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  #101  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2007, 9:29 PM
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This seems to be an updated rendering of the Roberts Mayfair Tower that is to start construction later this year.

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  #102  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2007, 9:30 PM
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Here is a marketing rendering of the approved Ballpark Village. This also is starting construction later this year, although I believe only one of the taller towers is to be built in the first phase. The other two tall towers are a later phase.

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  #103  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2007, 11:26 PM
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that rendering has been around for awhile now. there have supposedly been tweaks to the designs, though they'd be very minor.

i was referring to the roberts tower.

Last edited by samoen313; Mar 27, 2007 at 4:37 AM.
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  #104  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2007, 5:34 AM
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There are lots of condo high-rises in various stages of construction and planning around the metropolitan St. Louis area - except Illinois, which is long overdue for new high-rise development.

St. Louis City is finally seeing lots of new proposals. Some of these may be modified as time goes on. Others may be canceled, while other new proposals are announced. Several are either under construction or wrapping up construction. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had an article about the new downtown condo proposals today. Check it out before it becomes unavailable.

New Construction Shows Evolution Of Downtown Marketplace

One thing is for certain, it's not your old St. Louis anymore. View the images and information about each condo, below, left-to-right.




1. Roberts Mayfair Tower at the Plaza, Downtown St. Louis

Height: 22-stories
Units: 74
Cost: $62-million
Status: Expected to finally break ground this summer.
Detail: “International-style” design by architects, Suttle-Mindlin. When built, it will be the first "green" highrise development by African-American brothers, Michael and Steve Roberts, in downtown St. Louis. Project will compliment historic Mayfair Hotel, which the Roberts brothers own and operate.
Website: roberts-companies.com/tower.htm

2. Port St. Louis, Downtown St. Louis

Height: 10-stories
Units: 49
Cost: $25-million
Status: Expected to finally break ground this year.
Details: To be built on LaClede’s Landing along the Mississippi River. The project is a part of the $900-million Lumière Place, which is a Jerde-designed project. Lumiere Place is a $900-million project current under development on LaClede’s Landing. It will include a 25-story Four Seasons Hotel and casino.
Website: portstlouis.com and lumiereplace.com
Webcam: Lumiere Place cam

3. Lindell Condominiums, Central West End

Height: 28-stories
Units: 200-units
Cost: $92-million
Status: A newsletter was sent in March 2007. Sales and marketing offices are expected to open early summer 2007 according to Opus Northwest, the developer.
Details: Located at the busy intersection of Lindell and Euclid. Only a few blocks for Park East Tower & Park East Lofts
Website: Not available yet

4. SkyHouse - Downtown St. Louis

Height: 22-stories
Units: 166
Cost: $67-million
Status: Chicago and St. Louis-based developers seeking tax incentives from the City of St. Louis this week.
Details: Project is to be built on Washington Avenue. The burgeoning east-west artery in downtown St. Louis.
Website: skyhousestlouis.com

5. Park East Tower, Central West End

Height: 26-stories
Units: 90
Cost: $50-million
Status: Near completion. Residents have been moving in since October/November 2006.
Details: Fifth Third Bank, new to the CWE, is among the current tenants. Companion project Park East Lofts, a six-story building, is about to start construction. First residential highrise in about 20 years for St. Louis City.
Website: parkeasttower.com

6. The Bottle District, Downtown St. Louis

Height: Various (the highrises have been redesigned, but not released to the public yet)
Units: 200-units, first phase
Cost: $280-million for overall mixed-use project
Status: Groundbreaking is anticipated this summer. Could be delayed, again.
Details: Part of an entertainment, residential, and hotel district. The project has been stalled due to developer conflicts and possible financing issues. It has been redesigned three times. 2nd design likely.
Website: thebottledistrict.com

7. 4545 Lindell, Central West End



Height: 10-stories
Units: 34
Cost: $28-million
Status: Under construction. Has not topped out.
Details: 10-story high-design tower situated on St. Louis’ tony Lindell Boulevard.
Website: 4545living.com

8. Ballpark Village Condominiums, Downtown St. Louis

Height: Various
Units: Up to 1200
Cost: $$$$, part of a $650-million project.
Status: Land excavated. Should start by year's end.
Details: Cordish Co. is developing the project. Cordish sought flexibility from the City of St. Louis in regards to the amount of condos. They apparently will be built based on market demand. Considering proximity to the ballpark and an underserved condo market downtown, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Website: stlballparkvillage.com & cordish.com

