Via the Post-Dispatch -
After years of false starts, St. Louis Cardinals executives joined their development partners and political leaders on Friday to cheer the groundbreaking of a long-awaited but scaled-down Ballpark Village. And they vowed, despite the stumbles of the past, to continue the development beyond its initial steps and still reshape the neighborhood.
Ballpark Village’s $100 million first phase calls for two buildings and a canopied space, with a total of 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment outlets to open by spring 2014.
The spaces are 85 percent leased, the developers say, and a new tenant will be announced Thursday. Other tenants will be announced during construction, according to the developer, Cordish Cos.
“It’s a relief,” Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said about finally moving dirt on the site, which sits in the shadow of Busch Stadium.
Donning a red baseball cap with a Ballpark Village logo, DeWitt III was joined by his father, Cardinals’ chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., Cordish Vice president Blake Cordish and civic leaders as they turned over the ceremonial first shovels of dirt.
The 10-acre site has remained vacant since the former Busch Stadium was demolished in 2005.
The first phase features a 30,000-square-foot building, “Cardinals Nation,” which will include a restaurant, a Cardinals hall of fame and museum, and seating for more than 300 with views into the ballpark.
Nearby, a 20,000-square-foot “Budweiser Brew House,” to be built with a rooftop deck, will also offer views into Busch Stadium.
In addition, a “Live! At Ballpark Village” venue with a retractable canopy will be open year-round.
St. Louis is a great baseball town. The Ballpark Village will probably do very well there.