Ballpark Village agreement reached

Ballpark Village agreement reached

ST. LOUIS -- For 2 1/2 years, a gaping dirt hole has sat adjacent to Busch Stadium. But after countless hours of negotiations, Ballpark Village will come to fruition.

The Cardinals, along with the city of St. Louis and the Cordish Company, announced an agreement has been reached to begin on revitalizing the downtown district.

"This is an exciting day for the St. Louis Cardinals organization, our fans, and for the city of St. Louis," said Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III in a statement. "We greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in reaching this important milestone. We are absolutely committed to delivering a development of the highest quality for our fans and for the city."

Construction will begin "shortly," according to the press release, and the exact date will be announced in several weeks.

Now that all sides have agreed to terms, there should not be any further holdups. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will recommend the project for immediate approval to several government bodies.

When completed, Ballpark Village is planned to be a first-class entertainment and business center. The area will provide shops, restaurants, office space, a residential area and hotel accommodations. The project is expected to cost as much as $600 million, though no general funds will finance the public portion of the project -- future tax revenues of the project will fill that void.

The construction of Ballpark Village will provide 3,000 jobs to build the new center. Another 2,000 permanent jobs are expected to stem from the project. Roughly 300,000 square feet of office space will be provided as well as 100-250 residential units.

"Ballpark Village is going to be spectacular, and we are thrilled that an agreement has been reached," said Blake Cordish, senior vice president of The Cordish Company, in a statement. "Most importantly, as we have experienced in other cities, Ballpark Village will act as an anchor for the continued renaissance of downtown St. Louis."

Lee Hurwitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.