9. Gentry’s Landing, Downtown St. Louis

Height: 14 or 15-stories
Units: Hundreds
Cost: $125-million project (new construction and rehab)
Status: Developer FINALLY has reportedly acquired the land/property from previous owner or the city was going to use eminent domain to acquire it.
Details: New tower and renovation of 30-story Gentry's Landing tower.
Website: gentryslanding.com
See Image

10. Maryland Walk, Downtown Clayton

Height: 17-stories
Units: 101
Cost: $75-million
Status: Completed in November 2006, 80% sold
Details: Tower situated in downtown Clayton.
Website: marylandwalk.com

11. Park-Pacific Cityside, Downtown St. Louis

Height: 15-stories
Units: 42
Cost: $60-million
Status: Reports suggest groundbreaking soon. Completion for Cityside, 2009. Late 2008 for Parkside.
Details: New tower and reuse of old Missouri/Union Pacific HQs. Will renovate nearby parks. $135-million project.
Website: parkpacificstl.com

12. Trianon Condominiums, Downtown Clayton

Height: 26-stories
Units: 300 in complex
Cost: $150-million
Status: Sales and marketing should start by May 2007
Details: French named tower situated in downtown Clayton. Straddles University City. TOD development by a Chicago-based company, Orchard Development, which has done numerous projects in downtown St. Louis.
Website: trianoncondos.com

13. The Plaza at Noah’s Ark Condominiums, St. Charles



Height: 18-stories
Units: 200-250
Cost: Part of a massive new $385-million new urbanism project
Status: Approved. Received TIF financing. Site excavated.
Details: Located in St. Charles City in burgeoning St. Charles County. 25-miles from downtown St. Louis. To be developed on former famed Noah’s Ark hotel and restaurant site. Seeking upscale retailers. Mayor wants Crate & Barrel and Cheesecake Factory.
Website: noahsarkplaza.com

14. The Renaissance on Euclid, Central West End

Height: ????
Units: ????
Cost: $115-million (original price tag)
Status: Original design (shown above) to be changed. New rumors have plans for a new 20+-story mixed-use building with condos, a hotel, and retail. Other reports suggest an 11-story building with a 5-story companion.
Details: Located in St. Louis’ Central West End along the Euclid Strip, which is about to get a new streetscape.
Website: millsproperties.net

Here’s a bonus.

The Crescent In Clayton

***See Latest Image***

Height: 9-stories
Units: 72
Cost: $73-million
Status: Nearing completion.
Details: It’s not a high-rise, but it is a nice new mid-rise located in downtown Clayton. It is transit oriented development. One block from the new Clayton MetroLink station.
Website: thecrescentinclayton.com
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Last edited by Arch City; Apr 25, 2007 at 5:00 AM.
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  #105  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2007, 12:10 AM
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Nice
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  #106  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2007, 3:55 AM
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New photos of 4545 Lindell taken by Jax over at urbanstlouis.com

Click to enlarge.



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  #107  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 3:15 AM
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Fill the giant dirt pile

Any chance anyone has any up to date information on the plans involving ballpark village? Last I heard they had yet to gain certain state aprovals but had been aiming for construction beggining april/may (RIGHT NOW). With the date finalized for the 2009 all-star game in st. louis, I think this project should be the central focus of both the city as well as the state right now. A project of this magnitude being completed in time for an event like the all-star game would certainly bring some much needed recognition to the changing climate of downtown st. louis. Just hope the city doesn't drop the ball on this proposal and slow construction for too long.
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  #108  
Old Posted May 2, 2007, 6:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newstl2020 View Post
Any chance anyone has any up to date information on the plans involving ballpark village? Last I heard they had yet to gain certain state aprovals but had been aiming for construction beggining april/may (RIGHT NOW). With the date finalized for the 2009 all-star game in st. louis, I think this project should be the central focus of both the city as well as the state right now. A project of this magnitude being completed in time for an event like the all-star game would certainly bring some much needed recognition to the changing climate of downtown st. louis. Just hope the city doesn't drop the ball on this proposal and slow construction for too long.
Construction is now firm to start in August/September. I don't remember the exact reason for the start being this late, but they are still on target to finish by the All-Star game 2009. Keep in mind that only 1 of the high rises will be complete at this point, while the other 2 will start during a later phase.
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  #109  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 7:52 PM
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Within the year?

Fizz may be back in Bottle District
By Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
05/15/2007

Plans for the beleaguered $290 million Bottle District development north of downtown may be back on track with Clayco Inc. playing a prominent, but as yet undefined, role.

