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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Some say the proposed Ballpark Village Phase 2 development could be a game changer for downtown.  The proposed development includes a 29-story luxury apartment tower built on top of a parking garage.  The $220 million project is also slated to include office and retail space.

St. Louis Cardinals President Bill Dewitt, III believes Tuesday’s announcement sends a strong signal about the team’s commitment to downtown St. Louis.

“It’s all coming together right now to create what we hoped for in Ballpark Village, which is the residential, the office, and additional retail that creates a true neighborhood,” said Dewitt.

He said the project would create 1,000 permanent jobs and 1,500 construction jobs.

The project will require the passage of a bill introduced by St. Louis Alderman Jack Coatar.  His ward includes the downtown area.  The proposed bill would allow developers to implement a 1% sales tax on customers using Ballpark Village Services.  The money would be used to help fund the project.

“I think it’s a big deal for downtown. We have not seen any new office space built downtown since 1989.  We’ve had very few residential (spaces) built.  Having a big shiny new building rise up out of the ground in downtown St. Louis I think will be a very big deal for the psyche of downtown,” said Coatar.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the proposed new development phase could include $65 million dollars in public incentives, including TIF money.  The TIF funding mechanism was established with the original ballpark development project.

Graham Renz is a policy researcher with the Show-Me Institute.  He believes taxpayers should pay close attention to the details of the project as it moves forward.

“This is a pretty large investment that the Cardinals want to make in downtown St. Louis, and that’s a good thing,” said Renz.  “But it’s not just private funds that are proposed to be invested in downtown. It includes public funds as well.”

The Cardinals believe the benefits to St. Louis and Missouri will far outweigh the cost to taxpayers.  Dewitt said construction could begin next fall and would take an estimated 18 months to complete.