This week, the Senate Economic Development Committee gave initial approval to the Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act, a Greater St. Louis, Inc. public policy priority this legislative session. The Missouri House Economic Development Committee also heard testimony on the legislation.

Introduced in partnership with Greater St. Louis, Inc. by Senator Steve Roberts and Representative Travis Wilson, the Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act would establish a state program to incentivize the conversion of vacant office space in Missouri’s downtowns and along its Main Streets into vibrant residential space.

“Missouri has a tremendous opportunity to become a national leader in the revitalization of Downtowns and Main Streets into vibrant residential spaces through the conversion of office space that is currently vacant or not in use,” said Adam Kazda, Vice President of Government Relations for Greater St. Louis, Inc. “The Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act will bring a resurgence to these areas across the state, including drawing more people to our corridors of commerce, increasing the availability of housing, and helping small businesses located in Downtowns and Main Streets in the St. Louis metro and across the state.”

The Legislation, SB 792 and HB 1935, makes available a 25% credit for qualifying office conversion projects. There is a $50 million program cap with a separate $50 million cap for the conversions of buildings over 750,000 square feet. This credit could be combined with the federal and state Historic Tax Credit program.

 “I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Economic Development and Tax Policy committee and Greater St. Louis, Inc for their support,” said Roberts. “This bi-partisan passage is the first step toward ensuring Downtown St. Louis and Main Streets across Missouri are vibrant economically and culturally.“This bill’s passage is critical to reducing crime, lowering housing costs, and bringing small businesses and amenities back to Downtown St. Louis.”

Both bills also ensure that Main Street districts benefit by reserving a significant portion of funding for these local business districts.

“The Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act is a crucial piece of legislation that will pave the way for redeveloping some of our most vital buildings in Downtown St. Louis and Kansas City as well as Main Streets throughout Missouri,” said Wilson.

The pandemic changed the habits of Missouri’s workforce, shifting businesses and workers to hybrid and remote work environments, leaving many vacant buildings in downtowns and Main Streets across Missouri. Greater St. Louis, Inc. believes this legislation will help revitalize the urban core and commercial corridors throughout the metro, as called for in the STL 2030 Jobs Plan.

“As we traveled across the St. Louis metro area to hear from Main Street businesses, business owners and civic leaders identified this as a critical need,” added Kazda.

Greater St. Louis, Inc. is leading a statewide coalition to pass the Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act this year in the Missouri General Assembly. Members of the coalition testifying in support of the legislation include Foss and Company, Builders’ Association AGC of Kansas City, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, MO, American Institute of Architects of Missouri, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri REALTORS®, Missouri Growth Association, and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act: Topline Details

  • 25% credit for expenditures related to converting a qualified office building.
  • Credit capped at $50 million annually with a separate $50 million annual cap for the conversion of buildings over 750,000 square feet.
  • 25% of credit is reserved for Missouri Main Street Districts.
  • 30% credit for expenditures to convert upper floor housing located in Main Street Districts.


Greater St. Louis, Inc. has developed a shareable one pager on this legislation.