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Union Station opening gala

More than 20,000 members of St. Louis' high society attended a gala christening party in the terminal's Grand Hall to mark the opening of Union Station in 1894.

The $66 million redo of Union Station is getting an infusion of $3 million from the sale of federal New Markets Tax Credits.

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp., based in St. Louis, said today it has closed on the tax credit deal to support the Union Station rehab.

“We take great pride in ensuring the iconic property has an equally dynamic future,” Zack Boyers, chairman U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, said in a statement.

Lodging Hospitality Management bought Union Station last year for $20 million and announced plans to refurbish the station's hotel, expand meeting facilities and remodel the moribund retail space beneath the station's train shed.

Construction of the first phase of the development, which focuses on the hotel and meeting areas, is underway and is expected to be completed by April.

“Our goal is to bring the value of Union Station back to its full potential,” said Bob O’Loughlin, LHM's chairman.”

Station projects include construction of an exhibit hall, repair of the MetroLink stop and renovation of the Grand Hall, which will have a video display narrated by actor John Goodman, the Affton native known for his booming voice.

Redevelopment plans also include relocation and rehab of some retail and restaurant tenants, plus conversion of existing retail space as offices for start-up companies, expanding businesses and other entrepreneurs, officials said.

U.S. Bank’s $3 million purchase comes from New Markets credits the St. Louis Development Corp. allocated to the Union Station redevelopment. Additional financing comes from a $30 million loan from Enterprise Bank & Trust, sale of state and federal historic preservation tax credits and proceeds from Union Station's two special-benefit taxing districts.

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