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

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

Mayor Len Pagano said that once people move here, they tend to stay. But when they go, they come back, like him.

Pagano first came to St Peters in 1976. Speaking at City Hall, he said he often honors employees who retire with 30 years of service and that St Peters is full of city employees who take responsibility for what they do.

St. Peters is home to 25 parks, all with WiFi, and about 25 miles of hiking trails. The city even has a new all-inclusive playground and sensory park. Officials said Money Magazine took notice of St. Peters on more than one occasion. Local residents said there was a good reason.

Roshandre Hampton of St Peters said: “It’s a beautiful community, a beautiful area. I have young children and I wanted to give them the opportunity to get a good education.”

Megan Richards said: “We just like the amenities out here. Lots to do between the RecPlex and all the great restaurants and shopping.”

St. Peters has three pools scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. Parks and recreation areas have no shortage of lifeguards. Pagano said he was told they pay lifeguards the highest rate in the county — $14.50 to start with.

Pagano began public office as a city councilor in 1983. St. Peters has seen much growth and success since then, and Pagano shares the credit with others.

“I have to get back to the quality of life because the team that’s here knows what it takes to be successful,” he said.

Pagano utters this phrase frequently when answering questions about why residents or business people come and stay in St. Peters.

“See the population sign?” refers to a large metal sign on a bookshelf in his office. “This is the original, 1959 – 404 residents.”

And how big is the population now?

“About 60,000,” he said.

St. Peters is about more than just great landscaping, although the city certainly has a lot to offer.

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

Home to Amazon, Fedex, Medline, Rawlings and others, the Premiere 370 Business Park encourages business development and job growth.

“It went through the roof,” Pagano said. “10,000 jobs were created with ease.”

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

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

Pat McCurren, owner of Mattress Direct, said: “Government has been great. The city leaders and mayor have done a great job creating an environment in which we can thrive.”

St. Peters also has an administrative process called Fastrac, which essentially removes the paperwork for prospective businesses. Pagano said that means having the team members he appreciates so often at the table.

“If something happens and development occurs, planning, 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 has been re-elected four times. When asked what’s next for him, Pagano said he plans to run again. At the northbound end of Mid Rivers Drive is an opportunity for another development that he would like to promote.

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