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Saturday, March 29, 2008
St. Louisans Bitch
The concept of Ballpark Village was one that was tough to understand. So we have this stadium with about 80 games per year--then we have a entertainment, retail living center nearby. Baseball heaven maybe?
So the whole idea has gone through some changes. First Condos, then corporate headquarters, who knows what's next. A corporate hub seemed to be the most attractive of the options.
The day Centene announced it's intentions to move downtown, we rejoiced. One big pat on the back for the downtown revitalization. No one seems to know their plans today. They could stay in Clayton, they could move out of state, they could find another place to move downtown.
What sort of baffles me is the whining and negativity surrounding this deal not coming together.
Who really cares if Centene and Busch Stadium are neighbors? Sure it would give some useful density to the project, but is it vital to the project? It wasn't originally in the plans, so it mustn't be that important.
Listening to Charlie Brennan on Thursday the skeptics were crawling out of the woodwork. Maybe they're always out of the woodwork, talk radio is rarely in my schedule. Suddenly, the City, the Cardinals, Cordish, and anyone else involved was corrupt, spineless, failures that should be banished. The fact that so many people needed Centene to be a part of Ballpark Village was confusing. Should it have been re-named "Health Care Village?"
Bill McClellan put his usual anti-development spin on his column and made some good points about local business not getting the same favoritism being granted to Ballpark Village. The comparison to Ballpark Village to St. Louis Center is a tired cliche though. He should just come out and admit that he prefers the downtown of 1990 over the one of today.
After reading Bill's column though, something seemed to come into focus that had never been so clear about Ballpark Village. It's being built for him. Ballpark Village is being created as a suburban oasis in the heart of the City. It will bring comfort to those looking for a bit of home in downtown. It will still happen.
While the naysayers still ponder the fate of Ballpark Village, downtown development moves on. I can't shake my optimism about the right thing happening for the beloved "hole by Busch stadium". St. Louis shouldn't be so impatient and cynical. It casts a negative shadow on the immense progress and the bright future of our downtown. These major projects deserve time, attention, and the opportunity to tweak the plans until the right concept evolves.
Let's face it, the Cardinals are easily the number one attraction (besides work) downtown. Let's stand behind their goals to make the baseball experience more fulfiling in Downtown St. Louis.
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