ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The proposed expansion of Ballpark Village wins final passage in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

Downtown Alderman Jack Coatar sponsored the bill to give the Cardinals $16 million in additional tax breaks.

“It’s going to bring a lot of new residents to downtown and new office workers, which is important,” Coatar. “We obviously have a lot of challenges downtown. We are competing against Clayton. We’ve got a depressed office market.”

Coatar adds that the housing market downtown is strong. He believes that if more businesses and residents move downtown, it will “activate” the area.

Alderman Antonio French, who’s running for mayor, added language to receive $5 million for small businesses as well.

“The biggest complaint and hurdle that small businesses have opening in low-income neighborhoods, is the availability of financing,” French says. “It’s hard to get the money from the banks and then the city does not have incentive packages or help for small businesses.”

Under French’s provision, the city would provide $250,000 per year in grants or low-interest loans to new small businesses in the city. The larger bill brings to $65 million the amount of tax breaks the Cardinals will receive over twenty years for Ball Park Village.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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