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Groundbreaking in fall or winter, after state okays Ballpark Village aid

This spot near Busch Stadium is scheduled to be transformed into Ballpark Village
(Photo courtesy of UPI)
This spot near Busch Stadium is scheduled to be transformed into Ballpark Village

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU / AP

Jefferson City, MO – A state board has approved financial aid for a newly expanded project to build condominiums, shops, restaurants and office space near Busch Stadium.

The Missouri Development Finance Board is backing a $387 million project that will include a little less than $30 million in state aid for infrastructure improvements.

Bill DeWitt the 3rd is Senior Vice President for the St. Louis Cardinals,

"There's gonna be a significant residential component, and for those that want to live, you know, within a home run of home plate, that's gonna happen it's an exciting day for that."

Construction of Ballpark Village should begin by late Fall or early winter, and plans are to have a large portion open in time for the 2009 Major League All-star Game at Busch Stadium.

A plan considered last month by the state board would have cost about $100 million less, but it had fewer buildings and no condos.

"For many years it's been said by St. Louisans and Cardinal fans, and Rams fans, that you rush downtown to the game, and as soon as the game's over you leave," said Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who chairs the finance board. "We want this to be a place more like, say, Wrigleyville in Chicago, that has attractive features that draw people down earlier, and keep them there after the game."

Kinder also says he believes Ballpark Village will eventually pay for itself and help revitalize downtown St. Louis.