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Development and ballparks: today’s good and bad news

Ballpark Village A development expected to help pay off debt on Camelback Ranch-Glendale is going into foreclosure as the developers enters bankruptcy, while the St. Louis Cardinals are finally ready to go ahead with the long-awaited Ballpark Village. Two tales of the sometimes awkward marriage between ballpark financing and development.

First, the good news. The St. Louis Cardinals and development partner Cordish are ready to move ahead on the first phase of development on Ballpark Village, to be located on the old Busch Stadium site next to the new Busch Stadium. The pair have had loads of issues arranging financing and tenants for the development, and over time the terms of the deal have changed. Now the initial phase includes a 14-story tower with 225,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a Cardinals Museum and an outdoor performance space. Retail is out of the mix, though it could be included down the road.

Now, the bad news. A planned 150-acre development near Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the spring home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, is pretty much in shambles after the developers failed to pay property taxes; the property will go to a trustee’s sale on Feb. 8. The development was to contain retail, hotels/resorts, office space and a new headquarters for USA Baseball.

It’s terrible news for financially strapped Glendale, which was expected tax revenues from the project to pay for ballpark debt. There’s a $16 million payment on the project due in 2014, and the city will need to find some way to pay it.

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