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Cardinals plan big expansion for Ballpark Village

The proposed office building would be on the west end of Ballpark Village, across the street from Busch Stadium.
St. Louis Cardinals

If you have ever wanted to live in an apartment with full view of Busch Stadium, here’s your chance. The Cardinals have announced plans for a $220 million expansion of Ballpark Village that include a 29-story apartment tower. The team says the proposal also includes construction of the first upscale office building in downtown St. Louis since 1989.

Legislation filed Tuesday would amend the agreement reached with the city for the first phase of Ballpark Village, which opened in spring 2014. The bill is sponsored by 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coater and in a post on the Cardinals website announcing the project, he said the new construction would be five-times the scale of the village's first phase.

Plans to finance the project include an additional 1 percent sales tax in the Ballpark Village area. That will underwrite the bonds needed to back infrastructure costs.

"We are asking the city to allow us to impose the 1% sales tax on ourselves  - for the entire Ballpark Village development area to help underwrite the infrastructure investments necessary for the second phase project", said Cardinals spokesman Ron Waterman, in a statement to St. Louis Public Radio.

The Cardinals say taxes generated by the project, along with private equity and debt investments by developers, will help finance the construction.

"The amendment contemplates changes to reflect the increases in construction costs which date to 2005 in our development agreement (inflationary adjustment to 2016 construction costs) and additional coverage for the bonds," said Waterman. "The amendment allows for the imposition of the 1% TDD (Transportation Development Distict) sales tax within Ballpark Village.  The total incremental investment request is $16 million (the net present value) over the 32-year period.  The Cardinals and Cordish are proposing to use the $16 million (7.3% of the total project cost) in additional city and state tax revenue generated by the $220 million second phase of Ballpark Village to underwrite additional infrastructure investments such as structured parking to support the additional scope."  

The team says the project should generate additional revenue for schools, the city and state.  It adds the potential economic development would also put people to work. Phase 2 could create up to 1,500 construction jobs and roughly 1,000 permanent jobs.

The possible expansion of Ballpark Village would include a mix of retail, entertainment office and residential space.
Credit St. Louis Cardinals
The possible expansion of Ballpark Village would include a mix of retail, entertainment office and residential space.

If the bill is approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, construction could begin in the second half of next year, with some areas possibly opening in 2018. The entire project should be finished by 2019.

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Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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