Over last few years, thousands of new residents and dozens of new restaurants, shops, and stores have moved downtown. Businesses have extended their leases and expanded their presence. Exciting projects like the new ballpark and the Pinnacle complex are coming out of the ground. You can see the outlines of Ballpark Village in the newly restored street grid. Projects like the riverfront plan, the lid, the Bottle Works, the Chouteau greenway all have plenty of partisans and planners.
What does this mean for some of the local businesses that found new headquarters and leases in the suburbs a few years ago? Do they regret the moves?
KPLR-TV (Channel 11), which jumped from a cramped studio in the CWE to a sort of suburban strip mall, programs for a young demographic and for sports fans. Don’t they really belong back downtown — near the new young loft dwellers and the region’s major sports venues?
Husch & Eppenberger, which moved from a downtown office tower to a Clayton high-rise, now finds its lawyers hunting for parking spaces around the courthouses. Downtown is definitely ready for a new office building: why not the Husch & Eppenberger Building in the shadow of the downtown federal courthouse?
New York-based Ernst & Young, which moved its St. Louis practice to Clayton, now has a global chairman and CEO who worked in St. Louis in the 1990s. We’ve changed a lot since then. Isn’t it time for those accountants to pack up their spreadsheets and come back?