St. Louisans had a chance to review the framework of the expansion plans the Saint Louis Zoo is developing for the old Forest Park Hospital complex. Zoo officials unveiled some initial ideas for the 13 1/2 acre area across Interstate 64, south of the Zoo at an open house Wednesday evening.
Zoo President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Bonner explains what will be the first order of business once ground is broken. "We see immediate activity. We're going to go in and start renovating that seven story parking garage as quickly as we can. We'll do demolition for the main part of the hospital building as quickly as we can." Bonner went on to say, "The real planning starts now, when we take all of this wonderful input and then develop a strategic plan, what we're going to do for the next five, six or seven years."
Dr. Bonner says they are open and listening to many suggestions regarding the development. "I can see a commercial presence," he said. "I can see not doing it too, but I think it would be more welcoming place if there were certain services that we could provide for our visitors and, for that matter, neighbors and other people nearby."
The start date for renovations has not been determined.