Union Station undergoing $30 million renovation

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Bob O'Loughlin can't wait for a year from now, when he says this train station will take on a new look.

"I think people will be pleasantly surprised with what they see in the end, and I think we'll bring it back to lots of people wanting to come here," says Bob O'Loughlin the Chairman of Lodging Hospitality management.

O'Loughlin's Lodging Hospitality Management, or LHM, bought the behemoth last year and have already converted a section of the former midway into a 50,000 square space exhibition hall.

"So now we'll have 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space which will be very unique," says O'Loughlin.  "Not many hotels in the country have this kind of space.  We've already booked ten conventions that were really excited about this."

He's also excited about the grand hall, where a 3D show will depict the history of union station.

On Tuesday, U.S. Bank's Community Development Corporation closed on more than $3 million of new markets tax credit equity to support the rehabilitation of union station.

"What we've done with St. Louis Center and the MX and now the MX district is really very simple, which is, to take what was or could be considered a black eye in downtown and making it part of what is a new economy," says U.S. Bank Chairman Zack Boyers.

So the train station that opened in 1894 is in the midst of a $50-60 million renovation that should be done this time next year.

"There's nothing like it in the country," says O'Loughlin.  "I would say this is one of the top six train stations in the world. You couldn't replicate this. It's just a phenomenal facility, and it should be restored and it should be kept alive."

And that means more memories will be made in a familiar old location.

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