29-Story Apartment Building, Class-A Office Highlight $220M Ballpark Village Phase II

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This morning the St. Louis Cardinals finally announced Phase II of their Ballpark Village development. While years behind schedule, if built as presented, the project would fulfill much of the original promise of the project.

Ballpark Village phase II is set to total 550K sf, including a 29-story residential tower rising 320ft., a 10-story Class-A office building, retail, restaurants, and entertainment space. The residential tower will be located at the east end of the development at Clark and Broadway, with a view into Busch Stadium. The office tower would be built at Clark and 8th Street. Together, they would complete the streetscape along Clark Avenue.

A bill being filed today by 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar offers an unspecified amendment to the existing development agreement with the city. Language from the Cardinals announcement appears to indicate Tax Increment Financing (TIF) will be sought, as well as an additional 1% Transportation Development District Development (TDD) tax.

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The $100M first phase of Ballpark Village was completed in 2014. While celebrated by the Cardinals, the first development completed was vastly underwhelming. The promises made to the city more than a decade ago were unfulfilled. Downtown got what is in essence a new bar district. Although charges that Ballpark Village led to the closure of other establishments may be exaggerated, nothing new had been added.

The new site plan released for Phase II appears to resurrect something of a street grid within the development site. Continuing south into the area is 7th Street, and east-west access appears to be something more than a garage access driveway. The north end of the site is planned for an additional phase.

The development schedule for Phase II anticipates construction beginning late next year, with the project completed in 2019.

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As was done with the celebration of 10 years of the new Busch Stadium (see: Cardinals Celebrate Ten Years of Busch Stadium III With a Whopper of a Propaganda Video), the boosterism regarding economic development and community impact is a bit over the top. A lot is being promised, and a lot is being claimed on behalf of the stadium and Ballpark Village Phase I. The Cardinals released two videos announcing and detailing the next phase of development. The videos were recorded at the same time as the Busch Stadium promo.

While even without knowing the details, there’s little reason to believe the city won’t agree to amend the development agreement and provide TIF, TDD, and perhaps other support, we have also been here before. Prior announcements for development at Ballpark Village appeared air tight. The initial plan was ready to go, we were told. When Centene signed on for a new office tower, it was supposedly a clear sign dirt would turn soon. The belief that development will happen now is a combination of what appears to be a more modest development plan, and the assumption that something would eventually be built.

The following was posted on the Cardinals website:

550,000 Square Foot Project to Create Thousands of Jobs and Include 29-Story High-Rise Luxury Residential Tower with Ballpark Views and First New Construction Class-A Office Building Downtown Since 1989

The St. Louis Cardinals announced plans for a $220 million, 550,000 square foot second phase of Ballpark Village which will include the construction of a 29-story luxury high-rise residential tower, the first new Class-A office building built in downtown St. Louis in nearly thirty years, and additional retail, restaurant and entertainment space.

“We are very excited about the second phase of Ballpark Village,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “Our vision of a mixed-use neighborhood where people live, work and play will become a reality. This is a real game-changer for the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri.”

The second phase of Ballpark Village will complete a full build-out of Clark Street with a 29-story glass and steel residential apartment tower on the east end, and a large Class-A office building on the west end, as well as additional retail and entertainment in between, transforming Clark Street into one of the most unique city streets in all of major league sports.

The residential apartment tower will be a modern, 29-story, 230 foot tall, luxury high-rise apartment building at the corner of Clark and Broadway that will offer views of the Gateway Arch, the Mississippi River, the St. Louis skyline, and unobstructed views directly into Busch Stadium.

The Class A office building at the corner of Clark and 8th Street will sit right across from the bronze statues on the NW corner of Busch Stadium, and will also include structured parking below, and street level retail and restaurants. It will be the first “new construction” office building built in downtown St. Louis in more than a generation (Metropolitan Square opened in 1989).

