The IT sector in downtown St. Louis has been on a roll as of late, and it received more good news on Thursday as Fortune 500 IT firm Unisys announced that it plans to open a data center in downtown St. Louis that will employ 300 workers by 2012.
The center will provide a central team of highly skilled experts focused on building, operating and maintaining innovative, leading-edge software applications for Unisys federal government and commercial clients.
Unisys is looking for 35,000 to 40,000 sf, and hopes to be in its new home by October. 555 Washington is one of the buildings under consideration. The 165,000 sf 555 Washington currently has over 80,000 sf available, so a lease by Unisys could potentially push the building's occupancy rate to around 75% while adding workers to a section of downtown that is seeing a huge amount of redevelopment right now, with the Laurel and 600 Washington/7th Street Garage projects currently underway.
The firm chose downtown due to its desirability to young IT workers. Seeing as how Unisys employs roughly 24,000 worldwide, it's safe to say they know what it takes to attract talent. Hopefully they will serve as an example to other IT firms in the area, proving that the combination of unparalleled infrastructure and an exciting, stimulating work environment make downtown the most logical location for tech firms in the region.
At the same time, it's unfortunate that Centene appears poised to move forward with its plans to build its new data center in O'Fallon. By locating in an existing building downtown, they could have keep the momentum rolling downtown and partially redeemed themselves for pulling out of Ballpark Village.