(BaseballStL) -- Nearly seven months to the day, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the first major milestone of Ballpark Village’s first phase since construction began in January.
At a ceremony on the parking lot of Ballpark Village on Tuesday, a crane raised a nearly one-hundred foot long truss into place where the retractable roof will be. It marked the end of the structural steel work to the $100 million first phase development.
“This is an important milestone for Ballpark Village to have the topping off ceremony,” Cardinals Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “Our vision when we built Busch Stadium was to have a year-round destination facility for downtown St. Louis. This is a big part of it.”
Since the groundbreaking ceremony on January 30, more than 360 workers put in more than 36,700 hours of work to get 910 tons of steel to frame the project, in addition to putting in most of the storm sewers, water lines and underground electrical duct banks.
“It can be a little distracting actually when your office looks right down on a construction site that you’ve been working on and sometimes I have to turn my back on it so I don’t just sit there and watch people work,” Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III joked.
The final piece to the outside structure put in place on Tuesday belongs to the “crown jewel of the project,” the 9,600 square-foot skylight and retractable roof.
The last of the 1,000-pound aluminum truss beams was inserted to help support 12 retractable polycarbonate skylight panels. Those panels will retract to a 96 x 50 opening of sky.
“It’s an exciting day for the project,” Chase Martin, Director of Development for Ballpark Village, said. “This is a significant milestone. It’s only fitting that the truss that will be lifted here is the final truss for the building but also for the retractable roof, which will be a signature element on the project.”
The Cardinals already announced some of the tenants of the building which include Cardinals Nation, described as a bar-restaurant and Hall of Fame museum, and the Budweiser Brew House. Both will be located alongside Clark Street. DeWitt III expects three or four more businesses will be announced at a later date. Other venues include Ballpark Village Live! Marketplace and PBR St. Louis.
Ballpark Village is expected to be open by Opening Day next year.