UNIVERSITY CITY (KMOX) – Joe Edwards hopes to break ground later this year on a trolley line through the Delmar Loop and into Forest Park.
The Federal Transit Administration, in May, is expected to release $3 million to pay for design and engineering work on the project.
Edwards says he still has to privately raise $5 to 7 million more to hit the magic $40 million mark needed to cover construction costs.
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“There are enough philanthropists, enough great corporations in St. Louis, that believe in the future of St. Louis, that that money will be donated and obtained in the next couple of months,” he predicts.
In other cities, Edwards says trolley lines have resulted in economic development, increased tourism and more stable neighborhoods.
“It’s going to be marvelous,” he says. “It’s really the future, as far as of attracting the creative class, the young professionals to stay here, to come back to St. Louis and start their business here.”
Long-term, his vision includes trolley lines around Forest Park, to the Central West End and over to Grand Center.
Edwards owns Blueberry Hill, the Pin-Up Bowl, the Moonrise Hotel and the Pageant, and says he’s been working since 1997 to restore tracks to the Loop, which is named for an old trolley line.