ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Across the continent, from Milwaukee to Montreal, cities are evaluating whether they have what it takes to lure Amazon’s second headquarters. That of course includes several potential sites in St. Louis.
Amazon’s RFP points to the Seattle campus, which is really a collection of buildings in Seattle’s downtown. Could the city purchase the now-vacated AT&T tower and give it to Amazon? What about the former Macy’s Railway Exchange building?
“All of that is stuff that we need to put on the table, I think it’s a great… We have a lot of opportunity here,” says Missy Kelley, president of Downtown St. Louis, Inc.
Amazon also says they want transit stations, intersection of highways and walk-ability.
“You could really walk or ride your bike to anything if you wanted to, and that includes if you had buildings in multiple sites throughout the downtown location, so I think we could be creative,” Kelley says.
Amazon eventually wants 8 million square feet of space in its second headquarters city. AT&T tower and Railway Exchange are each just under a million square feet. but between vacant lots, vacant buildings, and even those Kiener Plaza parking garages, there’d be plenty of room for amazon to grow.
Or is the Mississippi River the secret to a showstopping local bid for Amazon? In urban centers across the country, companies are returning to cities and rivers, including G.E. moving from an office park in Connecticut to Boston’s downtown waterfront. But our riverfront is a bare canvas.
“The north riverfront is the front door to the region,” says Susan Trautman, CEO at Great Rivers Greenway.
Trautman reminds us that there’s a stunning area north of the Arch along the river that was all cleared for a football stadium, and now there’s a plan for living, working space, trails, even a recreational waterway there.
“We would be happy to cooperate with any effort the city and the county wanted to come together on and we’re really happy to see a regional effort around this,” she says.
Matt Bukhshtaber, executive vice president at CBRE, has impeccable timing. He’s assembled all the land on the other side of the Arch, so all those worn warehouses to the south.
“My mind’s been churning on this district for years,” he says.
Chouteau’s Landing isn’t just along the river and next to the Arch, but a half-mile from Busch Stadium. Bukhshtaber says this St. Louis is one of the last grand riverfront opportunities in the country.