It can get frustrating for companies seeking office space in St. Louis. There simply aren’t that many options.
Here’s some evidence: In its first quarter St. Louis office report, JLL said that there were less than 10 Class-A suburban vacancies of more than 20,000 square feet available.
The lack of space is one reason why office asking rents during the quarter. JLL reported that the average gross asking rent had risen to $20.11 a square foot during the first three months of the year.
Class-B landlords took advantage of the tight conditions in the Class-A market. Several Class-B biuldings upped their asking rents in the first quarter, giving the St. Louis region an overall 3 percent bump in asking rates from the previous quarter.
There are some vacancies on the way, though, JLL reported. TD Ameritrade recently announced further layoffs after its acquisition of Scottrade. Two of its four buildings remain on the market for sale. Local pharmaceutical giant Express Scripts earlier this year reached an agreement to be acquired by Cigna. Express Scripts occupies a significant amount of office space at its campus in Northwest County, and the fate of its space is unknown.
The first quarter did bring negative absoprtion to the St. Louis office market for the first time since 2014. Both Kellwood and the Art Institute downsized during the quarter, both leaving vacancies of more than 30,000 square feet.
American Family Insurance closed the biggest office lease of the quarter, 80,000 square feet at The Crossings at Northwest. The insurance company will join Charter and St. Louis County at the converted mall when it moves from Riverport in Northwest County early next year.