An Indianapolis developer has nearly 114 acres in St. Peters under contract with plans of building a new 491,252-square-foot distribution facility.
Multiple real estate sources familiar with the deal say the facility is being built for shipping giant FedEx.
The developer, Scannell Properties, has submitted to the city of St. Peters the initial site plans for the project, which is estimated by Business Journal research to cost about $24 million
Terms of the real estate deal were not disclosed. The properties, according to St. Charles County records, have a combined total market value of nearly $250,000.
The site is owned by the Lakeside 370 Levee District and Stonewolf Inc., a business entity tied to St. Charles-based New Frontier Bank, own the rest of the site.
Scannell officials declined to discuss the project. Russ Batzel, the St. Peters city administrator, said construction could start as soon as this fall depending on when the transaction closes.
A FedEx spokesman said the company “continuously evaluates the need for additional facilities and routinely talks with real estate agents, developers and government officials. We do not publicly discuss specifics of a project until all the details have been finalized.”
FedEx currently has three shipping centers in the St. Louis region — in Earth City at 13342 Lake Front Drive; in Berkeley at 6143 James S. McDonnell Blvd.; and in Maplewood at 3025 S. Hanley Road.
It’s unclear what the St. Peters development would mean for any of those facilities, though given FedEx’s plans on keeping pace with Amazon, which now occupies more than 1 million square feet in the St. Louis area, it seems likely that the new building would be an expansion of sorts.
The Scannell building, along with another $17 million, 300,000-square-foot industrial speculative facility being developed by Duke Realty nearby in the Premier 370 Business Park, will add an additional 800,000 square feet of new industrial space in the St. Charles submarket. Vacancy rates in St. Charles sit at about 4.3 percent, and typical leasing rates hover at about $4.85 per square foot, according to research from Newmark Grubb Zimmer.
The St. Charles submarket experienced more than 1.1 million square feet in industrial absorption during the second quarter, more than quadruple the amount seen in any other submarket in the St. Louis region. The figure is attributable to Wainwright Industries, a General Motors supplier, moving into a new 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse developed by NorthPoint Development.
Duke Realty recently finished work on a $14 million, 250,000-square-foot industrial building developed for Best Buy, which is in the process of moving its distribution center from Earth City to the St. Peters building at Premier 370.
Premier 370's other major tenant is Reckitt Benckiser, which in 2016 moved into a $31.5 million, 715,000-square-foot build-to-suit facility developed by Duke.
Duke has also sold off several parcels in the business park, including a 27-acre site to SAIA Motor Freight Line LLC for about $2.4 million, and a 25-acre site to Dayton Freight for $2.35 million.
Another 200 acres remain available in the park for development or sale.
About 2.7 million square feet of industrial space was absorbed regionally during the first six months of 2017, according to market research from CBRE. Meanwhile, vacancy rates across the market dipped from 8.6 percent in 2013 to 5.6 percent today, a trend that has pushed rents up to nearly $4 per square foot, according to JLL research.