Ballpark Village refers to a 12-acre area of St. Louis adjacent to the new Busch Stadium constructed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. The Cardinals have promised to develop the area with a combinantion of housing, hotels, shops, restaurants and offices after the construction of the new stadium is complete. The area consists of land cleared by the demolition of old Busch Stadium.
Ballpark Village will include approximately 250,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, 400 residential units, 450,000 square feet of office space, and 1,900 parking spaces. Confirmed occupants are the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum and an aquarium. The first phase of construction will include the rebuilding of Clark Street, the opening of Village Plaza, and the building of entertainment venues. The second and third phases will include the office and residential construction.
Planning for Ballpark Village began as far back as 1999 when the Cardinals seriously began looking at building a new downtown stadium. When plans for the new Busch Stadium were finalized, the Cardinals entered into an agreement with the City of St. Louis and have a significant stake in the completion of the development. The details of the agreement were that at least one block of the Village must be completed by 2007, while the entire development must be finished by 2011. If Ballpark Village is not completed by 2011, the Cardinals will pay a $3 million fine per year until the project is finished. As of August 2007 ground has not yet been broken on Ballpark Village.
On 8/22/07, the State of Missouri approved $29.6 million in subsidies for this project. The developer had originally stated that no public funding would be needed.
The developers that have planned this project have caused much controversy by planning for much more than the original budget, and asking the City of St. Louis to foot the bill. Many critics do not want so much taxpayer money spent on development of corporate commercial space while other facilities (such as the St. Louis Public Schools) are in shambles.
Questions have also been raised about the possible forced relocation of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, which is currently located near the stadium in an area the developer would like to build upon. The developer had been negotiating with the Hall of Fame about purchasing the building, but rumors of eminent domain use have come about.
The following video shows a model of the plans for Ballpark Village, and video of the actual vacant site. <youtube v="owIMpOw4e6o" />
- Cordish page on Ballpark Village
- City of St. Louis page on Ballpark Village
- Westendword.com news story on Ballpark Village
- St. Louis Business Journal article on Ballpark Village
- St. Louis Magazine story on Ballpark Village
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