Thursday, February 25, 2010

Infuz Recommits to Downtown

Interactive marketing firm Infuz has signed a six-year lease for 11,000 sf in the Curlee Building at 1001 Washington Avenue.  The firm's 30 employees are currently based in 12,000 sf at 555 Washington and will be moving in March.

Infuz will be joining Phoenix Creative, TRC Staffing, Edison Schools, First Omni and Wm. B Ittner Architects in the Curlee, which will now boast an 85% occupancy rate.

According to Infuz CEO Jason Fiehler, the firm chose to move to the Curlee because of its more vibrant location.  Until the Laurel and St. Louis Centre redevelopment projects get underway, 555 and 505 Washington are going to have a hard time attracting tenants.  It's unfortunate, as both buildings are quite unique and are perfect for a variety of firms.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Ramblings

Dave Bailey's newest endeavor, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, is now open next to Left Bank Books at 10th and Locust.

Great Clips is going in the former Curves space in the Paul Brown Building.  Crews are working on The Time's former space at 10th and Washington.

The grassy areas along 55/70 have received extensive landscaping, including trees and other plantings.  The finished product will look especially good come springtime.

Work seems to be continuing on Copia, albeit with no noticeable difference from the outside.  Will anything ever happen with the adjacent "Washington Avenue Market" space?  With the Culinaria open just a few blocks away, a small grocery store doesn't seem necessary at that location.

Scorch Agency has moved to the Shell Building from 227 N. Jefferson.

505 Washington has had a boarded-up window next to its front entrance for several weeks now.  Time to replace the glass; the board-up sends a bad message.

I'm hearing that the St. Louis Centre skybridge is slated for demolition in August.

Monday, February 15, 2010

McCormack Baron Finalizes Relocation Plans

As reported in the Business Journal, McCormack Baron Salazar has signed a lease for 37,000 sf in the Laclede Gas Building.  The deal will boost the building's occupancy rate to 85%, impressive considering it has recently lost two major tenants - Husch Blackwell to Clayton and Brown & Crouppen to Met Square.

McCormack Baron will move its 110 employees - 50 from McCormack Baron and 60 from its affiliated management company McCormack Baron Raglan and its not-for-profit arm Urban Strategies - from the Farm Credit Bank Building at 1415 Olive this summer.  The former McCormack Baron space will be used for administrative offices for the St. Louis Public Library and Confluence Preparatory Academy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dragon Trading Building Up for Auction

The Dragon Trading Building at 1709 Locust will be available for sale via auction starting on February 23. Bidding will start at $900,000.

The building was purchased by its current owners, New York real estate investors Cyrus and Darius Sakhai, for $1.8 million back in 2006. Darius Sakhai is also a principal of Sovereign Partners, which owns the Gateway Tower and 1015 Locust.

The Sakhais planned to convert the 80-year-old, 76,000 sf building into 36 to 40 rental lofts on the upper three floors with retail space on the first floor. Its 15,000 sf basement was to be converted into an underground parking garage.

This building has always been a favorite of mine. Renovated and converted to residential use, it would nicely complement the recent developments around it, such as the Printers Lofts, as well as the planned redevelopment of the Leather Trades Building a block away.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hawkins, Parnell & Thackston Opens St. Louis Office

Atlanta-based law firm Hawkins, Parnell & Thackston has established a St. Louis office and - get this - it's downtown!

The firm has leased 7,700 sf in the Equitable Building at 10 S. Broadway.  It has two attorneys and plans to add two more this month.

It's wonderful to hear about an out-of-town firm choosing downtown; I've profiled many others on this blog who unfortunately did not.  We're fortunate to have Hawkins, Parnell & Thackston joining the ranks of downtown's many outstanding law firms.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bottle Art Lofts Clear Critical First Hurdle

The Bottle Art Lofts are about to get one step closer to becoming a reality, as the city's Preservation Board recommended that the three buildings making up the former Sligo Iron Store Company complex at 1301 N. Sixth Street be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.

Developer HRI is hoping to begin construction on the $22.2 million project in July with a completion date of October 2011.  Geared to artists, the development will feature 70 lofts as well as a 7,600 sf gallery and performance space.