Monday, June 28, 2010
Phase I of Ballpark Village to be Scaled Back?
At a recent gathering of commercial real estate professionals, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III told the crowd that efforts to finance the construction of Ballpark Village have progressed in recent months. Of course, we've heard this song before on several other occasions, and Ballpark Village still consists of just a softball field and a parking lot (which looks absolutely atrocious on TV).
The interesting aspect of DeWitt's presentation was the revelation that the plans for the first phase of the development have been phased back a bit. This could actually be a good thing.
According to DeWitt, phase I of Ballpark Village will be built on the tow blocks at the southeast corner of the development's 10-acre site, directly across from Busch Stadium at the northwest corner of Broadway and Clark. It will consist of a new office tower totaling somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 sf, as well as retail and restaurant space. As a point of comparison, the Deloitte Building at 100 S. Fourth Street is approximately 250,000 sf. It's also worth noting that the Deloitte Building has historically enjoyed stable, high occupancy rates compared to other downtown properties.
With Stifel Nicolaus planning to lease at least 175,000 sf, building a smaller office building could help minimize the potential for another round of musical chairs among downtown office tenants. Stifel's four-plus floors in One Financial Plaza...And finally having tangible construction underway could help generate interest among prospective tenants for office space in future phases.