City, state given the opportunity for Ballpark Village second phase

  

ST. LOUIS – Building on the overwhelming success of the first phase of Ballpark Village the St. Louis Cardinals have announced their plans for the second phase in the Ballpark Village economic development project.

The project will create roughly 2,500 jobs, 1,000 of which will be permanent jobs in the downtown area in the city’s center.

The current Ballpark Village is a dining and entertainment hub near Busch Stadium that to many has revitalized downtown, but the Gateway to the West’s most famous sports franchise has a $220 million plan to install a high-end office complex, shops, a 29-story apartment building and a parking structure along Clark Ave.

The Cardinals and downtown economic development are now only waiting on the city’s sign off on a small incentive package.  The city has the opportunity to make the development happen for roughly $66 million in tax incentives.

The incentive plan would expire in 2037. The Cardinals organization, along with their contractor the Cordish Companies, made their case for tax breaks on the development at a board of aldermen meeting Wednesday.

The committee on Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee delayed action after some aldermen opposed to economic development in the downtown corridor began an obstructionist effort.

The Cardinals hope to break ground on Ballpark Village’s second phase in the Fall 2017 possibly even before the season ends, and be completed by the Spring of 2019.

The first phase of Ballpark Village broke ground in 2013, coincidentally the last time the Cardinals were in the World Series.

The St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC), which manages and evaluates economic development for the city, supported the proposal.

Some of the concerns from the SLDC included a belief that 80 percent of revenue earned from dining in Ballpark Village may come from other sources within city limits.

However, the SLDC noted that these were conservative estimates, which Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said he understood.

“The city’s rightfully being conservative and not overly subsidizing something that doesn’t need it,” DeWitt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.