SLDC Allocates 5 million of New Markets Tax Credits to Evolution St Louis

To aid in the redevelopment of the Historic Garment District

September 25, 2019 | 2 min reading time

This article is 5 years old. It was published on September 25, 2019.

St. Louis, MO– St. Louis Development Corporation recently allocated up to $5 million of New Markets Tax Credits to Evolution St. Louis, for the redevelopment of the building located at 3830 Washington Avenue, which is in the historic Garment District. Evolution St. Louis requested these funds to support the development of their new tech knit manufacturing facility.

“This is fantastic news for Evolution St Louis,” said Otis Williams, SLDC executive director. “New Markets Tax Credits have been a tremendous tool for us as we seek to redevelop and strengthen the City’s low-income neighborhoods.”

St. Louis once had a rich history in the garment industry stretching back to the 1930’s. At that time, St. Louis was second only to New York City in garment manufacturing and Washington Avenue claimed more shoe manufacturers than any other street in the world. But, over time manufacturing moved off shore and the industry disappeared.

Susan Sherman, of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund has been working hard to revive the Garment District and knew St. Louis needed a local, high tech factory that could work with US fashion brands and turn out high-quality products with quick turnaround times. She was successful in attracting Evolution St. Louis to the downtown area. The company will fill that role, and also become a quality producer that attracts new business from around the globe.

“We chose St. Louis for its rich heritage in the fashion industry and deep roots in manufacturing,” said Jon Lewis, co-founder of Evolution St. Louis. “Evolution St. Louis will establish a new industry sector for the knit category based in St. Louis while also creating the supply chain of the future, with mentoring and structured training for in-demand, high-tech jobs at our factory. We truly appreciate the enormous support and shared vision from the SLDC, local leaders and our investors."

Evolution St. Louis will create 50-60 new jobs within the first 3 years, with additional jobs to added as the company expands, while also bringing high tech manufacturing to the United States. The company will provide critical support industry and providing critical support for major brands, boutique designers and emerging, direct-to-consumer fashion entrepreneur.  

SLDC has funded a great number projects representing millions in NMTC, leveraging more $1 billion in total project costs. These investments have created and retained over 5,000 jobs for St. Louisans and provide essential goods and services to City residents. 

For each allocation process, SLDC issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) to attract quality projects with the most impactful use of the tax credits. An advisory group reviews and makes recommendations on which projects should receive the tax credits. The SLDC Board of Directors has the final approval.

Previous allocations have been used to assist projects including Big Brothers Big Sisters, the new headquarters of the Deaconess Foundation, the expansion of the Paraquad headquarters, the new development at 4220 Duncan in the CORTEX facility and the redevelopment of the historic International Shoe building.

About St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) is an umbrella, not-for-profit corporation organized under Chapter 355 of the Missouri State Statutes with the mission of fostering economic development and growth in the City of St. Louis by stimulating the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City.  The mission of the SLDC is to stimulate the market for private investment in City real estate and business development and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in, and visits the City of St. Louis. If there are questions, please contact John Parker, Director of Corporate Communications and Media at 314-363-1102 or email him at

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