Friday, July 6, 2012

Aldermen to Vote on Ballpark Village Today; Signs Are Favorable

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Are we moving past artist's conception and into reality? Maybe.
  • Are we moving past artist's conception and into reality? Maybe.
The St. Louis Board of Alderman are scheduled to vote on the newest, scaled-down version of the long-stalled Ballpark Village plan, and for the first time in many years things are looking positive on that front.

Yesterday, the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority approved $17 million in subsidies from the sale of tax-backed bonds for the project. A few weeks before that, the Cardinals and project developer Cordish Companies announced that Anheuser-Busch had signed on to the project as a tenant.

Not to jinx anything, but this could really happen, couldn't it?

But let's not put the cart before the horse. Today's vote is not the final hurdle. The state still has to give its approval, which will come from the Missouri Development Finance Board -- if it comes at all.

If the process stalls out in the next few months, Ballpark Village could lose that $17 million -- the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority program expires at the end of the year. That gives the Cards and Cordish a little more than five months to win everybody's approval.

Still, more has happened on the Ballpark Village front in the past six months than in the preceding six years. And in sports, momentum is everything. Maybe after all the false starts and near misses, Ballpark Village is finally on its way from the drawing board to downtown.

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