Also in Phase II will be a signature two-story retail marketplace and entertainment venue overlooking the existing Busch II Field, the signature “open space” of Ballpark Village. The marketplace will include diverse food options and other amenities to support the new office and residential tenants in the project.

The bill being filed today seeks approval from the city of St. Louis to amend the existing development agreement that enabled the first phase of Ballpark Village. With approval of a short amendment, the development team will have the green light to initiate a second phase that is substantially more ambitious than the highly successful 100,000 square foot, $100 million first-phase that opened in the spring of 2014.

“The second phase of Ballpark Village is more than five times the scale of the first phase of Ballpark Village,” said 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar who is sponsoring the legislation. “This bill will enable one of our city’s most successful companies to expand their investment in downtown St. Louis and build on the incredibly strong momentum established with the new ballpark and the first phase of Ballpark Village.”

To make the large downtown project a reality, the development team is proposing to use a portion of the new tax revenue generated solely within the Ballpark Village project area, including an additional self-imposed 1% TDD sales tax, to underwrite the bonds issued to support project infrastructure costs. Only taxes generated by the Ballpark Village project itself, as well as private equity and debt investments by the development team, will be used to finance Ballpark Village.

In addition to generating revenue to support the expansion of Ballpark Village, the second phase is expected to generate millions in additional tax revenue for the city of St. Louis, the St. Louis Public School District, and the state of Missouri.

“The Cardinals have built a world-class franchise, a stellar team, and an incredible fan experience, bolstered by Ballpark Village. Phase II marks another strong investment by the Cardinals and demonstrates their commitment to the City of St. Louis,” said Francis G. Slay, the Mayor of St. Louis. “The growing footprint of this top-notch, regional entertainment destination will put more people to work and give more people another place to play Downtown. I am excited to see the Cardinals add another quality project to the building boom that’s happening throughout our City.”

Just as the first phase of Ballpark Village created more than 1,000 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent new jobs when it opened, the second phase of Ballpark Village stands to create 1,500 construction jobs and more than 1,000 permanent new jobs.

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  • Chris Stritzel

    Phase 3 should be announced soon. If that happens, just think how much development would appear around the stadium.

    • Jakeb

      We’ll see.

  • Jakeb

    IF this happens, I’ll be very excited. The current village has transformed the area immediately around the ball park. Yes, it is at the expense of some other businesses, but that is life.

    And yes to more modern architectural design everywhere.

    The residential tower is essential. And I think will sell well with many units going to well healed Cardinals fans who travel often to St Louis for games.

    Frankly, I don’t see a need for a hotel in this development. The ballpark area is well served by nice hotels.

    • shad schoenke

      I agree on hotels in the area and don’t think a hotel is make or break on this.
      However, if they’re courting something like a ‘W’, then I’m definitely in favor of a hotel.

      • Jakeb

        Well, you’ve got the Westin (which is very nice, btw) right next door, so I would not expect a W right on top of it in a market this size.

        • chaifetz10

          I would assume Cordish would rather place one of their new Live! brand hotels rather than give away money to someone else. Cordish is building one as part of Texas Live! and already has announced another as part of their Maryland Live! Casino as well.

  • BuildItAndTheyWillCome

    I would like to see more modern office buildings built downtown to attract companies outside of St. Louis to bring jobs here. What efforts can city leaders take to bring companies here? Do we have to wait until living and working in other areas becomes unbearable for them to consider the midwest?

    Did you see the STLToday article after Scottrade’s announcement of its leaving St. Louis that shows all the company headquarters that have moved out in recent decades? It’s quite a list. What do you think this list will look like in another decade?

    http://www.stltoday.com/business/so-long-st-louis-company-headquarters-that-have-moved-out/collection_eace896a-9768-58d4-90ac-21a8a869b810.html

    • BuildItAndTheyWillCome

      The list covers just the last 5 years for companies leaving STL. My mistake thinking it was a decade or so. Still jarring.

    • Jakeb

      The loss of a hub airport was devastating to our Corporate base. Major companies want to be able to fly direct in and out. Changing planes adds hours to travel itineraries and a day or two to business meetings that could often be accomplished by direct flights with a morning flight in and home that night.

