When Cardinals fans go to Busch Stadium this season, they’ll have a good view of a major construction project under way at Ballpark Village. A 29-story luxury residential tower, 10-story office building and 216-room hotel are rising into the St. Louis skyline, just across the street from the stadium.
The $260 million expansion of the Ballpark Village development is on time and on budget, said Nick Benjamin, vice president of The Cordish Companies, which is developing the site with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The structure of the office building has topped out and crews have begun to install windows, Benjamin said. Anchor tenant PriceWaterhouseCoopers is expected to move in this fall. The apartment tower, One Cardinal Way, is already 30 percent leased, even though it won’t be completed until 2020.
The development, which also includes retail space, is designed to create a neighborhood where people can live, work and play, Benjamin said.
“We do expect that it will have a transformative impact on this part of downtown, but, really, on downtown as a whole,’’ he said. “I think a lot of other developers will see what we’ve done and follow our lead and invest in St. Louis. That’s going to be good for us and good for the Cardinals but good for the city, as a whole, too.”
The investment speaks to the Cardinals’ confidence in the St. Louis region, said Bill DeWitt III, team president.
“We're investing on the field. We're investing in the ballpark. We're investing near the ballpark. And so are others,’’ DeWitt said, pointing to recent renovations at the Gateway Arch, and construction of an aquarium at Union Station. “The investment in downtown is fitting for the center of this region, which is looking for reasons to grow and to recruit and to continue to evolve. And I think we've got a lot of optimism right now, suggesting that we're a city on the move.’’
Interest in the apartment tower is unprecedented for a building so far from opening, DeWitt said. But he noted that its location is in a “sweet spot” that will provide spectacular views of the ballpark, the Arch, the river and the downtown skyline.
Ballpark Village was part of the development agreement between the city and the Cardinals when planning for the current stadium began in the 1990s. The stadium opened in 2006, but development of the 10-acre site where the demolished old stadium stood, faltered during the Great Recession.
The first phase of Ballpark Village, which features restaurants and entertainment venues, was completed in March 2014 at a cost of $100 million.
DeWitt said a third construction phase remains a possibility on empty parcels of land on the northern portion of the site that are now surface parking. But it’s too early to say when that would happen.
“We’ve got our hands full right now with phase two,’’ DeWitt said.
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