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Another buyer lined up for massive, long-vacant AT&T tower

Like the four other times the skyscraper has been under contract in the last three years, it’s not clear what plans could be for the building
Credit: SLBJ
The AT&T tower at 909 Chestnut in downtown St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — The AT&T tower, downtown St. Louis' largest office building, is once again under contract, following an appraisal that continued to drop the value of the building, which has plunged more than 95% since it sold for more than $200 million 16 years ago.

The disclosure comes from a Dec. 15 filing from bondholders who own the building, which indicated the contract is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Like the four other times that the skyscraper has been under contract in the last three years, it’s not clear who the potential buyer is or what plans could be for the building, which at 1.4 million square feet is the largest office building in the St. Louis region and the state. Brokers who have been affiliated with marketing the building in the past did not respond to requests for comment. CWCapital, a Washington, D.C., firm identified in bondholder filings as the special servicer appointed to oversee the property, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Built in 1986 as the headquarters for Southwestern Bell, the 46-story building at 909 Chestnut St. takes up a full city block and has been vacant since sole occupant AT&T moved all its employees to other buildings, including one next door, in 2017.

The filing from bondholders did not disclose a potential purchase price, but it shows a new appraisal completed Aug. 10 now values the building at $9.2 million, marking a 95% decline from 2006 when the building, then known as One AT&T Center, was sold for $204.9 million to Chicago-area Inland Real Estate Group.

An appraisal earlier in 2006 valued the building at $207.26 million, according to the filings. But as years passed without tenants, its valuation has continued to plummet. An outside appraisal commissioned by the city of St. Louis for assessment purposes in May 2018 placed the value at $20.8 million. A January 2021 appraisal had it at $14.1 million, according to a July filing. Within five months, its value declined by another $5 million.

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