      The significance of American’s dropping STL has a hub is perhaps the most under-reported economic story for St Louis in the last 15 years.

    • Riggle

      Scottrade wasnt based in st louis. Its leaving has NOTHING to do with downtown st louis.

      • Framer

        Scottrade has been based in St. Louis since 1985.

        • Riggle

          I’m talking about St Louis, Mo, it’s a city in eastern Missouri, check Wikipedia if you are unfamiliar

          • Framer

            Eyeroll.

          • Riggle

            Its all one st louis, from sea to shining sea, gags self with spoon

    • Adam

      Believe it or not, companies have also moved to and/or expanded within St. Louis in the last five years. You won’t ever see the PD publish that list though.

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  • MRNHS

    When Otis Williams talked about the upcoming release (a few months back), he noted there would be hotel in addition to the parking, residential, and office. I wonder what happened to the hotel portion of Phase II.

    • jkf1220

      I suspect hotel would be in Phase 3. Happy to have large residential and a new office building. Lots of other hotels in the works at this point so waiting for them to be absorbed may be a good idea.

  • STLrainbow

    Site plan and the mixed-uses look pretty darn solid.

    Not sure how much square footage is planned for the office component, but it looks like a decent amount. I do see this as a better proposition than the Cupples X proposal in terms of being able to change the dynamic of the regional office market and put the CBD back in play as an area for outside companies to look at.

  • Michael C.

    Excellent news for Downtown Saint Louis! This is exactly what we’ve needed. Wow, just wow. So exciting. Phase 2 is better than ever expected. Downtown seems to be doing pretty well now and on its way.

  • Yay! More development downtown without a comprehensive plan. We’ll have BPV over here, Union Station over there, and the street-level wasteland in between will only get worse. I’m not saying this development’s wrong but going forward with it when downtown is already struggling seems very shortsighted.

    • Adam

      How is it shortsighted to build office and residential? Downtown is lacking in modern class-A office space, and residential occupancy rates are high. Do we need a comprehensive plan to tell us that residents and workers = good?

      • Tim E

        I think Adam sums it up pretty well. Cupples X let alone BPV phase II office wouldn’t have even been proposed if their wasn’t demand from those who want to have NEW Class A and be downtown. The other option, the demand looks at what will be available with Centene’s expansion and or suburban office park… it just not enough to have space.
        ..
        The discussion that leaders should be having is what should be the limits on incentives as a whole for the city. . As a few people noted their seems to be no comprehensive plan. Such as we offer x years of property tax abatement for residential or z years of abatement if you add y jobs, Or will approve CID district for x dollars of investment.

      • How shortsighted is it? Look at Wash. Ave. BPV Ph 1 was built without regard to the fact that downtown already had an entertainment district. No that’s dried up and all anyone can say is, ‘that’s too bad’? How is that whole mess not short-sighted?

        Then, look at Downtown West lofts as a whole. We have a healthy dose of residential units filled with people who can’t do most of their shopping downtown, can’t go out for a safe stroll in the evening, and who’ve been saddled with the region’s drug problem (in poor disguise as a ‘homeless’ issue).

        It’s all terribly shortsighted. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be built but if we had a plan to work from, developers, businesses, and existing residents could hold the appropriate feet to the fire when green-lighting these things.

        As someone else here mentioned and as is the core of my point, development was and is a free-for-all in downtown. Yes, most definitely shortsighted.

        • Adam

          And I’m not saying that phase 1 isn’t a complete joke, nor that we shouldn’t have a comprehensive plan. However, residential + office is not an entertainment district. Residential + office is precisely what DT needs in order to lure more retail and improve safety. If there were a DT plan then this type of development (minus phase 1, of course) is exactly what it would call for.

