Pinnacle Entertainment, the company that operates the Lumiere casino on Laclede's Landing, has announced plans to invest more than $11 million in several non-profit projects in downtown St. Louis.
The donations help the company fulfill part of its redevelopment agreement with the city, which was first drafted in 2004 and called for $50 million in investments by this December. They include:
- $5 million for the CityArchRiver 2015 project, including better pedestrian access among a variety of entertainment districts. There is no mention of an idea gaining popularity to remove the elevated section of Interstate 70
- A $6 million donation to the National Blues Museum planned for the new Mercantile Exchange development. It will serve as the foundational donation for the museum's soon-to-be launched final fundraising push, and allow construction to begin sooner than expected.
- A donation of land to the Great Rivers Greenway, the regional trail-building organization that would manage the revenue from a possible new sales tax for the CityArchRiver project. The parcel served as the parking lot for the old President casino, which was also a Lumiere property, and will help with GRG's plans to raise Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd. out of the floodplain.
- Pinnacle will pay $100,000 a year for the next five years for additional police presence in the area. The department will decide exactly how the money will be spent.
Mayor Francis Slay said in a statement that the donations once again demonstrate Pinnacle Entertainment's commitment to the city, and that he's grateful for the company's corporate citizenship. And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that because of the language in the redevelopment agreement, the $11 million donations allow the company to meet its redevelopment agreements and avoid penalties.