Monday, September 24, 2007

DT Rising: Ballpark Village Scores Centene!

They say "timing is everything", and for downtown's Ballpark Village, it appears the timing of the project is a perfect fit for the major expansion plans of Centene Corporation. Centene's planned 1,000,000 + square foot office, hotel and retail development will bring over 1,000 new jobs to downtown, and will be the anchor tenant of Ballpark Village.

It is difficult for mere words to communicate the magnitude of this announcement. For those seeking increased urban density, the Centene deal is a 1,000,000 square foot project to be located on less than one third of the overall Ballpark Village site.

In only two years, the impact of keeping the Cardinals downtown has been huge for St. Louis. In 2006, the Cardinals won their first world championship in over 20 years. Now in 2007, downtown St. Louis is announcing a major office relocation connected to Ballpark Village. Vision and dreams are becoming reality in the City.

With downtown St. Louis securing Centene over dozens of other potential sites across the country, could this deal represent the "tipping point", when local and national observers agree: The City of St. Louis is back!

7 comments:

Howard said...

And I got a new dumpster last week! This City is on a roll.

Anonymous said...

Tipping point? The mayor thinks so:

"We will look back on this move as a tipping point for Downtown. This announcement is significant for three reasons. First, we are keeping a major corporate headquarters in St. Louis and in Missouri. Second, this will bring 1,200 jobs to the City and help us create the density we need to make Downtown great. Third, just announcing this deal will increase our momentum and open some eyes as we continue to revitalize Downtown."

UrbanReviewSTL said...

I seem to have missed a step in the logic here. Because we kept the Cardinals downtown we are getting Centene? Sorry, that logic doesn't compute.

First, had the Cardinals located their stadium elsewhere (east side, earth city?) we would likely not see Centene locating there to be adjacent to a stadium.

Second, had the courts not ruled against Centene/Clayton over the definition of blight they'd be busy taking property away from private owners in Clayton right now.

Third, I'm thinking that big empty mud hole had more than a little to do with their decision. Had the Cardinals relocated the stadium elsewhere we'd have an even bigger site to develop. Could it be the site is too small to attract even more big names?

I agree this is significant and will certainly help make Ballpark Village more viable although the loss of residential causes me concern over the long term. Let's just not get carried away with drawing conclusions.

Rick Bonasch said...

Had the Cardinals moved to Earth City, leaving behind a vacant Busch Stadium, it's doubtful Centene would have chosen downtown.

Instead, we have a new state of the art downtown ballpark drawing around 4,000,000 fans a year, followed by the major announcement of a huge employer expanding its operations at Ballpark Village.

No chicken and egg problem here, our momentum continues to build... the ballpark came first; the people are following.

The city is positioned to leverage benefits from a variety of state programs to encourage redevelopment, including incentives linked to Ballpark Village. The Centene project fits the economic development strategy.

The logic makes sense. When the Clayton plan fell through, work must have started soon after on an alternative plan for downtown.

Anonymous said...

The Post is reporting that Centene is seeking major relief from the City's earnings tax.

Anonymous said...

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not a winning strategy. Too bad local cheerleaders, who refuse to admit the obvious, remain in control. Eating our own will not create success.

Anonymous said...

What is the robbing Peter part?