The greater St. Louis area is experiencing phenomenal economic development and has benefited from "missing" the real estate bubble that hit the rest of the country. Residential real estate in the St. Louis area only climbed about 30% from 2000 to 2006, compared to an 80% national average, and the prices are continuing to crawl upwards rather than receding like many other areas. These steady prices have encouraged a lot of commercial and residential development in the suburbs, as well as industrial development outside the city core, and downtown itself is also in the throes of "revitalization".

Cordish is seeking to build six blocks of signature restaurants, specialty stores, entertainment venues and office space next to the new Busch Stadium. The developer, which has built similar projects around the country, is partnering with the Cardinals organization, which owns the land.

In the midst of the World Series, the city and Cordish announced, to much fanfare, they had reached a deal in principle. Since then, a flurry of last-minute discussions pose potential changes to the project's scope.

In the first phase of the project, Cordish is now committed to 324,000 square feet of space for stores, restaurants and entertainment. That's about 10 percent less than the firm committed to originally. It would still build 100,000 square feet of offices and add 1,200 parking spaces.

They might also build a ton of condos, depending on market conditions (there are already hundreds of new condos going up in the city, and it's not clear how the market will look in 2009). The biggest strike against the city itself is the 1% city earnings tax on residents, workers, and businesses, but there's talk of eliminating it.

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