And they said it was too good to be true!
Ding dong, the Centene Corp. deal is dead. The company will not be building its headquarters at the future site of Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis, per an announcement from the company Wednesday.
Heralded at the time as a best of both worlds deal meant to keep Centene offices in the metropolitan area, The St. Louis Business Journal is reporting that Centene sent the city a “Dear John” press statement proclaiming that the wedding is off.
“Since our announcement in September 2007, we have been working closely with representatives of Ballpark Village to finalize details for this project. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we could not bring our plans to fruition,” the release said.
The Journal goes on to report that Centene said it is weighing new options for its corporate headquarters, in and outside of the region.
Centene had promised to bring 1,200 new jobs downtown in the next five years. In return, the city and state was going to fork over $78 million in tax incentives.
One group that has always been opposed to taxpayer funding of the Ballpark Village is the Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums. They say the Ballpark Village is part of the stadium and should not be built with taxpayer funds.
We interviewed Fred Lindecke of the Coalition back in September on the Centene deal.