Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Next Up on the "To-Do" List: The Railway Exchange

With three major downtown development projects - the St. Louis Centre Garage, The Laurel and the Park Pacific - currently underway, city officials can now turn their attention to crossing another significant project off their "to-do" list: The Railway Exchange.

Rick Yackey has teamed up with Bruce Development, and the partnership entered into an agreement to purchase the building, along with its parking garage and the surface lot at 6th and Olive, last fall for $18.5 million.  The deal was anticipated to be finalized last month, but to my knowledge, it has not closed yet.

After the sale closes, work on remodeling and downsizing the Macy's store will begin as soon as the developers are able to sell $7 million in New Markets Tax Credits.  The renovation will cost a total of $122 million and could receive up to $28.7 million in public assistance.

In addition to its department store on the first three floors, Macy's will also lease office space for 80 corporate worker on the ninth and tenth floors.  That still leaves a lot of space to fill in the 21-story, nearly 1.2 million sf building - approximately 900,000 sf!

It will be interesting to see what kind of interest Yackey and Bruce will be able to generate from prospective tenants. If they're able to fill the building with as many workers as the May Co. had before being acquired by Federated/Macy's, the end result will be a huge increase in vibrancy in the Old Post Office District.  The demolition of the Locust Street skybridge, anticipated to occur later this year, as well as the revitalization of St. Louis Centre immediately to the north of the Railway Exchange, will certainly improve its marketability.

No comments: