Union Station
10:57 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Sale nears completion for St. Louis Union Station

Updated 5:44 p.m. with information from the St. Louis Business Journal.

St. Louis Union Station could soon get a transformation.

The one-time railroad terminal turned into a retail center has been struggling for many years. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that after a bidding process, a sale is nearing completion. Details of redevelopment plans have not been released.

The newspaper says two suburban St. Louis companies, Lodging Hospitality Management and THF Realty, are working to buy Union Station and redevelop the site in a $50 million renovation that includes some public financing. THF is owned by Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports today, however, that THF is no longer part of the deal:

The St. Louis Business Journal reported in February on a partnership between Lodging Hospitality Management’s Bob O’Loughlin and THF Realty’s Michael Staenberg to purchase Union Station.

Staenberg, however, said that neither he nor THF are part of the deal any longer.

“I’m not in the hotel business,” he said. “Once O’Loughlin closes on the deal, I’ll probably swing back around.”

The sale is under contract. Final details are being worked out.

St. Louis Development Corp. is considering a $5 million allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits to help the project.

Rodney Crim, executive director of St. Louis Development Corp., was excited about the potential to reinvigorate the sprawling station.

"We think it's a great asset in the city and a great asset in the region," Crim said.

Lodging Hospitality Management's chairman was out of the country and unreachable for comment. THF's president did not respond to interview requests.

The property's current owner, Union Station Holdings LLC, put the landmark up for sale last fall. The complex includes the 539-room Marriott Hotel and 160,000 square feet of retail space.

The runner-up redevelopment plan was submitted by Summit Development Group and Lawrence Group. Their idea: Turn the majority of the retail space into an indoor water park.

"Our vision was to do something that we thought was transformational for Union Station and create a true regional destination," Lawrence Group president Steve Smith said.

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