ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Many of St. Louis’ biggest building projects have Bob Clark’s stamp on them. And his development, construction and real estate firm Clayco just donated people and money to get the Loop Trolley project back on track, but that’s not their only project.
The dream is amazon’s second headquarters.
“If someone really wants to come and grow in an expansive way like Amazon has done in Seattle, then St. Louis has a compelling story to tell. We have really a substantial amount of land in both Illinois and downtown St. Louis, that can be ready, capable of building at least 10 million square feet of office for a fraction of the cost of any other city in America,” Clark says.
But here’s what could be the headline of St. Louis’ Amazon bid.
“We estimate the larger cities in the east and even in the central areas could cost Amazon $15 billion in salaries alone in the first ten years,” he says.
Combine that with a light rail system and an airport only running at 40-percent capacity, and Clark says St. Louis has an edge on cities that are getting too congested and expensive.
Maybe that’s why Centene is building new headquarters towers in Clayton, which is a Clayco project. Clark says steel is rising from the ground now, and Clayco is also building Pfizer’s new research campus in chesterfield.
“They actually could have gone anywhere as they left the Monsanto campus, and they chose St. Louis,” he says.
Clark says St. Louis is their most positive place for their employees, they have less turnover here than anywhere else. Five hundred research scientists will work at Pfizer’s new campus.
And if you’re looking for a good sign – look at the dueling skyscrapers proposed in and next to ballpark village.
“You want exactly what happened this week, with another developer really believing in the project and helping create some competition,” he says.
Clark says he believes cities are either spiraling downward or upward, there’s in between, and he thinks this might actually be the spiral turning.