Developers say money for the $220 million project, which includes the Dillard's component, will come from private sources, loans, tax abatements, state assistance and historic preservation tax credits.
Putting parking on St. Louis Centre's upper floors will be done with ramps through much of the existing atrium and bridges over the rest. Law firm Thompson Coburn, which is in the neighboring US Bank tower, will get much of the parking in a deal reached last year in which the firm agreed to stay downtown.
Geisman said St. Louis Centre's redevelopment plan carries no guarantee of success but is worth the gamble to eliminate downtown's "black hole." The reworked mall will have the benefit of a growing downtown residential population -- estimated at 12,000 -- that didn't exist when St. Louis Centre opened.