ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Ballpark Village moved one step closer to reality on Thursday after the project got the green light from the downtown economic stimulus authority.
The commissioners approved $17 million in tax-increment financing to build streets and other infrastructure for the first phase of the project.
The bonds are backed by the Cardinals, which means the taxpayers would not be on the hook if the project tanks.
Phase one of the project includes $100 million worth of retail and restaurant entertainment built around an outdoor pavilion capable of holding live concerts, similar to one built in Kansas City.
There will be a Cardinals Hall of Fame along with a restaurant run by Anheuser-Busch. There will also be bleacher style seats overlooking Busch Stadium.
One commissioner asked Cardinals President Bill DeWitt, Jr. if he would commit to using local contractors for the job. DeWitt said he lives in the community and they will use local whenever possible.
The developer – Cordish Company - also had a representative at Thursday’s meeting. They are hoping to break ground as soon as this fall with phase one completion wrapping up in the spring of 2014.
Thursday’s decision was not the final hurdle. It now goes before the board of alderman and the state.
But if things went as smoothly as they did Thursday, construction could start within a few months.