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"I love seeing the kids going past the big window behind me, but the tunnel is magic," said Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President & CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, at the opening of the Sea Lion Sound in 2012. Archived file photo

Saint Louis Zoo Association Agrees on Land Purchase in St. Louis County
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 11, 2018 - The Saint Louis Zoo Association and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 have entered into a purchase sale agreement for the union's 425-acre complex in north St. Louis County for $7.1 million, using privately donated funds. Pending a due diligence assessment, the Zoo Association would own the property as part of its long-range plan to help the Zoo's mission to conserve animals.

"We have long desired an expanded land area to provide the best possible care for animals, especially a place where we can focus on conservation breeding efforts with endangered animals and those that are at risk," said Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo. "There are very few parcels of land in the metropolitan area that could meet this need and we are grateful to have entered into this agreement with Local 562. The property offers great terrain, perimeter fencing, utilities, lakes, good buffers surrounding and existing buildings."

"The purchase will be made with local philanthropic gifts intended for procurement of this property. No taxpayer dollars were used," said Joseph T. Ambrose, President of the Saint Louis Zoo Association. "The Saint Louis Zoo is an incredible asset to the entire region and it is recognized as a world-class operation that provides tremendous economic value to our community. Maintaining the Zoo's world-class status requires the kind of forward thinking represented in this purchase."

Once the due diligence assessment is finalized over the next several months, the Zoo will embark on a plan to develop the property for the purposes of enhanced dedication and care for threatened and endangered animals. While specific details are not yet known, there also will likely be a public component to this property. This is similar to other zoos that have off-site conservation breeding facilities, and the public element offered often includes a wildlife and safari experience.

"As Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 leave a nearly 50-year legacy behind, we look forward to enhancing our training program for generations to come," said John O'Mara, Local 562 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer. "Since the late 1960s, this site has been the home of hardworking skilled craftsmen in the plumbing and pipefitting industry. This also was the place where families would gather after work and on weekends, keeping the tradition of brotherhood alive in Local 562."

"Local 562 is honored to sell this property to an organization that brings added value to the community," said O'Mara. "We are confident the property is being left in good hands and we wish the new owners continued success in the future."

"We are committed to maintaining our century-old campus in Forest Park, which has significant infrastructure needs, including modernization of habitats to meet evolving standards of care. We also have a tremendous need for additional space," said Bonner. "Today's announcement sets forth a bright and optimistic path for one of America's great zoological gems."

According to Bonner, The Staenberg Group (TSG) was instrumental in helping to secure the property. "We would like to extend a special thanks to Michael Staenberg, President at TSG, and Tim Lowe, Vice President of Leasing and Development at TSG."

"We are excited for our future," Bonner said. "With the development of this agreement, our Zoo will remain at the very forefront of zoological institutions in the world and preserve a great heritage for the greater St. Louis region."

10 Seasonal Vendor Spots Open for St. Louis Riverfront
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, March 11, 2018 - A Request for Proposals has been issued by the City of St. Louis Streets Department to secure vendors for the St. Louis riverfront beneath the Gateway Arch. Vendors must submit their application by Friday, March 9 for consideration. Details can be found at

On the renovated St. Louis riverfront, new bike paths connect to regional trails, ramps on the east slopes of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial provide accessible routes from the cobblestone levee all the way to the Gateway Arch, new lights provide great illumination, event power is available throughout, and the whole area has been raised to reduce flooding.

Now, CityArchRiver partners Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis Development Corp., and the City of St. Louis are seeking vendors to enhance and enliven this central space where St. Louis history began and 2.5 million visitors from all over the world visit annually. The effort is part of revitalizing the unique setting as a destination for shopping and recreation for tourists and locals alike.

A request for proposals is now available for interested entrepreneurs. Partners are seeking a diversity of vendors for foods, beverages, souvenirs, merchandise, rentals, and more. Ten dedicated spaces are available on Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. between the Poplar Street Bridge and the Eads Bridge under the Gateway Arch. Eight of these spaces have electricity available.

The RFP states that vendors must commit to have a presence on the riverfront seven hours per day, six days per week, May 1st through September 31st, 2018, weather permitting. If vendors would like to continue past those months, they may do so at a schedule of their own choosing between 6:00am and 10:00pm. Schedule may vary; vendors are not guaranteed space to vend during some special events. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to collaborate on creative proposals or rotating options for the same booth to cover such a large commitment.

To review the RFP, visit the City of St. Louis Street Department website at: Potential vendors have until March 9 to submit proposals, $100 non-refundable processing fee, $500 deposit to the Port Authority (refunded in April if not chosen, May 1st upon successful setup of space). Project partners expect to determine placements by end of March.

For questions about the RFP process, contact Matt Brinkmann, CityArchRiver Foundation Special Events & Programming Manager, at

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