ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRealEstate.News) Downtown St Louis Office Market – The “construction drought” as residents of St. Louis will call it is finally coming to end, reports sources. The downtown office market is still looking weak, but experts predict St. Louis is finally at the end of an almost 3-decade long construction drought after unprecedented building projects went up in the 1980’s with little consideration for likely occupants.
In 1989, the opening of the Metropolitan Square was both a feat and haunting failure for downtown St. Louis. The 42-story office building added remarkable height and depth to the mediocre skyline, but it came to represent an empty space St. Louis just couldn’t manage to fill. The 950,000 square feet took years and years to fill, mostly luring tenants form nearby buildings. The experience left downtown with an overhang of vacant space that has suppressed interest in construction for over 27 years.
In the past 3 weeks, two developers have announced they have a plan for breaking the long drought. Koman Group wants to build Cupples X just west of Busch Stadium, and already has a tenant that intends to fill much of the 100,000 square feet of the proposed building. Shortly thereafter that announcement, the Cardinals and Cordish Cos. Showed plans for an office building of about 10 stories in Ballpark Village. Coincidence? Or is downtown St. Louis about to be back on track in the construction department?
Downtown residents are incredibly excited about the flurry of activity, but pundits warn the market might not be ready yet to absorb the new spaces. Conventional metrics show that Clayton and other St. Louis regions are not ready to support major construction for office buildings again, with lagging rental times and low prices. Others disagree, and argue the market may be stronger than it looks. Time will most certainly tell for downtown St. Louis.
Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo