As I prepare for my annual State of the City speech, I have had the chance to review some of the solid successes we have had in the past year or so in convincing businesses to renew their leases here, expand, or move here from other places.
We have a lot more work to do, but we have also had some successes.
Two major employers kept their employees here: We retained a Macy’s Department Store in downtown St. Louis, as well as hundreds of May Company employees with a new Macy’s Division — Macy’s Midwest. And, working with the state, we convinced ATT, which recently acquired Bell South, to keep its huge Yellow Pages headquarters unit here, rather than move it to Atlanta. That saved 700 St. Louis jobs, and it will mean hundreds of new jobs in the future.
We worked with a number of other businesses among them NSI and Pogue — to move their operations to the City. And some great new businesses, including Asynchrony, Quick-Study Radiology, Weismann, and Stereotaxis, started in the City and are now growing here.
One particularly important trend is an end to years of depressingly routine exits by professional services firms law firms, accounting firms, architectural firms, and advertising firms, large and small. Firms like these are now recommitting to the City, because their partners and employees enjoy being part of our City’s renaissance.