Barnes-Jewish Hospital has made its first payment to the City as part of an agreement to extend a lease of City property adjacent to the hospital campus.
The initial payment provides $1 million to relocate the recreational facilities from the current site and $500,000 in a pro-rated share of the annual lease for April, May, and June 2007. Barnes-Jewish Hospital will make its first annual $2 million contribution in July to the Trust that has been established for the maintenance of Forest Park.
For more than 30 years, Barnes-Jewish Hospital has been responsible for all grounds and facility maintenance on this section of Forest Park, known informally as Hudlin Park after the tennis courts dedicated in memory of local tennis coach Richard Hudlin. The hospital's parking garage is situated beneath the property. The parcel of land was separated from the main body of Forest Park in the mid-1960s with the realignment of Kingshighway Boulevard.
Extension of the lease of the 9.4 acre parcel received final approval from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on March 2.
Annual payments will be adjusted for inflation. The funds will provide the park with a dedicated source of long-term financing for maintenance needs. The lease will also free up funds to allow the City to improve other parks and expand recreational programs.