Wednesday, September 27, 2006

$540,000,000 More or Less...


As part of the original plan for the new Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals promised to build a $60,000,000, privately financed, "Ballpark Village" next to the new stadium.

The Cardinals have gone back to the drawing board, and come back to the City with a much larger vision for Ballpark Village. The plan they are proposing calls for a ten-fold increase in the size of the project to $600,000,000.

Using big city development cost estimates of $250 per square foot, at $60MM dollars, the project is 240,000 square feet. At $600MM the project is 2,400,000 square feet. Under the expanded project plan, the developer is proposing a project that would alter the skyline of St. Louis, including new towers rivaling the height of the Arch.

The larger project would be financed through a public-private partnership including TIF (Tax Increment Financing). An allocation of the new tax revenues generated by the project would be used to pay for the cost of the project.

So, if you had a choice, which would you rather see? A much smaller scale, fully privately financed project? Or a much larger project, financed through a public private partnership?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Private please ...too much government interference already!

Urban Review said...

This has to be some of the most valuable real estate in the entire region. As such, public money should not be used to develop it --- use public money only where strictly private development can't work.

Anonymous said...

I would be willing to consider a project where the Cardinals owners made good on their original offer-to pony up the first $60,000,000-fully taxable, and then consider a public private partnership for the rest of it.

Call the first $60,000,000 phase one, and then the remainder future phase(s).

The city should hold the Cardinals to their original commitment, before the Cardinals start getting any further public assistance.

Anonymous said...

Private as the original deal was made.

Anonymous said...

The devil is in the details, and the details on this one are yet to be revealed...

Most TIFs in the City of St. Louis these days dedicate only a share of the taxes, not all tax revenue, to retire the TIF bonds. So, even with a TIF project, the city would see an increase in tax revenues from day one.

It might be shown that getting a piece of the tax revenue from a larger sized pie will generate more tax revenues for the city than getting all of the taxes from a smaller sized project!

Does it make sense to hold the developer to an all-private deal if the city could generate more revenue through a public-private partnership?

Michael Allen said...

I want the big version privately funded, and the same amount of public money that was going to be used on Ballpark Village to be used in development projects in the Arlington/Wellston Loop and Hyde Park neighborhoods.

Travis Reems said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Travis Reems said...

Small thinking will restrict St. Louis from big accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Small thinking?

Spoken like a non taxpayer.

The original plan would be a big accomplishment since they arent' working on it yet