Entertainment districts are all the rage in Major League Baseball, as successes like The Battery in Atlanta, Ballpark Village in St. Louis and Wrigleyville in Chicago are inspiring owners across the majors to eye their own developments. (No, we’re not going to weigh in on the fact that they also allow MLB owners to shield some baseball-generated revenues from players–another enticement for owners.) The Astros, which have already renovated portions of Minute Maid Park, including the Ultra Club and Gallagher Club, are hopping on that train with a mixed-use development next to Union Station and a closed ballpark restaurant.
The development sounds to be a little more modest in scope, with 1.738 acres under team control planned for construction, as well as land to be made available when the Texas Department of Transportation reroutes U.S. 59 and Interstate 45 next to the ballpark.
“We think that will bring a lot of people downtown,” Crane said in a post-World Series press conference. “The area continues to improve around us. When we came in there was an old boarded up building where those apartments are. So I think this is going to be the spot. If they get the freeway done and it goes underground that’s going to be a park, so this area’s going to be a primetime area down the road for everybody to come down and enjoy the ballpark. And I think a lot more people are moving downtown which also helps us. So everything looks good, on the bright side.”