Officials from Clayco and the development arm of McGuire Moving & Storage, which has long sought to develop the site, said Monday that they are looking at a very "aggressive" development schedule, with work possibly beginning within a year.

A new group of local companies — in addition to Clayco and McGuire — is being formed to take on various development-related roles, said Matt Bernsen, spokesman for BDP LLC, the development group for the project. But he would not discuss details on the companies involved or what role each would play.

Plans for the development have changed since it was first announced in September 2004 by Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving. Advertisement

The last initiative, announced in September 2005, called for three high-rise condo buildings on the approximately 16-acre site — the tallest of which would be 630 feet. The city pledged a $51.3 million tax break. .

At the time, Ghazi Co., based in Charlotte, N.C., was named co-developer and Clayco was the general contractor.

Since then the project has stalled, and Ghazi dropped out about eight months ago, giving rise to speculation that the Bottle District may be dead.

"Speculation is speculation," Bernsen said. "Everyone has a right to their opinion about what's going on.

"(Afshin Ghazi) is doing a major project called the EpiCentre in Charlotte, and his timelines for that were established before he got involved with Bottle District. We required a more hands-on joint venture partner."

McGuire has been trying to form a new structure for the development team. Clayco worked to get the project back on track after it heard that Ghazi's contract had been terminated, said Larry Chapman, a partner in the company.

"We got re-engaged heavily in the last 30 to 60 days," Chapman said.

While Chapman didn't provide details, he said the Bottle District team would "look at all the great ideas accumulated over the last couple of years and pick and choose the best ones. … What we need is to look at what meets the needs of downtown right now."

The final project will be valued at or higher than the original $290 million estimate, Bernsen said.

The Bottle District is likely to remain a mixed-use project with residential, retail, office and even hotel and entertainment uses, Chapman said, adding that construction would have to start soon.

"It would have to be very quick. Clearly the renaissance in downtown is happening now, not five years from now," he said. "We would want to put something on the ground now. We want to make it fit with the things going on in the city so they don't cannibalize each other."

Bernsen and Chapman cited the ongoing Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. casino development and Ballpark Village as complementary downtown to the Bottle District.

The development team, along with several tenants, will be announced within the next month or two, he said.

"Right now it is more about making the district a viable project as opposed to just putting it up," Bernsen said.
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  #110  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 10:04 PM
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  #111  
Old Posted May 16, 2007, 12:12 AM
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Good to hear that there still might be life in the bottle district.
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  #112  
Old Posted May 16, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Well it's certainly very encouraging to hear the Bottle District has some life in it still. I was one of those that thought this project completely dead. Glad to be incorrect.

Speaking of the Pinnacle casino nearby, I snapped a construction photo while at the riverfront this weekend. Not sure if this is the right place for it or not but:



Whoever thought that cladding was a good idea needs to be thrown in the river.
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  #113  
Old Posted May 17, 2007, 2:40 AM
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New Office Development in North County

Well, it's not the type (lowrise) or location (not in downtown) that I would have prefered, but it is new office construction. A plus for the area. If the metro market can support upwards of a million sq-ft of new office space, think of the new signature tower that could be downtown. Oh well.

(Note: I'm not sure if this sort of project belongs in this thread, if not just lemme know.)

Quote:
New office building planned at NorthPark
By Riddhi Trivedi St. Clair
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, May. 16 2007

