Agency approves city part of financing for Kiel Opera House rehab

St. Louis – A city development agency has authorized the sale of more than $36 million in bonds to help rehab the Kiel Opera House.

The bonds are the first part of the $70 million needed to reopen Kiel as a performing arts venue. The property's owner and developer hoped to have it open by this Christmas, but the economic collapse made financing nearly impossible to get. Aldermen approved the redevelopment plan about a year ago.

A spokesman for SCP Worldwide, which owns Kiel as well as the St. Louis Blues, said the company is making "very good progress" securing the needed private financing, but would not give a timetable.

The Opera House has been vacant since 1991. When completed, it will compete with the Fox Theater for Broadway shows, but also have smaller performing spaces for regional theater groups.