CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Chesterfield Mall will close at the end of 2023 to pave the way for new development. The Staenberg Group and CRG plan to build thousands of apartments and townhomes, as well as space for offices, retail, and restaurants on the mall site and nearby.

The developments stand to add new students to the Parkway and Rockwood school districts.

The City of Chesterfield projects up to 236 new students. The districts say it could be more than 840 students.

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The major disparity in those estimates was on display Tuesday night at a public hearing regarding a $353 million tax increment financing package tied to the development. Chesterfield officials say the TIF money would pay for the project’s public infrastructure components and not developers’ improvements.

Officials from the Parkway and Rockwood districts shared a letter with us they sent it to Chesterfield City Councilmembers last month. It details concerns about the TIF proposal. Among them, a potential lack of revenue to pay for the expected new students.

FOX 2 received a statement from the Parkway School District. It reads, in part: “The current TIF proposal does not provide adequate financial resources to educate 800 new students and we don’t currently have the space in our schools.”

The City of Chesterfield responded with a statement that reads, in part: “The TIF projects that Parkway and Rockwood will receive more than $221.9 million in additional new tax revenue from the TIF, as compared to nearly $19 million without the TIF. Parkway suggests they lack capacity to add students while they have already experienced a loss of 767 students in the last four years and are projecting to lose 300 more by 2026. The City of Chesterfield values our partnership with our school districts. We disagree as to the TIF, but that does not suggest any animosity or lack of appreciation for what each other is responsible for, and how well they do it!”

The commission did not make a recommendation on the TIF proposal on Tuesday. They will meet again on Nov. 15. The Chesterfield City Council will ultimately decide the TIF’s fate, regardless of what the commission decides.