Downtown Office Occupancy/Vacancy

Downtown construction activity, including hotel projects, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc.
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Well, 60 lucky duckies to get relocated from Brentwood to downtown. Anders to consolidate 160 into new HQ at Bank of America tower:

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog ... ml?ana=twt

100 being relocated from 705 Olive
Good! Hopefully the trend will continue.
arch city wrote:
Good! Hopefully the trend will continue.


My vision is that enough of these smaller successes (small firms moving downtown, more exciting M/X and Blues Museum style openings) in downtown get to the point where a Big Deciderer out in the County sternly asks of his #2, "Higgg-inss..... why aren't we downtown like all these other folks?" "Great idea boss! I'll get right on it!" And suddenly 2,500 employees move downtown triggering a new dawn.
^Tweetable. :)
roger wyoming II wrote:
arch city wrote:
Good! Hopefully the trend will continue.


My vision is that enough of these smaller successes (small firms moving downtown, more exciting M/X and Blues Museum style openings) in downtown get to the point where a Big Deciderer out in the County sternly asks of his #2, "Higgg-inss..... why aren't we downtown like all these other folks?" "Great idea boss! I'll get right on it!" And suddenly 2,500 employees move downtown triggering a new dawn.

Except from a regional perspective, this means little.
^ Unless you believe that a stronger central city and the synergies that come from dense(r) human interaction matter. Sprawl doesn't help the region, or business. Having employees from Wells Fargo and Scottrade know one another, bump into one another on the street, would be a positive for both companies and the region, right?
^ That'd be great but I'm not sure a tipping point is likely given the polarizing views between city and county residents.
innov8ion wrote:
roger wyoming II wrote:
arch city wrote:
Good! Hopefully the trend will continue.


My vision is that enough of these smaller successes (small firms moving downtown, more exciting M/X and Blues Museum style openings) in downtown get to the point where a Big Deciderer out in the County sternly asks of his #2, "Higgg-inss..... why aren't we downtown like all these other folks?" "Great idea boss! I'll get right on it!" And suddenly 2,500 employees move downtown triggering a new dawn.

Except from a regional perspective, this means nothing.


Incorrect!
roger wyoming II wrote:
innov8ion wrote:
Except from a regional perspective, this means nothing.

Incorrect!

Generally speaking, the economy improves when we have an influx of jobs and business in the region. Simply shuffling them around within it doesn't do much. If a minimal shift to the core occurs, it could be considered a slight improvement. IMHO, there would need to be a tipping point for it to be of much consequence.

Curious how I'm incorrect, though.
innov8ion wrote:
roger wyoming II wrote:
innov8ion wrote:
Except from a regional perspective, this means nothing.

Incorrect!

Generally speaking, the economy improves when we have an influx of jobs and business in the region. Simply shuffling them around within it doesn't do much. If a minimal shift to the core occurs, it could be considered a slight improvement. There would need to be a tipping point for it to be of much consequence, IMHO.


You're correct that re-centering a greater percentage of regional jobs to downtown won't necessarily do a whole lot immediately for the economic output for the regional economy; however, the Saint Louis region will not be able to see the type of growth more dynamic metros are achieving until we see a more thriving core. It should be evident to all that our rubber band region is being stretched to the breaking point.
^ You're absolutely right. The tipping point might come when a big player moves downtown. There have been some interesting studies about company locations following CEOs. As (if) more CEO, senior people choose to live in the city and maybe downtown, there could be a change.
^The article says that Downtown's central location to where the firm's workers live was important to their decision.
And I disagree that re-centralizing the region's workforce would have no economic benefit to the region. It seems to me that this would make us a much more efficient region in terms of using our transportation and infrastructure dollars. In our current state of having so many different nodes of employment and economic activity, we encourage sprawl and spread our limited resources too thin.
DannyJ wrote:
And I disagree that re-centralizing the region's workforce would have no economic benefit to the region. It seems to me that this would make us a much more efficient region in terms of using our transportation and infrastructure dollars. In our current state of having so many different nodes of employment and economic activity, we encourage sprawl and spread our limited resources too thin.


