St. Louis Public Radio News
7:29 am
Tue July 20, 2010

Cardinals president says Ballpark Village talks moving forward

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Cardinals say talks on the long-stalled Ballpark Village project are getting underway again.

The Cardinals expect to make an announcement about the seven-parcel development adjacent to Busch Stadium in the coming weeks, said team president Bill DeWitt. Though development stalled for more than a year - the complex was supposed to be completed by the All-Star Game last year - DeWitt said he's confident it's the right time to restart negotiations with potential tenants and financiers.

"You know there's been some good development news downtown, in particular with the Kiel Opera House deal closing and we think it may be time again," DeWitt said. "So we've initiated a bunch of meets and dialog with the principals, with our development partner the Cordish Company, and started talking to the city again and our key tenants as well."

The team is in negotiations with a major anchor tenant, he said, but would not disclose a name. He said discussions are also underway to secure approval of more than $100 million in state and local tax incentives, which are needed before bonds can be sold.

DeWitt would not say when construction might start, but it will be crucial to break ground on a two-block Phase I component. The rest, he said, should follow quickly.

"Our philosophy is that if we can just get going on a first phase than the others will follow quickly, because the vision for this thing is awesome and I think when people see how exciting it can look people will start to remember why this thing was always talked about as a combo deal between the stadium and the development," he said.