MLB Cardinals land three key tenants for Ballpark Village expansion

Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals and development partner the Baltimore, Maryland-based Cordish Cos. have struck three new real estate deals to serve as anchors for a $260m (€233m) expansion of its Ballpark Village effort adjacent to Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals-Cordish partnership has aligned with dining and social gaming concept Sports & Social-St. Louis, upscale dining purveyor Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, and baseball lifestyle apparel brand Baseballism to add to the existing battery of restaurant, retail, and entertainment concepts existing in Ballpark Village.

The three new tenants are slated to open early next year, along with a second phase of Ballpark Village that will also include an upscale Loews hotel, a 29-story residential tower, and a health and fitness center.

“These concepts will bring great new energy to Ballpark Village and will help us attract new residents, office workers, and visitors to downtown,” said Bill DeWitt III, Cardinals president.

Mixed-use developments are now a key part of new MLB stadium construction, as seen with the two-year-old SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia, Globe Life Park slated to open next spring outside of Dallas, Texas, and other, similar efforts involving existing ballparks for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, among others. The Oakland A’s are also pursuing a similar concept, but are currently being slowed by legal issues

But the Cardinals and Cordish were a key early progenitor of the concept, with Ballpark Village a key component of the 13-year-old Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. The pair have gone in, however, with a phased development approach compared to many of the other clubs, and were initially slowed by a national economic recession in the US. The first phase of Ballpark Village opened in 2014.

Sports & Social – combining full dining, interactive games such as duck-pin bowling, ping pong, skeeball, and foosball, and large video screens for watching sports – also has locations at SunTrust Park and at Texas Live!, the development adjacent to the forthcoming Globe Life Park. Live music is also being planned for the St. Louis location, as has been the case at the others.

Davio’s, meanwhile, has a dozen locations around the country, while Baseballism has nine retail stores, including ones near to Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston.

“We have a loyal following in St. Louis, and now we can participate in the Cardinals’ rich baseball culture,” said Jonathan Jwayad, Baseballism chief operating officer.