Downtown St. Louis is kind of out on a peninsula from an access standpoint, against a barrier not real easy to surmount. This has forced the practical center of the metro area to the West. Detroit has the same problem, where the other side is Canada. Many coastal cities don't have the same problem -- Boston, for instance, is so far up the bay that downtown is still the center -- you have to go through it to get across town. Manhattan stays the center of NY due to massive bridge building.

Fortunately, downtown St. Louis could return to a more central status if we just build a lot more seamless access to Illinois. The Stan-Span is a big step in that direction. Maybe the St. Louis Chamber should try to lure some Chicago companies to move downstate to sunny warm East County.
^ Right, growth on the near East Side is better for downtown than growth to the west.
I've watched a lot of young talent move to New York, Seattle or San Francisco, and the draw wasn't the availability of jobs in tree-lined suburban office campuses. These folks saw a center city teeming with life and decided they wanted to be there. They decided where to live first ... and only then looked for a job. These are the types of brilliant, energetic, talented fire-ready-aim people who start new businesses. And they don't do that in office parks.

A vibrant downtown is a talent-magnet in which energy can feed exponential growth of the same. That's the future of St. Louis.
^ Office parks reward a ready-drive-ready-drive-ready-drive-arrive mindset.
Here is an another smaller-scale but welcome addition:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... 0304c.html

412 N. Tucker will house second and third floor office lofts, and is owned by the same people who took on the Bride's House, which will also house office (Elasticity marketing firm) above first floor retail. Hopefully this is also a good sign that Tucker is seen as an attractive location now, especially with the NMRB and SLU Law coming online.
unfortunately the city has a 1.4 million SF sword of Damocles hanging over it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Center_(St._Louis)

The lease expires in 2016 -

Of course in every crisis there is opportunity
^ how many employees are at play here with AT&T?
beer city wrote:
unfortunately the city has a 1.4 million SF sword of Damocles hanging over it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Center_(St._Louis)

The lease expires in 2016 -


I often look at the AT&T buildings with fear wondering when they're going to announce "WE'RE MOVING THE REST OF THE JOBS TO TEXAS AND THERE'S NOT A SINGLE THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!!!! HA HA HA!"
roger wyoming II wrote:
^ how many employees are at play here with AT&T?


As I understand it is about half full, it was a consolidation of the Yellow Pages after corporate skipped town to Texas.

In the mid 2000's it was about 90% full, the businesses around the building noticed the drop, it caused more than one storefront closure for sure.

I have no idea what ATT has planned for Yellow, but my gut tells me it is not good.

The eastern most building (about 10 stories built in 1991) is all switch gear and servers, very few people work there, which is why we probably do not want to see Rail Way Exchange go the same way. I imagine ATT will hold on to that one.

But in 2016, they are free to walk away, seems likely, why divest and asset if you are going to stick around, or consolidate operations from other places here. Who can guess corporate whims?
Presbyterian wrote:
I've watched a lot of young talent move to New York, Seattle or San Francisco, and the draw wasn't the availability of jobs in tree-lined suburban office campuses.... A vibrant downtown is a talent-magnet in which energy can feed exponential growth of the same. That's the future of St. Louis.


I think there are two things at play here with the importance of downtown jobs for a metro's health. First, there's the above about the talent magnet; but I think more importantly for the Saint Louis region is that we simply need lots of new good jobs in the city if we're truly to turn around our core. CWE/BJC/Cortex is doing its job and there is potential for New North Side (or whatever it is called now) and other nodes in the City, but the downtown CBD is the most logical place where you can attract thousands of good paying jobs.
beer city wrote:
unfortunately the city has a 1.4 million SF sword of Damocles hanging over it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Center_(St._Louis)

The lease expires in 2016 -

Of course in every crisis there is opportunity


I'd like to think that the building offers a good branding opportunity (the AT&T sign is highly visible, especially from Busch Stadium & 64/40) for what is already one of the tallest buildings (2nd or 3rd, maybe?) in St. Louis. If the entire building became available at once, would it be more enticing to a company looking to move a large number of employees, but without the resources to build a new tower (or, God forbid, an office park)?
beer city wrote:

I have no idea what ATT has planned for Yellow, but my gut tells me it is not good.




AT&T no longer owns the Yellow Pages.