ST. LOUIS – A study on the expansion of America’s Center in Downtown St. Louis is complete and will be delivered to the St. Louis County Council on Friday.
More than a year after the city closed on the sale of bonds for its half of the $210 million expansion and rehab of the America’s Center, St. Louis County has continued to resist issuing its half of the bonds amid a dispute over the financing of a recreation center in north St. Louis County, FOX 2’s partners at the Post-Dispatch reported.
St. Louis City’s board of public service is handling the construction bids and they initially delayed issuing a request for bids for the first half of the project due to the uncertainty over when the county would move. Just before Christmas, a working group of city and county officials approved putting the project’s first half out to bid. This is an $83 million expansion of exhibit hall space along Cole Street on the site of a recently demolished parking garage. Contractor responses are due by March 1, and a contractor should be chosen by early May.
St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas asked in November for the cost-benefit study of the convention center from the St. Louis economic development partnership. County budget officials said the pandemic’s hit to hotel taxes means it will be years before there is any excess to use for a new project. Councilwoman Rita Heard Days called for the county to back the project with a portion of its proceeds from a settlement with the NFL and Los Angeles Rams.
Final construction drawings for the second half of the project which includes the construction of a new public plaza on surface lots along the convention plaza and a new ballroom inside America’s Center should be complete by next month and go out to bid in April.