2018 Predictions

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
pattimagee wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:17 pm
With all of the development and tax incentives going on, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Zoo Expansion happen this year considering... I was driving by this weekend, and it was packed to the gills - would be a good time for companies/businesses/people to throw some of that extra money toward it.
I wouldn't bet on it, IMO. The latest released version of the Zoo's Master Plan (from nearly 2 years ago) didn't really have the expansion projects finished until the early 2040s.

The zoo first has to get through a ~$50 million deferred maintenance backlog, while simultaneously trying to find a suitable location within STL County upon which to construct a conservation/breeding area, something costing nearly 9-figures to build and nearly $10 million annually in operational costs (the attempted purchase of Grant's Farm was basically supposed to fulfill this). That's all a big ol' chunk o' change, especially when you consider the zoo only gets on average $60 million annually from all sources of revenue.

The expansion would include the South Campus across 64 (as well as a bridge and a gondola across to the primary zoo), turning the South Parking Lot into a 13-acre African savannah exhibit, re-branding the southern half of Historic Hill, and re-branding all of Red Rocks. That all's a hefty 9-figure sum when it's all said and done.

I'd love for everything to happen sooner, but unless *several* donors with very deep pockets step forward and donate copious amounts to the zoo, I don't see any "expansion" happening until at least the next decade (not counting the breeding center). :(

I'd be ecstatic to be proven wrong though.
Trololzilla wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:08 am
pattimagee wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:17 pm
With all of the development and tax incentives going on, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Zoo Expansion happen this year considering... I was driving by this weekend, and it was packed to the gills - would be a good time for companies/businesses/people to throw some of that extra money toward it.
I wouldn't bet on it, IMO. The lastest released version of the Zoo's Master Plan (from nearly 2 years ago) didn't really have the expansion projects finished until the early 2040s.

The zoo first has to get through a ~$50 million deferred maintenance backlog, while simultaneously trying to find a suitable location within STL County upon which to construct a conservation/breeding area, something costing nearly 9-figures to build and nearly $10 million annually in operational costs (the attempted purchase of Grant's Farm was basically supposed to fulfill this). That's all a big ol' chunk o' change, especially when you consider the zoo only gets on average $60 million annually from all sources of revenue.

The expansion would include the South Campus across 64 (as well as a bridge and a gondola across to the primary zoo), turning the South Parking Lot into a 13-acre African savannah exhibit, re-branding the southern half of Historic Hill, and re-branding all of Red Rocks. That all's a hefty 9-figure sum when it's all said and done.

I'd love for everything to happen sooner, but unless *several* donors with very deep pockets step forward and donate copious amounts to the zoo, I don't see any "expansion" happening until at least the next decade (not counting the breeding center). :(

I'd be ecstatic to be proven wrong though.
Isn't the conservation/breeding area also a way to expand the Zoo/Museum district? Mainly to offer building it in an adjacent county if they join it? Also putting it in an adjacent county would likely be easier to do due to more available land and a choice in terrain.
imperialmog wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:23 am
Isn't the conservation/breeding area also a way to expand the Zoo/Museum district? Mainly to offer building it in an adjacent county if they join it? Also putting it in an adjacent county would likely be easier to do due to more available land and a choice in terrain.
It could very well be. However, the one caveat I've consistently heard is that it must be easily accessible/relatively close to the Zoo due to its nature as a breeding area. This leaves only a few decent places left in the County that provide the space needed for such an endeavor, match the access issues, and are also up for sale - once the Grant's Farm deal fell through, the Zoo quickly pivoted to an out-of-use golf course fairly close to Forest Park in the County, though I can't remember which. Dunno what happened with that - perhaps someone has heard something more recent on that?

Hmm, I may as well mention that I think the Zoo owns a several hundred acre feed farm in Lincoln County(?) I believe, received via donation, that could potentially be used as such a breeding area, should Zoo officials deign it to be an acceptable location.