St. Louis Cardinals: Phase Two Of Ballpark Village Is On The Way
By Trevor Hooth
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced a second phase of Ballpark Village five times the size of phase one. These will be the first buildings to be constructed in downtown since 1989. The construction is set to start next year and be completed by 2019.
This project is going to cost the St. Louis Cardinals 220 million dollars. The second phase includes a 29-story apartment complex that will have a view of the field. The second phase will also include restaurants and office buildings as well as entertainment spaces.
In all, the city of St. Louis expects this second phase to create 1,000 jobs to fill the offices. There will also be an estimated 1,500 construction jobs required to create this 500,000 square foot area. Officials stand behind this project, believing it will be very beneficial once completed.
To help fund phase two, the team has asked the city to change a key item in the development agreement. The St. Louis Cardinals would like to add a sales tax to Ballpark Village. The tax is going to be used, along with debt investment by the development team and private equity, to pay for this addition.
"“[This is a] strong investment by the Cardinals and demonstrates their commitment to the city of St. Louis.” – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay"
One of the main reasons for this addition was spurred by the move of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Mayor Francis Slay says this plan is a “Strong investment by the Cardinals and demonstrates their commitment to the city of St. Louis.”
Once this project is completed, the St. Louis Development Corp. projects four million dollars in tax revenue projected through 2037. That number comes into play because of the vote that just got pushed back to November 30th.
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The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will be taking a vote soon on the proposal and its elements. The vote is going to be over the portion of the 65 million dollars in tax incentives that will be invested towards the project.
The projected tax revenue is one of the main arguments in favor of the project. Assuming the measure passes, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt does not expect the timetable to be delayed at all; the goal of 2019 will remain intact.
When Busch Stadium was built in 2006, plans for phase one of Ballpark Village immediately began. The construction of that was delayed due to the recession. Now that it is built, however, it has enhanced the overall experience of going to the ballpark.
Phase one contains the Cardinals Hall of Fame, several restaurants, and an open space with a big screen to show the game. And when the St. Louis Cardinals game is over, Blues games are shown there too.
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Concerns have been voiced about the cost of phase two, but- putting those aside- it must be admitted that phase two will add more to the overall experienced gained by the fans. Mayor Slay is right, the construction shows a dedication to the fans and that makes a statement of loyalty. More information about costs and the timetable of phase two will be available on November 30th; stay tuned.