          • Again, I don’t disagree that this development might be a good thing. In the absence of any solid context, though, it’s hard to say. As to your Wash. Ave. comment, there actually was a plan. The different looks of the current Wash. Ave. streetscape are a testament to that plan. The city failed to stick with it, though, because the bottom dropped out on the $400k ‘luxury lofts’ (read: 4 walls and $30k worth of shiny fixtures) that developers were so fond of at the time.

            Had real urban planners been involved and not developers in disguise, they would have added smaller (practical) residential spaces, smaller commercial spaces, and affordable rentals to the mix. Wash. Ave very well could have found itself better off than it is today. We’ll never know.

            So…we should just keep playing cowboy?

          • Goomba

            Washington Avenue may be going through “growing pains”, but it has overall be a success and downtown living is only going to get better in St. Louis.

          • Adam

            Playing cowboy? I think you’re being dramatic. And a streetscape plan is far from a comprehensive plan. Should there be a comprehensive plan? Yes. Should we halt any and all development until our electeds get around to putting one together? Nope.

          • Adam

            “In the absence of any solid context, though, it’s hard to say.”

            Not sure what this means, but even with a comprehensive plan there’s no guarantee that a development will be successful. It’s always a risk, especially in a market like St. Louis. Had “real urban planners” been involved in developing Wash Ave it likely would be doing no better than it is today which, as Goomba alluded to, is still a hundred times better than it was doing in the 90s.

        • Adam

          By the way, according to your logic none of the Wash. Ave. lofts should have been rehabbed/occupied yet because there wasn’t a comprehensive plan, loft-dwellers can’t do all of their shopping downtown, there are homeless people, etc.

    • jkf1220

      Absolutely agree that we need a comprehensive downtown development plan. But, completing BPV would be part of any plan. Getting new high rise residential and office may well reignite interest in downtown and drive other activity. No way that eliminating surface parking and adding residential and office is bad. True class A office is actually well over 90% as it residential.

    • Jakeb

      Comprehensive plans are great and work best in areas with high demand. Clayton would seem to benefit from one.

      I’m not so certain such a plan would work in St Louis and no point in having a plan that is just ignored every time someone with the money to develop wants to do so outside the plan. I certainly could be wrong. But I don’t think I am.

  • Matt B

    I wonder if this means they have office tenants already lined up. Downtown is nowhere near capacity for office tenants and with the new Cupples building going up not far from this, I dont see how it will be very viable.

    • opendorz

      Actually the high vacancy downtown is not in newer Class A space.

      • Jakeb

        Question (with no snark intended): What about 909 Chestnut? ATT Tower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Center_(St._Louis)

        Isn’t this 44 stories of vacant (mostly at least) A space?

        • ANdy

          AT&T bldg is ~ 1.4 million SF and is setup only for a single tenant. It would cost millions to retrofit this building to accommodate multiple tenants.

          A smaller, couple hundred thousand SF class A office building in this area will likely not have trouble with vacancy. There are very few options for tenants in the entire St. Louis region if they are looking for over 100k SF of contiguous class A space. The city has about 15 buildings with class A space with between 30k-80k SF available but only one with more than 80k SF to my knowledge.

        • chaifetz10

          I can’t back this up with any data at the moment, but I would say that a lot of the class A office space is probably lower end class A and not ‘Trophy’ quality. Yes, it’s technically class A but that doesn’t automatically make it high end.

    • Jakeb

      I can’t imagine they will break ground on the office tower without an anchor tenant. I can’t imagine them getting financing without an anchor tenant.

  • rgbose

    “But what about parking?!” – Radio Caller

  • John

    Exciting news! I hope the sales tax revenue “spin” in the press release pans out for the City of St. Louis and public schools. I also hope the financing is truly not a taxpayer burden.

    I will be interested to see the tenant list for the office building.

    • rgbose

      For every $1M in sales the SLPS gets $6,667

  • Brian

    Any word on a possible tenant for the office buildings? I hope this is more just people abandoning one downtown building for another.