The developers of NorthPark announced a new 150,000 square foot speculative
office building in the mixed-use development at the intersection of Interstate
70 and Interstate 170.
The announcement was made at an economic summit organized by partners St.
Louis-based Clayco and McEagle Properties , based in O’Fallon, Mo., to talk
about the 550-acre NorthPark development and the amenities available.
Because of construction costs and a relatively soft leasing market for office
space in recent years, little to no new speculative building has been
happening. That will make the three-story building a welcome addition to a
tight market, according to a county official and industry experts.
Not having already built and available space can be a deterrent for potential
tenants looking to move into the area, said St. Louis County Executive Charlie
Dooley.
"When people come here they don’t have anywhere to move in," he said. "It is
exciting that (Clayco and McEagle) are willing to make something happen rather
than sit and wait for something to happen."
In recent years, the only new speculation construction in the St. Louis area
was in Clayton, said Peter Krombach, senior managing director for CB Richard
EllisAnd since those buildings have been leased out, it has been difficult to
find available space, he added.
NorthPark includes office, retail and light industrial space and original plans
only called for about 600,000 to 700,000 square feet of office space, said
Larry Chapman, principal at Clayco.
"Right now we are projecting we will be more than double that amount," Chapman
said.
Because of the location of the development at the intersection of two major
interstate highways and its proximity to the airport, he said, the developers
are now seeing a lot of interest from corporate office clients. The developers
have been rapidly changing the NorthPark plan, he said, and now hope to include
an office campus at the southern end of the development along I-70.
"We have been pleasantly surprised by the interest in NorthPark and the quality
of prospects we are seeing," said Chris McKee, president of McEagle Properties.
The development is expected to have an impact of $741 million a year for
several years for a total of $7 billion of direct and indirect economic impact,
said Sallie Hemenway, director of operations business and community services
for Missouri Department of Economic Development.
"It is the largest redevelopment in St. Louis County history," Dooley said. "It
is going to have all new infrastructure and cutting edge technology. I think
that goal is extremely attainable."
In addition to the amenities the park provides, NorthPark’s tenants have the
advantage of being able to market to other tenants within the development,
Krombach said.
The company now has plans to build a million square feet of office space, all
of which is speculative so far. In addition there are proposals for 600,000 to
700,000 square feet of speculative light industrial space.
"Its a pretty significant gamble. But this is my 28th year in real estate
development," Chapman said. "If you set up your development with good control
over quality and good amenities, you attract good institutional-level
investors, owners and occupants."
The companies have $100 million invested in infrastructure and land costs and
expect total investment to be in the $400 million to $500 million range.
NorthPark is expected to generate up to 12,000 jobs.
The new office building will be adjacent to the already announced national
headquarters and St. Louis campus of Vatterott College, and the corporate
headquarters of Express Scripts Inc. .
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  #114  
Old Posted May 19, 2007, 12:52 AM
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Updates..............

SkyHouse-St. Louis' <----website has been updated. It is "flashier" and more interactive. More renderings.

Below is a sleeker design for the Roberts Tower to be finished in 2009.

New "green" website: -------> Roberts Tower



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  #115  
Old Posted May 19, 2007, 3:02 AM
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That is uber sexy. Outstanding!

This project isn't near as impressive, but it's very important to my neck of the woods. This is the Union Club at the corner of Jefferson and Lafayette just southwest of downtown. It's 4 stoires with 37 condos and 6,000 sq-ft of retail at the street level. This will fill a big hole at the entrance to the Lafayette Square neighborhood, and it's a welcome addition. This render is from a billboard, and really doesn't do it justice. The latest render is stunning. I love this style. (very fitting for the area.)



Site prep is underway.




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  #116  
Old Posted May 19, 2007, 3:19 AM
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BTW, another thing a lot of people don't bring up on SSP, is that there are a ton, and I mean a ton, and a huuuuuuge change, in the # of films being shot in STL right now. The director of the Illusionist is shooting his next big feature in STL, and the producer of Crow is in town at the same time. Last summer a Jessica Alba film was shot (still set to be released), and a lower budget film with Staci Dash (Best Friend in Clueless) was also recently shot. A bunch of mainstream hip hop videos are constantly being shot here as well. 5 years ago, there was nothing, and I mean nothing really going on in film here.
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  #117  
Old Posted May 19, 2007, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick View Post
BTW, another thing a lot of people don't bring up on SSP, is that there are a ton, and I mean a ton, and a huuuuuuge change, in the # of films being shot in STL right now. The director of the Illusionist is shooting his next big feature in STL, and the producer of Crow is in town at the same time. Last summer a Jessica Alba film was shot (still set to be released), and a lower budget film with Staci Dash (Best Friend in Clueless) was also recently shot. A bunch of mainstream hip hop videos are constantly being shot here as well. 5 years ago, there was nothing, and I mean nothing really going on in film here.

Very true, last fall the movie "Alice" was filmed here. They even used the front of my house for a scene in the movie. (They wanted something that looked like Chicago.) The movie is supposed to be released sometime this summer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_series

We are fortunate that the city is promoting this to the degree that they are. It brings in quite a bit of activity.



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  #118  
Old Posted May 20, 2007, 8:29 AM
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Bottle District!!!

Sounds like the Bottle District is finally coming to fruition! If a large regional contractor like Clayco is pulling out of such a high profile project as Ballpark Village to focus on the Bottle District it sounds to me like we can pretty much bet on construction beggining sometime soon. Sounds EXTREMELY promising for the Bottle District, something I've been waiting to say for a few years now. BUILD HIGH!

