighted the exciting Marquette Homes affordable development project coming to Dutchtown and Gravois Park.

Support Lutheran Development Group

As mentioned above, businesses can take advantage of benevolent tax credits offered through the Affordable Housing Assistance Program. Contact Vicki Schrader to discuss your business’s donation.

Individual donations are of course always welcomed as well. Through a challenge grant from the Brown Sisters Foundation, new or increased donations to LDG may qualify for an additional match. Make your donation here.

Dutchtown Main Streets‘ Design Committee and the Dutchtown Community Improvement District want to help you spruce up your storefront! Businesses within the CID footprint can apply for grants of up to $500 for physical improvements to their street-facing façades. Our businesses’ front doors are the gateways to Dutchtown for many visitors, and an attractive entrance attracts economic activity and shows off the character of our neighborhood.

Grants will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants are funded by the Dutchtown CID.

The Application Process

Submit the required documents to apply for the grant. You can download a fillable PDF version of the application here or apply using the online form below. Along with the completed application, some documentation is required, including current photos of the façade conditions, descriptions and itemized costs of the planned improvements, and a letter of permission from the property owner if the applicant leases the space.

Dutchtown Main Streets’ Board of Directors review applications. The board will seek to determine that the application complies with the grant terms. Properties to be improved must be located in the Dutchtown CID footprint and the planned improvements must meet design recommendations.

Applicants complete improvements. Once the applicant has received provisional approval from the Board, work must begin within 90 days and be completed within six months. Improvements that are underway prior to the approval of the application do not qualify for reimbursement. If the work cannot be completed within the required timeframe, the applicant will need to request an extension and provide information on the cause of the delay.

Submit for final approval and get reimbursed. Once the work is complete, the applicant will submit post-project documentation including photos of the completed project and a breakdown of project spending. The board will review the submissions to ensure the project followed guidelines, and as long as the work meets requirements, a check for the requested grant (up to $500) will be issued.

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Welcome to the first issue of the Dutchtown Dividend, a quarterly newsletter for the Dutchtown business community! We’re here to keep you posted on what’s going on at Dutchtown Main Streets and to let you know about resources and opportunities available to local businesses. If you’d like to get these updates in your inbox, email us at info@dutchtownstl.org.

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Want to get involved with Dutchtown and neighborhood organizing? We have an opportunity for you! 

Dutchtown Main Streets seeks a liaison to work with the boards of our organization and the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO). SLACO is a 501(c)(3) with a 40-year history of strengthening our neighborhoods in St. Louis, currently representing a coalition of 33 neighborhood organizations across the city.

Through SLACO, you’ll have a chance to find out how other St. Louis neighborhoods find success in tackling issues such as vacancy, safety, and beautification. You’ll also be able to share what’s working in Dutchtown and receive feedback to bring back to our community. As a “City of Neighborhoods,” your collaboration with other communities and organizations across the city can potentially impact not only Dutchtown but St. Louis as a whole.

Dutchtown and SLACO have been great partners in recent years. Together we organized the Keep It Clean neighborhood cleanup around Marquette Park in the fall of 2021. SLACO has worked with Dutchtown organizations to implement our growing block organizing efforts. And more broadly, SLACO has provided consulting and advocacy services for Dutchtown as well.

As a member, Dutchtown Main Streets can designate one representative and one alternate to the SLACO Board of Directors. We are seeking applicants from the community who are interested in being Dutchtown’s SLACO representative. The only requirement is that you be 18 years or older and reside in the greater Dutchtown area.

Representatives are asked to attend SLACO’s board meetings and report back to Dutchtown organizations—Dutchtown Main Streets, Dutchtown South Community Corporation, and others—on SLACO initiatives and possible partnerships with Dutchtown.

Applicants can send an email of interest to info@dutchtownstl.org (or via our contact form) providing their name, address, and a brief suggestion for how the applicant would represent Dutchtown at SLACO in order to facilitate bringing back positive change to their neighbors. This is an unpaid volunteer position.