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  • Ballpark Village is baseball fantasy

    IMO, he brings up some very good points.


    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/new...D?OpenDocument



    Ballpark Village is baseball fantasy
    By Bill McClellan
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/28/2008



    Shortly before going on a brief vacation, a friend called and suggested lunch. Let's do it when I come back, I said. Name a place downtown, I added. He suggested Dierdorf & Hart's.

    That's a little tony for me, but what the heck. I can charge the lunch to the paper. Sounds good, I said.

    When I came back from vacation, Dierdorf & Hart's was closed. So my friend and I went to Charlie Gitto's. After lunch, I walked around a bit. I noticed that on North Eighth Street, Dooley's was closed. Dooley's! After almost 40 years, the famous hamburger joint closed while I was away.

    Two longtime, locally owned restaurants gone. Both within a short walk of the new Busch Stadium.

    That should make a rational person wonder about Ballpark Village.

    In the first place, the very concept of Ballpark Village is troubling. The city and the state will be giving big tax breaks to the developer who builds the Village.

    That's not fair to businesses that are already downtown. Like restaurants. Downtown restaurants seem to come and go. It's a tough business.

    The last thing restaurant owners need is subsidized competition. Why should we penalize entrepreneurs who have been employing people and paying taxes?

    Let's be provincial. A lot of the restaurant people are locals. On the other hand, what names have been bandied about for Ballpark Village? Hard Rock Cafe and ESPN Zone are usually cited.

    In other words, the tax breaks are going to go to the out-of-town developer who is working with the out-of-town owners of the Cardinals to give large chain restaurants an advantage over locally owned restaurants. That's a good thing?

    But there was another message in my stroll around downtown. Fairness aside, Ballpark Village is a lousy idea. A retail center downtown? Three words: St. Louis Centre. I walked past that, too. It opened to great fanfare in 1985. It was going to revitalize downtown.

    Perhaps the theory is that retail stores and restaurants will flourish because they are close to the ballpark. There is a problem with that thinking.

    Before we built this new Busch Stadium, we had the old Busch Stadium. Restaurants and retail stores did not flourish around it. Moving the location of the ballpark one block south will hardly make a difference.

    Truth is, people have known from Day One that Ballpark Village is a bad idea. That was obvious when the city made the owners of the Cardinals sign a guarantee that they would build the Village — or else there would be financial penalties. That was an ominous sign.

    If a business idea is good, you don't need to negotiate guarantees and penalties. Business people act on good ideas. They put their own money into them.

    If you have an ocean, you don't need to negotiate with businessmen to make sure they will build on oceanfront property. They just do it. For that matter, if we had a lake — Chouteau's Pond, for instance — entrepreneurs would bid against each other for waterfront property. The city would not have to negotiate guarantees and penalties to make sure that something was built.

    Why did the city need to enter negotiations about Ballpark Village? Because the city and the Cardinal owners noticed the same thing. The old Busch Stadium had sat there for 40 years and nobody had opened a successful retail outlet in its vicinity. Had anybody put up condos? No. Restaurants? Well, Mike Shannon's and a couple of others catered to the ballpark crowd, but that was about it.

    So the idea of a Village was a myth from the start. Originally, it was part of the Cardinal owners' plan to get as much public money as possible for the new stadium. They knew it would be a difficult sell for wealthy out-of-towners to ask the locals for public money for a new stadium when there was already a very nice stadium. Hence, the myth of a Ballpark Village with its fancy condos, bustling retail center, and flourishing restaurants. It would revitalize downtown.

    Yes, just like St. Louis Centre did in 1985.

    I think it's time to get our head out of the clouds and start thinking about what to do with that muddy mess that sits just north of the new stadium.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    So because St. Louis Centre failed 22 years ago, the city should never try to put retail downtown again?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by backstop View Post
      So because St. Louis Centre failed 22 years ago, the city should never try to put retail downtown again?
      You're a quick study.

