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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – Gaining momentum.

That's how one local construction leader describes the number of large building projects taking place around St. Louis. From the zoo expansion to a Mercedes Benz dealership just yards away… authorities say it's just getting started.

In the Central West End, the Whole Foods/City Walk apartment project is underway. So is the 10-year, $1 billion BJC Medical Center expansion.

Later this year, the Shriner's Hospital near Interstate 64 is expected to open. In the Highlands, the Cortana apartments recently opened.

"It's the beginning of a lot of things that are going to continue to be growing over the next couple of years," Len Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis, said.

He says a recent poll of local contractors shows they're optimistic that the recession is behind them.

"They're confident, they're hopeful and they're seeing projects continue to stay in the pipeline," he said.

Toenjes says St. Louis is in the first or second inning of a building boom that will transform the way the city looks.

"At the end of this five year period, the city is going to look significantly different than it did two years ago," he said.

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