As expected, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen (the curiously named St. Louis law-making body) gave preliminary approval this week to support the development plan and subsidies for Ballpark Village, a long-planned entertainment, retail, office and residential district that will eventually connect the six blocks directly north of Busch Stadium. This news comes on the heels of the approval of the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority’s (MoDESA for short) to provide $17 million in MoDESA-backed bonds for the initial phase of construction.  The construction of this 10-acre, brand-spanking new urban mecca is set to begin this fall with the $100 million initial phase, which will include building 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, as well as the utilities grid for the entire area. Future tenants include a Cardinals-themed restaurant, a Cardinals Museum and Hall of Fame, a Budweiser-themed restaurant and beer garden,  and a top-quality concert and event venue, which should all serve to cement this area’s status as the premier location in downtown St. Louis.  While approval is still needed from the State of Missouri as well as from another vote by the Aldermen tomorrow, it looks like construction is ready to move full-speed ahead. The Village (a nickname guaranteed  to become commonplace as soon as it opens) will include many locales that provide rooftop seating with great views into the ballpark itself. And for those fans lucky enough to afford it, plans include the construction of luxury residential towers full of high-end apartments with postcard-worthy views looking into Busch Stadium and over the downtown skyline.

Bottom Line: The whole experience of going down to the stadium to catch a Cards game will only be improved with the addition of both indoor and outdoor quality restaurants, bars, stores, etc, pending the approval of a couple more governing bodies.