City seeks Union Station upgrades

The city council on Thursday passed a measure to ask for up to $5 million in state tax credits for upgrades to Union Station.

As part of the deal, the city would also provide up to $600,000 for streetscape improvements there.

If the Missouri Development Finance Board approves the tax credits, they would help raise about $10 million in private money for improvements and about $2 million for the station’s endowment fund.

The city approved another measure in January for the tax credit request, but the MDFB changed the rules after that, lawyers said, in effect requiring the city to spend some money to get the credits.

Station officials hope to raise the money quickly and get much of the work done by the 100th birthday of the station in 2014.

Among the proposed changes:

The Midwest’s largest 3-D digital theater screen that could stream interactive images worldwide.

A walkway would connect the digital theater, Science City, the Goittlieb Planetarium and an innovation center.

A bridge would link the station and the parking garage, and there would be new community events for various programs, such as urban gardening.

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