A story in this morning’s newspaper quotes a Cordish Co. spokesman explaining why there is still a big hole outside Busch Stadium - and may still be a big hole there for the next several months. He attributed the delay to continuing negotiations with Centene Corp., which plans to relocate its headquarters to downtown from Clayton.
Representatives of the Cordish Co. have told us they are ready to move forward with the Ballpark Village development. But, they have also told us that the Centene deal significantly changes the design of Ballpark Village. We have told them to finish their deal with Centene so we can move forward with all of the projects together and not have to change them later.
Centene is a great company. They will make the Ballpark Village project better, and their presence in Downtown St. Louis will be a tremendous boost to the City’s economy and add to our momentum.
But, I don’t believe Centene is to blame for the delay. Cordish has had four months to complete the negotiations and finish the development agreement. Like everyone else, I am growing impatient. I want to see construction start soon.
I remain confident that Ballpark Village will begin construction in the next couple of months. I am even more confident, however, that taxpayers are protected by an ordinance that will let us collect penalties from the Cardinals should they fail to meet their obligations.