Clayco withdraws contractor application for Ball Park Village
By Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair and Jake Wagman
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
05/19/2007

Clayco has pulled its application to be general contractor on the Ballpark Village project, days after the Post-Dispatch reported that the company had taken an expanded role in another high-profile downtown development, the Bottle District.

"We just have our hands full. We had to pick one or the other," said Bob Clark, president and chief executive of the Clayton-based firm. "We have the chance to have an equity position in Bottle District and be a part of the development team."

Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. is the Ballpark Village developer.

Clark said the Ballpark Village and Bottle District projects would compete with each other for tenants. Advertisement

The Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Clayco assumed a more-prominent role in the Bottle District in recent weeks after the departure of a co-

developer, Charlotte, N.C.-based Ghazi Co. The lead developer is Dan McGuire, president of McGuire Moving & Storage Co. of St. Louis.

Clayco, which was the project manager on the construction of the new Busch Stadium, also is involved in a partnership to develop NorthPark, a 550-acre mixed-use office and industrial project under way near Lambert Field.

"We felt compelled to be very clear with Cordish that we didn't see ourselves as contenders for the (Ballpark Village) job anymore," Clark said.

Chase Martin, Cordish's director of development for Ballpark Village, said his company is interviewing several contractors for the project. He said Cordish is looking at hiring one firm to be general contractor or several companies that could share the responsibility.

He played down the significance of Clayco dropping out.

"When you have a project of this size and scale, it's typical to have contractors coming late in the process, or dropping out early," Martin said.

Martin also said Ballpark Village is on track to open on time.

"We have hit our goals and are moving forward accordingly," he said.

Cordish is seeking to build six blocks of signature restaurants, specialty stores, entertainment venues and offices on the crater of land that was the site of old Busch Stadium. Cordish, which has built similar projects around the country, is a partner with the Cardinals organization, which owns the land.

Though the team has yet to break ground — or even announce a date for groundbreaking — the Cardinals are hoping to have the project open by midsummer 2009, when Busch will play host to the

Major League All-Star Game.

In February, the city's Board of Aldermen backed providing up to $115 million in tax subsidies to the project. The state Department of Economic Development, which also must approve parts of the incentive package, is reviewing the proposal.

After the department reviews the incentives, the deal will go to the Missouri Development Finance Board for final approval. A spokesman for the Economic Development Department said this week that staff there are still looking at the project. He did not know when it would be submitted to the finance board, which is chaired by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Plans for the $290 million Bottle District call for a 16-acre mixed-use project that could include a high-rise condominium tower as well as retail and office space.
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  #119  
Old Posted May 21, 2007, 7:53 AM
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Also, I went by the site of the Roberts tower on friday as well as tonight, and there have been two trailers moved onto the street in front of the location since friday. Can we expect foundation work starting soon?
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  #120  
Old Posted May 23, 2007, 10:45 PM
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Ballpark Village is not home free yet
By Jake Wagman
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
05/23/2007

May 22, 2007--The International Bowling Hall of Fame stands on the northwest corner of the proposed Ball Park Village site.
( Laurie Skrivan/P-D)

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals insist their ambitious Ballpark Village is still on track to break ground later this year, but some potential obstacles are looming.

— The state still must sign off on millions of dollars in public subsidies.

— Other downtown projects could emerge as competition.

— And then there's the question of where to put 5,000 years of bowling history. Advertisement

The vision for the $387 million entertainment district calls for most of it to be built on the crater that was the old Busch Stadium — property owned by the team. The rest of the site is held by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, a tenpins shrine that traces the sport as far back as ancient Egypt.

Obtaining the museum property is a key step for Ballpark Village, a long-awaited project that, despite millions in pledged public financing and years of discussion, has yet to show any physical signs of progress.

Even so, Bill DeWitt III, the team's senior vice president for business development, said construction will begin as planned — in late summer or early fall.

And the 2009 opening, in time for the stadium's first Major League All-Star Game, is on target, DeWitt said.

He said the team and its development partner, Baltimore-based Cordish Co., are "full steam ahead" on design, financing and negotiating with potential tenants, whom he declined to identify.

DeWitt acknowledged that until backhoes hit the soil, it might be hard for the public to picture Ballpark Village rising up from the rumble of a demolished stadium. RELATED LINK
TALK: Is eminent domain being used properly in Clayton and for Ballpark Village?

"We understand," DeWitt said, "people are going to be wondering if this is for real."

