St. Peters: A look at city’s growing population, businesses

The city in St. Charles County now boasts a population of nearly 60,000 people.

ST. PETERS, Mo. — There is much good to be found in St. Peters, including business development and amenities.

Mayor Len Pagano said once people move here, they tend to stay. But if they do leave, they come back, like he did.

Pagano first came to St. Peters in 1976. He said at city hall, he is frequently honoring employees who retire with 30 years of service, and St. Peters is filled with city employees who take ownership in what they are doing.

St. Peters is home to 25 parks, all equipped with WiFi, and about 25 miles of trails. The city even has a new, all-inclusive playground, and a sensory park. Officials said Money Magazine has taken notice of St. Peters more than once. Residents said it is for good reason.

St. Peters resident Roshandre Hampton said, “It’s a nice community, a nice area. I have young kids and wanted to give them the opportunity to have a good education.”

Megan Richards said, “We just really like the amenities out here. There is a lot to do, between the RecPlex and all the great restaurants and the shopping.”

St. Peters has three pools, scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. Parks and Recreation do not have a lifeguard shortage. Pagano said he is told they pay lifeguards the highest rate in the county – $14.50 to start.

Pagano first started serving in public office in 1983 as an alderman. St. Peters has seen a lot of growth and success, since then, and Pagano shares the credit with others.

“I got to go back to quality of life, because the team that’s here – they know what we need to be successful,” he said.

Pagano utters that line frequently when answering questions about why residents or business people come to St. Peters and stay.

“See that population sign?” referring to a large, metal sign on a bookcase in his office. “That’s the original, 1959 – population 404.”

And what’s the population, now?

“About 60,000,” he said.

St. Peters is about more than great landscaping, though the city certainly has that going for it.

Pagano said, “I really believe in curb appeal, and I have the best professionals to take care of all the flowers.”

Premiere 370 Business Park is home to Amazon, Fedex, Medline, Rawlings and others, fostering business development and job growth.

“That has gone through the roof,” Pagano said. “Easily, 10,000 jobs have come up out of the ground.”

Heavy Smoke BBQ and Mattress Direct are neighbors along the service road on the north side of Interstate 70.

Heavy Smoke owner Chris Shafer said, “Business in St. Peters is kind of amazing. The community that’s out here is second to none. There’s so many people supportive that are willing to get out. That was the case even during COVID, when we first opened.”

Pat McCurren, owner of Mattress Direct, said, “The government has been great. The city leaders, the mayor have done a great job establishing an environment where we can be successful.”

St. Peters also has an administrative process they call Fastrac, which is essentially eliminating red tape for prospective businesses. Pagano said that means having those team members he credits so often at the table.

“When things take place, and a development comes in, planning and zoning and staff will work together,” he said. “They say, ‘Yes, we can do this, and here’s what we need to do.’”

Pagano has been mayor since 2007, and he has been reelected four times. Asked what’s next for him, Pagano said he plans to run again. There’s an opportunity for another development on the end of Mid Rivers Drive, going north, that he would like to facilitate.

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