A Village Runs Through It: The RFT unveils its big bold plans for that big damn hole

Ballpark Village

OK, we get it. You're angry about Ballpark Village. You can stop calling us, demanding that Riverfront Times investigate the gaping, water-filled hole. We're not spelunkers and no one on our staff is named "Jacques" or "Cousteau."

We agree. The rubble that is Ballpark Village is an eyesore. It's embarrassing. It's, well...it's a huge freaking moon crater. But finger-pointing isn't going to solve our problems. Did our forefathers blame each other when they landed in this mosquito-infested hellhole we call home? No! They banded together and built a hut. That hut became a settlement and one day that settlement gave birth to a village. In it lived village people! So if they could do it, why can't we?

To wit, just in time for Earth Day, the RFT staff has envisioned a new use for the eight barren acres north of Busch Stadium. It's so green, it's brown.

Welcome to Ballpark Village, St. Louis' most exciting new non-development! Located in the heart of downtown, just steps from Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village combines all the conveniences of urban living with the timeless challenge of taming this barren wasteland that inspired the city's earliest pioneers.

A haven of natural wonderment, the Village was expected to toss out the welcome mat just in time for the All-Star Game in July 2009. In fact, St. Louisans tall and small long ago lost their breath waiting for the first backhoe to appear in the place they have since nicknamed "The Pit(s)."

Now the wait is finally over.

Are you looking for salt-of-the-earth ambiance without having to open the vault?

Do you want to retire to a wholly unsightly abode?

Consider The Yurts at Ballpark Village.

Affordably priced*, each yurt possesses all the standard accoutrements of a high-end nomadic dwelling, including a packed dirt floor. The yurts are naturally heated by compost piles made of pure, (relatively) unscented elephant dung, specially imported from the Saint Louis Zoo. Residents enjoy free AT&T wireless Internet for twenty hours a month and the benefits of St. Louis' signature drinking water, recently voted the finest in the nation by a panel of blind mayors. We're proud of our Ballpark Lake water.

Ballpark Village also has convenient on-site parking in a gated surface lot near the lip of scenic Ballpark Crater. (Not to worry: Only 140 cars were stolen from downtown last year.)

And the Yurts at Ballpark Village come with $115 million in tax incentives. (Thanks, Centene!) Missouri Department of Economic Development counselors are standing by to assist you today.

But that's not all! Ballpark Lake is fully stocked with fresh bullhead catfish that are dished up daily at Crappie's, the Village restaurant. Catch some bottom-feeders of your own with worms from Ballpark Lake Bait, the Village's first retail partner. Imagine the look on your boy's face when he catches a few snapping turtles, or maybe even a Schnucks bag, before a ball game. Now there's an all-American outing!

Enjoy daily strolls through our community garden. It's fertilized by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and it is where local children cultivate peanuts sold at St. Louis Cardinals games.

Pamper yourself with a luxurious mud bath on the shores of Ballpark Lake.

Play matador with Stan, Ballpark Village's landscaping goat. A delight to children and an innovator in weed control, Stan also assists in producing an artisanal cheese, sold exclusively at Ballpark Lake Bait. And, coming soon, grass-fed beef from cattle raised on the nearby Gateway Mall and Arch grounds.

At Ballpark Village, the possibilities are endless!

The buzz is building!

World-renowned three-star chef Alain Ducasse is abandoning Monaco, New York and Paris for the opportunity to preside over Crappie's. And eco-friendly rockers Bob Dylan and R.E.M. have pledged to perform at a Ballpark Village fundraising concert at Busch Stadium this summer. (We've obtained their set lists, linked to their names above.) Every dollar raised will go to support further non-development.

To experience Ballpark Village for yourself, jump over the chainlink fence today and ask for one of our friendly sales associates. Don't delay! You only have from now until....who the hell knows?

*Prices do not include Personal Yurt License Fee.

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