    • jhoff1257

      According to an update at 5:30 from the Post-Dispatch the City is making the Cardinals add in a provision that the developer can’t poach jobs from elsewhere in the City unless those jobs are in imminent danger of leaving or would leave without the BVP office building.

      • Brian

        It should not be too hard to get around that provision. An employer can threaten to move to the new Centene development in Clayton or the soon-to-be-available space at Scottrade. The City would probably agree to commit the earnings tax revenue for 10 or 15 years to pay to finish out their space in BPV.

      • I don’t know if the City can (or should) have that right. I understand the reasoning — why incentivize something that isn’t a net-plus — but there are better, more appropriate demands the City can make.

  • Maria Howe

    It will be a bummer to lose the view of the Old Courthouse! Too bad the development can’t work around that. The view from the stadium that captures both the courthouse and the arch is awesome and makes our stadium unique. Sounds like another case of a good idea poorly executed. St. Louis has perfected that.

    • Greg

      Negative Nancy, look again. The court house still can be seen. Looks like they did their homework to me.

      • Maria

        Thanks for the pejorative dig – great way to start a conversation. I did look at the drawings and the map. A 29 story apartment building, proposed for the corner of Clark and Broadway to the west of Broadway, would block the view. The sketch-up makes it look like the new building would not do this, but it also seems to place the building either in the middle of Broadway or to the east of the road. If I’m wrong though, that’s great!

        • Framer

          I think Maria’s right; they did move the Courthouse for the rendering. That being said, I’m all for blocking the view if that means a 29 story, contemporary glass tower added to the skyline.

          • Brian King

            It doesn’t appear to move the Courthouse. Example prior to BPV Phase 1:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0eeab6a5ca3ca7d9bfcc5ebac76c621af5cf6cc575a743eb9430326cb2be923c.jpg

          • Framer

            Check out image #5; The Mercantile…er…US Bank Tower has been moved several blocks west. Funny how that happens.

          • Brian King

            That being said, the view would likely be impacted from further down the first baseline seats. But, what can you do. 🙂

          • Tim E

            Jumping on Framer’s bandwagon that BPV 29 story residential tower trumps Courthouse View.
            ..
            In addition, I think it would go a long ways to help phase III go taller if the residential tower gets built as proposed. BPV would be financially in a much better position to propose a second residential tower and or hotel tower

        • Guest

          Oh, for Pete’s sake, people. people go to a stadium to watch a game, not admire vistas surrounding it. I find this discussion just way out in left field…lol.

          • Maria

            If cultural concerns have nothing to do with baseball then why build ballpark village at all? The whole concept is based on the idea that baseball goers want more than just the game.

          • Guest

            I didn’t mean to imply cultural concerns have nothing to do with baseball, sorry for that (aren’t major sports a part of culture?). A city has to grow, and concern about views from a venue is fine, even sensible, even desirable…but lamenting disappearing views of landmarks we’re used to because of appropriate new construction (especially as vital and pleasing as this is) seems rather non productive.
            IOW, what’s more important…”I can no longer see this important structure from this point because of that new building(s)” or “It’s good to see new proper and fitting contruction even if it’s obliterated from this particular spot”…?
            Please think about it. It’s not as if the beautiful old structure has been destroyed (like so many have). It’s still there…that’s what’s important…not that it can no longer be seen from point X because of progress.

          • Maria

            It seems particularly ironic in a city like STL – which has a PLETHORA of vacant lots – that we cannot accommodate both the view and new development. Of course I am a supporter of development in the city, that’s where I live and want to see the city grow. It just seems nonsensical that both cannot be accommodated. I’m simply asking for smarter planning.

          • Framer

            For what it’s worth, it looks like the view of The Arch will be blocked for much of the crowd along the third-base line. It’s pretty much impossible to build a large building anywhere that doesn’t block somebody’s view of something.

          • jhoff1257

            I go for both. I bet lots of others do to.

    • Michael C.

      The view of the Old Courthouse will not be lost.

    • Jakeb

      As others pointed out, it looks like the view of the Old Courthouse is preserved, but to be clear: I’ll trade that view for a new 29 story residential tower 100 times out of 100.