      Moon

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by backstop View Post
        So because St. Louis Centre failed 22 years ago, the city should never try to put retail downtown again?
        Actually it failed about 15 years ago. I remember going to Cards games in the early 90's and there would be folks in there getting some food before the game.

        I think he brings up some very valid points, mainly because I don't see this "move back into the city" that has been talked about for a couple decades. In fact, the US Census released numbers that say the City is still losing population. Sure there's some trendy lofts going in on Washington and the areas to the west of the immediate downtown area, but I don't see single and newlywed yuppies as being the people who'd keep these types of retail businesses profitable for the long run.

        He also brings up a good point about giving tax breaks to the out of town big wigs, while places like Dooley's and Dierdorf/Hart are forced to shutter their doors.
        Make America Great For Once.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ballpark Village and the original concepts around Metropolis should be bridged.

          There is no doubt in my mind that St. Louis has the people who would enjoy a nightlife outside of the landing. The question is - what other things does that nightlife bring?
          Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

          Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
          God is stronger and the problem knows it.

          2017 BOTB bracket

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Schwahalala View Post
            Ballpark Village and the original concepts around Metropolis should be bridged.

            There is no doubt in my mind that St. Louis has the people who would enjoy a nightlife outside of the landing. The question is - what other things does that nightlife bring?
            The Landing died years ago.

            Backstop, I agree with you, but the point is, keep the playing field fair. Why should we give tax breaks for this at the expense of the other risk taking entreprenuers who already have restaurants downtown? If retail and more restaurants downtown are a good idea, business people will open them regardless of tax breaks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chazzz View Post
              The Landing died years ago.

              Backstop, I agree with you, but the point is, keep the playing field fair. Why should we give tax breaks for this at the expense of the other risk taking entreprenuers who already have restaurants downtown? If retail and more restaurants downtown are a good idea, business people will open them regardless of tax breaks.

              True -
              That however - remains the only successful night time area for downtown St. Louis in modern history.
              Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

              Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
              God is stronger and the problem knows it.

              2017 BOTB bracket

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh and I agree with Backstop too - if your going to give new places tax breaks what about the old ones.

                What's really tricky is the public service component of hiring disadvantaged youth and adults for workers - in ballpark village.

                If you are going to have a lot of minimum wage stuff - it's no good even if it makes money.
                Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                2017 BOTB bracket

                Comment


                • #9
                  With the economy going further into the tank, I don't think this is a good time to open up more upper scale shops and restaurants. Heck, remember all the fanfare for St. Louis Mills? Walking through that place is like a trip through a ghost town. Many shops are shuttered and the crowds are way down.
                  Make America Great For Once.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Schwahalala View Post
                    True -
                    That however - remains the only successful night time area for downtown St. Louis in modern history.
                    I never was a "Landing" fan. It was ok, but I like "The Loop" much better.
                    Make America Great For Once.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lets dabble shall we -

                      Lets try and construct somethings we think would work in the yet to be formed ballpark center.

                      Mississippi Art Museum - Educational as well as business - could hold exhibits and tours - promotes St. Louis history and sells localized trinkiets.

                      Seafood Restaurant -

                      Soulfood Restaurant -

                      Branch of the Public Library -

                      UPS or Fed Ex or both small center -

                      Post Office -

                      Baseball themed bed and breakfast -

                      Bread Company

                      Science Center - satellite

                      Bowling Alley -
                      Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                      Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                      God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                      2017 BOTB bracket

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Schwahalala View Post
                        True -
                        That however - remains the only successful night time area for downtown St. Louis in modern history.
                        Washington Ave. would disagree with you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bleacher Creature View Post
                          I never was a "Landing" fan. It was ok, but I like "The Loop" much better.
                          That's not downtown however - I've always understood the attraction.
                          Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                          Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                          God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                          2017 BOTB bracket

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's just a fantasy
                            whoooaoaoo it's not the real thing
                            whooaoaoaoo

                            earworm.
                            Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chazzz View Post
                              Washington Ave. would disagree with you.

                              And Washington Ave has how many years of success under their belts?
                              Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                              Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                              God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                              2017 BOTB bracket

                              Comment

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