I’ve only decided one thing for certain about Ballpark Village: it is worthwhile to take the time to discuss what it would take to make a decent plan for the City into a great one.
In the conversations that we’ve been having with Cordish, the Cardinals’ national development partner, I’ve told them that the City could support an energetic 6-block district with shops, restaurants, offices, residences, and events that would bring more people downtown 365 days a year.
Cordish has already built that kind of district in Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, and Louisville and is building one in Kansas City. I could see one here, too, if we can work out the details.
If it happens, it will be like nothing else in the region.
A recent newspaper story about Ballpark Village mangled a couple of important points.
First, what the Cardinals are now proposing is a bigger project with more private investment, more new jobs, more new tax revenues, and more excitement.
Second, what the City is considering using to help build the project are some of the new tax revenues generated within the project. We are NOT considering using any existing tax revenues for the project.
There is a complicated road of approvals, hearings, and check-offs ahead. And, this is not a settled matter. It’s the City’s best interest, not the Cardinals’, which has to drive the deal.
We’ll know in a month or so if the numbers work for us. If they do, a great Village should be opening its doors outside the new Ballpark two years from now.