After years of delays, work on Ballpark Village in St. Louis is finally under way.
The St. Louis Cardinals broke ground on Friday on the $100 million first phase of the project that will be developed on the site of the old Busch Stadium, next to the new stadium.
Ballpark Village was part of the development agreement between the city and the Cardinals when planning for the new stadium began back in 1999. As it stands the team says phase one will be accessible to fans as of Opening Day 2014.
Seven years and two false starts later, the long-delayed Ballpark Village has gotten approval from the state of Missouri.
Today's nod from the Missouri Development Finance Board allows the St. Louis Cardinals and the site's developer, the Cordish Companies, to sell $17 million worth of bonds, which will fund the infrastructure at the 10-acre site.
The $100 million project would be built on the north side of Busch Stadium and would contain space for retail stores, restaurants, an open-air event space with a retractable roof, and a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Team President Bill DeWitt III says the project got sidetracked by the economic crisis that hit the country four years ago.
Subsidies for a scaled-back Ballpark Village continued their march toward completion at the Board of Aldermen today - a day after getting the nod from a city development agency.
The $17 million in tax incentives got initial approval from the board today. It still needs one more vote from the Board, and then approval by the state. That meeting appears to be scheduled for July 17.
Officials with the St. Louis Cardinals say construction should begin on the much-delayed Ballpark Village by this coming fall.
The $100 million project received support Thursday from the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority—known as MODESA.
MODESA’s support frees up $17 million in bonds set to expire by the end of the year—a fact which has the Cardinals, their developer Cordish Co. and the City of St. Louis moving quickly to clear these last few hurdles.