The Business Journal is reporting that the St. Louis Development Corporation has approved $4 million in tax credits for Lewis Rice to relocate to One City Centre, which has been almost entirely vacant since Cannon Design moved to a renovated power house near Busch Stadium last year.
The deal has not been finalized, and Lewis Rice is still considering other alternatives, including renewing its current lease.
Lewis Rice would lease 100,000 sf of the 364,000 sf office tower, which is also home to law firm Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard. This lease would have a positive impact on downtown's Class A vacancy rate - One City Centre is currently over 70 percent vacant - while delivering a hit to the Class B vacancy rate.
The loss of Lewis Rice would leave a gaping vacancy at 500 N. Broadway, which has struggled to attract large tenants since Stifel Nicolaus moved to One Financial Plaza in 1998. If Lewis Rice were to vacate its current space, perhaps that would be enough for 500 N. Broadway's owners to make improvements to the building and get more aggressive in attracting new tenants.