Thursday, January 20, 2011

Take a Village

Ray Hartmann demolishes the Ballpark Village, a bad idea that continues to resurface:

The latest incarnation of the project promises “a plaza for concerts,” which St. Louis—overrun with concert venues (even before the old Kiel Opera House is restored)—most certainly does not need.

It also proposes “unique stores and restaurants” for which there is no demand. If there were demand, they would already have existed around the old Busch Stadium, or the new one, since St. Louisans have been going to the same place downtown for the same purpose (to watch baseball) for 45 years.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the average family spends hundreds of dollars and takes several hours out of the day to attend Cardinal games. Spending still more money and time in “unique” stores seems a uniquely unattractive idea.

So, too, does the notion of constructing a new, 12- or 13-story office building that would use city-government subsidy to compete with a downtown core that it is already plagued with a 25-percent vacancy rate. Adding insult to injury, the new building’s prized tenant—Stifel Nicolaus—would be lured from an existing downtown skyscraper, leaving it with a devastating six-floor hole.

No comments: