ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Ballpark Village is blamed for a major drop off in revenue along the entertainment district along Washington Avenue.

“Business is not created, it just moves. And everything is getting sucked into the black hole. That’s what Ballpark Village is.”

General manager of Copia restaurant, near 11th and Washington, Amer Hawatmeh says with Ballpark Village taking in millions every month – $45 million in revenue last month – it’s easy to see why business along Washington Avenue have lost half of their revenue this year.

“On the weekends, you used to look out the windows of any of these spaces, and you look on Washington Avenue, and it was a thriving, thriving downtown on Washington Ave.,” he says. “Now, you come down here on the weekends, and you can count the amount of people on the street.”

General Manager of Copia's restaurant, Amer Hawatmeh,  stands by an empty dining room at noon on a weekday, something he didn't used to see.  (Kevin Killeen/KMOX)

General Manager of Copia’s restaurant Amer Hawatmeh stands by an empty dining room at noon on a weekday – something he didn’t used to see. (Kevin Killeen/KMOX)

Hawatmeh says the Washington Avenue restaurant group reports a 50 percent drop in gross revenue since Ballpark Village opened.

“I know at least seven or eight places that are, at any given time, they’re going to decide to stop taking money out of their right pocket to put it in their left pocket to keep their businesses alive,” Hawatmeh says.

Copia may stop serving lunch because it’s had so few customers in recent months, depending on how things go after the baseball season.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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