Neal Richardson

Chairman, President & CEO, St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

Neal Richardson leads SLDC with passion and purpose. A St. Louis native and resident, investing in Economic Justice in North St. Louis is personal for Neal.

Neal Richardson is the President & CEO of St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC), the independent economic development agency serving the City of St. Louis, Mo. He reports directly to the Mayor, leads SLDC’s Board of Directors and is the Executive Director of the Missouri State Chartered Development Entities (Development Boards) that advance economic development activity for the City of St. Louis, which are under SLDC’s purview:

  • Port Authority Commission of the City of St. Louis
  • Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA)
  • Land Reutilization Authority (LRA)
  • Industrial Development Authority (IDA)
  • Clean Energy Development Board (CEDB)
  • Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board (EEZ)
  • The St. Louis Development Company (LDC)
  • Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA)
  • Tax Increment Financing Commission (TIF)

Since taking SLDC’s lead role in June 2021, Neal’s focus has been on intentionally implementing city-wide economic development activities aimed at creating equitable economic opportunity for all St. Louis residents, businesses and neighborhoods to thrive.

His leadership has brought to fruition an Economic Justice Action Plan to strategically guide the unprecedented $246 million of federal funds committed by the City of St. Louis to the investment in marginalized communities in St. Louis — particularly North City. The plan is comprised of three strategic pillars: economic empowerment, equitable & inclusive development and neighborhood transformation.

To sustain the Economic Justice Action Plan through and beyond 2026, Neal led the charge to establish the recently launched Economic Justice Accelerator, a fund designed to leverage $1 billion of public funding, private equity and philanthropic investment.

During his tenure at SLDC so far, Neal has rebranded and restructured the organization, grown its staff by 20% and doubled its budget. His leadership has also been instrumental in reforming the economic development incentive process and the programs and policies of the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), which is the oldest land bank in the country. Neal’s SLDC team has distributed $4.5 million of grants to 900 small businesses, established a $14 million housing development fund, secured $90 million of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) allocations and opened an Economic Empowerment Center to serve business owners and entrepreneurs in the city’s long-neglected Northside neighborhoods.

Neal also directs and manages various SLDC programs and opportunities meant to close the wealth gap through affordable housing and homeownership, access to low-cost capital for small/minority- and women-owned businesses and investing in neighborhood revitalization.

Additionally, Neal has negotiated and facilitated several major business attraction, retention and expansion projects in St. Louis, including the Butler Brothers Building, Cortex TIF, Midtown Target, Top Golf, The Armory, Albion and Procter & Gamble’s $180 million expansion, which St. Louis won after a competitive national search.

Neal earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Webster University. Prior to joining SLDC, his professional experience included over 15 years in the real estate finance and community development industry.

Neal is involved in the broader issues of youth development and social justice. His passion is to build social equity through financially empowering marginalized people and communities.

Professional Affiliations:

  • FOCUS St. Louis Board of Directors – Member (2020 – 2021)
  • City Gardens Montessori School – Chair of Coalition of Neighborhood Diversity and Housing Justice
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis – Friends Group (2014 – 2016)
  • InspireSTL – Mentor (2014 – 2016)

Awards & Recognition:

  • 2022 Public Sector Executive of the Year – MoKan (St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center)
  • 2022 Emerging Alumni Award – FOCUS
  • 2022 Power 100 – Delux Magazine
  • 2022 100+ People Shaping St. Louis – St. Louis Magazine
  •  2020 Rising Star in Community Building – Community Builders Network
  • 2020 Dreamer Award – LaunchCode
  • 2019 Young Game Changer – Webster University
  • 2019 40 Under 40 – St. Louis Business Journal
  • John D. Buckner Citizen of The Year – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Epsilon Lambda Chapter

Contact Information


Phone: (314) 657-3703
Fax: (314) 613-7011

1520 Market Street, Suite 2000
St. Louis, Missouri 63103

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