Sewing up the money

Earlier this year, the city's Board of Aldermen approved up to $115 million in public incentives for the project. The money would come from a variety of sources: $59 million in city tax incentives, $27 million in state tax breaks, $25 million from two special taxing districts and $5 million in public bonds bought by the Cardinals and Cordish.

But some of that money must be approved by the state Department of Economic Development, which still is reviewing the project. After that, the project goes to the Missouri Development Finance Board, headed by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Spence Jackson, a spokesman for the Department of Economic Development, said there is no timetable for staff there to move on Ballpark Village's application. The Cardinals are hoping to have the bonds needed to raise money for the project in place by early August.

Cordish has a good track record of getting funding on similar projects. The Development Finance Board previously approved more than $100 million for Cordish's project on the other side of the state, the Kansas City Power and Light District.

But timing on the deal is critical. If the finance board does not issue its endorsement in the next three months, it could jeopardize the project from breaking ground by the fall. City officials, though, are not worried.

"From what we can see," said Jeff Rainford, Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff, "the project is moving forward as planned."

Rising competition

Ballpark Village is emerging as several other downtown projects are in the works. Pinnacle Entertainment is building a casino and 19-story hotel tower on the riverfront. South of the stadium, another nightlife spot, the Icehouse District, is in the works.

Plans at the Bottle District, targeted for a site next to the Edward Jones Dome, include a bowling alley and a Cabo Wabo Cantina nightclub.

All those projects promise to offer some of the same attractions as Ballpark Village: restaurants, retail shops and recreation.

Signs of the competition already may be showing. Last week, Clayco, one of the area's largest builders, withdrew its proposal to be general contractor for Ballpark Village to focus instead on the Bottle District.

Some question whether downtown can attract enough people and dollars to sustain all of the proposed destinations.

"That is exactly the essence — crowded out," said Don Woehle, a first vice president at the realty firm CB Richard Ellis who has been working downtown for over 20 years. "Unless this becomes the Six Flags or Disney World Mecca of the Midwest, this doesn't make sense."

While Woehle predicts Ballpark Village has a better shot of success than the other developments, even something as fickle as the Cardinals' place in the standings could affect whether people patronize shops and restaurants next to the stadium.

"People stay downtown when they win," Woehle said. "They don't stay downtown when they lose."

Patrick J. Welch, an economics professor at St. Louis University, said that although the growing population of downtown could help Ballpark Village, staying afloat in any market with renewed competition is difficult.

"The fact of the matter is, with any new business, a lot of them don't survive," Welch said.

Bowling hall's future

For the bowling museum, it's also a question of survival — sell and relocate, or be pushed out by the Cardinals, their longtime neighbor.

The museum has long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Cardinals since opening next to the old stadium in 1984. For about the past 10 years, the Cardinals have rented space in the museum for the team's own Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals, though, don't plan on using that space for much longer. A spiffy new Redbird Hall of Fame, with a restaurant that overlooks the outfield, is a key part of Ballpark Village aspirations.

What the Cardinals do covet, however, is the land beneath the bowling museum, which sits on the northwest corner of the Ballpark Village site.

The development agreement signed earlier this year with Mayor Slay's office lays out a process in which the city would "initiate eminent domain proceedings" on behalf of the Cardinals if "good faith efforts" to buy the property are unsuccessful.

"I guess we are waiting for those good faith negotiations to begin," said Bill Scheid, chairman of the Bowling Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees and president of the bowling ball manufacturer Ebonite Inc. "We've only heard discussion through intermediaries. Everything we know to this date is secondhand."

DeWitt offered a different description of the negotiations, saying the vice president of Cordish has been in touch with Scheid on a "fairly regular basis."

Either way, the museum's trustees will discuss the future of the hall at their annual meeting next month in Las Vegas. At least one already has firm views on the possibility of eminent domain.

"I think it stinks," said John Sommer, head of Don Carter Lanes Inc. in Rockford, Ill.

Eminent domain, Sommer said, "is wrong for just about everything I can think of. Everything I know about it is totally wrong."

Even if the Cardinals acquired the land by eminent domain, it would be far from a victory. If the sale price is set by the courts, the land might cost more than if the team bought it outright. The long legal process also could jeopardize the team's hopes of opening on time.

Ideally, DeWitt said, the team would arrange for the bowling hall to relocate to Ballpark Village.

"It's no secret that folding the bowling museum into the village and rebranding them and souping it up is part of our vision," DeWitt said. "That's what we are focused on."
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