Zoo offers to buy Grants Farm, Busch family member also bids - KMOV.com

Zoo offers to buy Grants Farm, Busch family member also bids

Posted: Updated: Nov 19, 2015 10:49 AM
SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

The St. Louis Zoo announced Wednesday it is offering to buy Grants Farm from the Busch Family Real Estate Trust.

The zoo believes it will cost $30 million to buy the site, which it wants to use for animal husbandry, research, and breeding endangered species.  According to the zoo, the purchase would cost around $30 million something the zoo believes can be financed privately. The deal would be contingent on the zoo raising enough money to run Grant’s Farm.

Shortly after the zoo’s bid was announced, Billy Busch said he has interest in buying Grant’s Farm. In a statement Busch said in part:

Maintaining continued Busch Family ownership of historic Grant’s Farm is something that was very important to my dad, Gussie Busch, who said so in his will, and it’s extremely important to me and my family. I grew up at Grant’s Farm, it was my home, and it still feels like home to me.

So, I too have recently made an offer to purchase Grant’s Farm from our family trust at a comparable price. If I am fortunate enough to become the sole owner, my goal is to continue Grant’s Farm as a major family and tourist destination, just as my father did for generations for all St. Louisans, their families and friends.

We could possibly also move our company offices there, add a small brewery, and make other enhancements for everyone’s enjoyment. It would be privately owned -- Busch Family-owned -- and would not have to be purchased or supported with any hard-earned taxpayer dollars from the public.

As I stated earlier, this is a complex issue, but it is in litigation. So, we have to see how it develops. I appreciate your interest.

Other members of the Busch family, who support a sale to the zoo also released a statement: 

 ”We are excited about the opportunity for the Zoo to acquire Grant’s Farm. Acquisition of Grant’s Farm by the Zoo will fulfill our father’s strong desire that this beloved institution be maintained intact for benefit of the community as a free animal attraction open to the public. Ownership and operation of Grant’s Farm by one of the world’s best zoos would assure that families will be able to enjoy a great outing at Grant’s Farm for many generations to come.”

In addition, Adolphus Busch spoke to News 4 saying Billy Busch could be the best option to take over. 

"He's the only family member, male descendant who lives in St. Louis," Adolphus Busch said. "He has his own beer company. He wants to carry on the legacy of his family and he wants to work with the zoo to accomplish their goals. I think at this time it would be better to stay in the family and let Billy work with the zoo towards that goal."

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