Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Great Sites for Office Construction

As I alluded to in my previous post, downtown has several great sites that would be suitable for construction of a new class A office building, while avoiding the mess that Cordish and the Cardinals' owners have created at Ballpark Village. Here are two of my top sites for a new office building downtown:

1) The northeast corner of Broadway and Washington. There are actually two large lots at this site, split by Lucas Street, which, despite its name, is actually more of an alley. I like this location for several reasons:
  • High visibility, prominent Washington Avenue address
  • Close proximity to the convention center and numerous hotels
  • Ample parking available in the Missouri Athletic Club, Drury Hotel and Hampton Inn garages as well as sufficient room on which to construct a new garage (on the northern end of the site, with the building fronting Broadway)
  • Great accessibility - easy to access from 70, the Eads Bridge, 40 via Broadway and 44/55 via Memorial Drive.

2) The vacant lot on Broadway at Spruce, immediately east of Busch Stadium. Ballpark Village benefits without actually being in Ballpark Village. This site offers unbeatable visibility thanks to baseball traffic and proximity to Highway 40, and if Ballpark Village ever gets built, this site will become even more attractive. A building on this site would be served by the two stadium garages and various parking lots south of Highway 40, as well as any parking that may be added to Ballpark Village. It's still somewhat isolated and distant from the heart of downtown though, with few dining options (at least until Ballpark Village is built). Also offers the same easy highway access as the Broadway/Washington lot.

Other attractive sites include: the northwest corner of Tucker and Olive (underutilized site occupied by a U.S. Bank branch), 11th and Locust (a huge sea of parking lots), 9th and Clark (odd greenspace adjacent to the Eagleton Courthouse).

The market conditions are right - it's imperative that new space be developed in order to attract new firms to downtown and retain existing ones.


Seth Teel said...

I understand the idea of new office development attracting new firms, but the reality is we are only shuffling firms/companies around the region. With vacancies existing in current downtown Class A space, I am not sure that development of more office space is the answer. Downtown has plenty to offer perspective companies: low lease rates, transit access, excellent restaurants, its regionally centered, has proximity to sports/entertainment venues, ample housing stock, with even more at a close distance, walkable streets, shopping, views, the list goes on... Even with all this firms are choosing to locate or relocate in other areas with higher lease rates. Do you feel that development of new Class A space will trump all of these other amenities thus spawning an influx in new firm residency?

Matt Kastner said...

Its all a game of perceptions though. It doesn't matter that Downtown has a lot to offer if people don't realize it or don't care. If business leaders see lots of big projects happening Downtown it brings the area higher up on their radar when they are looking for a new location. The ball is already moving, but if a few of the higher profile projects like Ballpark Village could get going in the near future, things could really start to change. When that happens, we need office space to be ready.

equals42 said...

The lot you mentioned is owned or operated by the MAC last I heard. I used to park there when I moved to the area and rented an apartment in the WS Hotel. The MAC has a covered valet area the protrudes into the lot which leads me to believe it belongs to them but I could be wrong.