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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ballpark Boondoggle

From Miscellaneous Items

By now, all of St. Louis is abuzz with the news that our once lofty Ballpark Village will be, by the time of the All Star Game, a softball field and accompanying parking lot.

The parking lot announcement is particularly troubling, because, in my opinion, nothing could make a sports stadium seem more lifeless than to be surrounded by parking garage monstrosities on most sides--and a surface lot.

When I say nothing is worse, I mean nothing. Literally, leaving it is a grassy lot would have been better.

Pull in a giant T.V. screen, a makeshift stage and seating area; have performances and live media events atop the grass. That's a temporary solution. A parking lot sounds scarily permanent.

The moment the pavement hits the ground for that parking lot, we will be stuck with it for three years minimum; perhaps much, much longer. That is a risk we can't afford to take in downtown St. Louis.

Read apt commentaries by Downtown St. Louis Business blog here and Random Talk on Urban Affairs (RTUA) here.

It is past time to subdivide the land and sell it to smaller developers. It's perhaps the one area in St. Louis that could thumb its nose at the daunting recession we're in. And I value RTUA's Doug's historic preservation take highly; when we demolish historic landmarks, we deserve better than a parking lot and softball field. There should be measures in place to ensure that this site is developed on within a set amount of years or it will be handed over to the city.

EDIT: Michael Allen's Ballpark Farms is definitely worth a look as well!


Brian said...


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