St. Louis, MO (KTRS) A new St. Louis attraction is one step closer to becoming a reality.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Thursday morning for the massive aquarium at Union Station in downtown St. Louis. This part of the $160 million project to transform the historic landmark into an entertainment destination. PGAV Destinations has designed the new attraction and once constructed, zoOceanarium Group will be the professional operators of the Aquarium.
“We’re very excited to have the nation’s top construction and design firms working with us on this project,” said Bob O’Loughlin, Chairman and CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM), which owns and operates Union Station.
“The fact that both McCarthy and PGAV Destinations are based in St. Louis means that they appreciate the value of Union Station’s history and its importance to our community.” O’Loughlin added.
The 120,000-square-foot St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station will be housed in the former mall area. The aquarium attraction will feature one-of-a-kind exhibits and tanks with 1,300,000 gallons of water containing thousands of aquatic animals from the rivers and oceans of the world. This includes animals from rivers in Missouri.
In addition, the project will offer 500 construction jobs and once it’s operational, it will bring more than 100 permanent jobs to the downtown area, according to LHM.
“We want to thank LHM for their investment in our community. Everyone at McCarthy and staff who will work on the project are all very excited,” said Ryan Freeman, Vice President of Operations at McCarthy.
“The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is an important and challenging project for the region. Building this aquarium, which is extremely complex construction, inside of the historic train shed is unique in its array of complexities. Having been headquartered here for the past 100 years, we’ve been able to build some of the most challenging projects around the region and we’re pleased to be a part of adding this exciting new landmark,” Freeman added.
Construction on the $45 million aquarium is scheduled to begin at the end of November. A completion date is expected in the summer of 2019.