    • shad schoenke

      What? We can’t block the view of probably the shortest, squattest building downtown? It’s get plenty of airplay from the postcard/Eastside view and along down along Kiener plaza.

      • Maria

        Fair enough, the courthouse is a shorter building. But when there are several other lots right adjacent to the stadium (see map) that could be developed instead, why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? Why can’t we grow in a way that keeps the views that make our city unique? Do we want to become just any boring city in any boring state across the country- marked with bland high-rises and ubiquitous generic development? I certainly don’t. I chose to live in the city – not the suburbs or in a different city – because of the architecture, diversity and unique vibe in STL. I hope this discussion is all for naught, and that those who’ve commented that the view won’t be lost are correct. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09782e634d44f7cef0ae9de60b685ce783bfd0b37ab926f54c97c7b77989235f.jpg

        • shad schoenke

          Those lots aren’t owned by Cordish/Cardinals and no one else is stepping up to develop them. Also, I feel your point (not to dismiss it) is too late. Phase II (and III hopefully) is the vision the Cardinals presented when they first proposed Busch Stadium III. Had they built BPV from the get go (like they promised) the Old Courthouse would probably have been obstructed by cranes and construction when the stadium opened ten years ago. IOW, we got spoiled by their lack of action.

  • Goomba

    Looks like the TOD studies for the Stadium and Union Station are slowly coming together in reality. It will be interesting to see what the 22nd street MLS stadium design and associated development looks like.

  • BC

    In the home plate view rendering, it looks like they also added a new big screen in straight-away centerfield that blocks the view of the Stadium East parking garage. Would be an improvement.

    • SnakePlissken

      I hate that parking garage and all parking garages. Why can’t we utilize ivy or green walls or video screens to project lifestyle content or local advertising!? Why!? We need a parking garage revolution in this town.

      • RJ

        Agreed Snake. I am totally with you and there are many options to make garages not look like a concrete albatross it just requires some money and a city that starts demanding garages look better. Of course the City is part of the problem as they own some of these garages.

      • Will M

        I think I wouldnt mind those garages one bit with a couple retail options on the corners and advertisement billboards/video screens covering them. Even if it were jest billboards and electric video screens for ad boards, it would be a great improvement to the tourism experience, and would cover up the facade of the garages at the same time.

      • Mike P

        No ivy.

  • Kevin

    So does the office building wrap a parking garage or sit above underground parking? The renderings make it look like it wraps around something.

    • Chris Stritzel

      If you loom at the renderings from 8th Street looking East, there is a entrance to a garage. Not sure if it is above ground or below, but my guess is below considering retail taking up most of the bottom floor.

  • HixxinSoulard

    Great to finally see and pleased that it’s the BPV “tourists” (rather than city residents) that will mostly be footing the financing. (If I’m reading it correctly.)

    However, some of the job development claims seem absurd. BPV phase 1 created 1700 new permanent jobs? I find that incredibly hard to believe. Therefore, the 1000 new permanent jobs for phase 2 seems equally absurd.

    • T-Leb

      NGA creates 5200 construction jobs 1.75 billion project, 220 million BPV project creates 1500 construction jobs. Seems like the math is off, but I just grabbed numbers from the internet.

  • Mathew Chandler

    Very Diverse crowds in these renderings.

  • MRNHS

    How does 230 ft and 29 stories compute? That is less than 8 feet per floor, which after the gaps between ceiling and floor takes away another foot and a half. I’m sure they are not building condos with 6.5 foot ceilings so is one of those numbers incorrect or am I just thinking about this wrong?

    • matt

      It says 320 feet in the first paragraph. And 230 in the Cardinals announcement. I would assume the 320 is correct? The Cardinals website says 230 too so maybe that’s a mistake on their end and its copied here?

      • MRNHS

        Good catch. That would make more sense.

        Thanks.

  • citylover

    I. Can’t. Breathe