By Hillary Wicai, KWMU
St. Louis – Local and state officials gathered at the recently re-opened Renaissance Hotel Wednesday to herald another completed phase of St. Louis downtown revitalization.
Missouri Governor Bob Holden says the $265 million hotel project is key to turning an area of economic distress into success, saying "the redevelopment of these once grand architectural creations along the Washington Avenue corridor is truly a moment of pride and excitement for the people of St. Louis and one of revitalized hope for the downtown economy."
The state contributed $24 million in historic tax credits, an $18 million loan, as well as other tax credits and bonds.
The hotel used to be known as the Statler Hotel. It was built in 1917 but fell into disrepair before its closing in the 1980s.
Mayor Francis Slay says the revamp is important to revitalizing downtown. "When people come down this street now, the contruction equipment is moved. Washington Avenue is open," he said. "The hotel is as beautiful and magnificent as anyone could have imagined or described."