ST. LOUIS — Brown & Crouppen's announcement Tuesday that it is moving its headquarters to The Hill adds to the growing number of firms — some not previously reported — that are ditching downtown St. Louis office space, a trend that tracks with an increase in the neighborhood's vacancy rate.
Real estate firm JLL said Monday that for the second quarter, office vacancy in the central business district, which includes downtown and is the region's largest office market by square footage, stood at 18%, up from 17.7% in the prior-year period.
One factor pushing downtown vacancy up is that employees want to work close to where they live, and downtown is "not the large concentration of where people live," said Dave Biales, managing director of JLL's St. Louis office. "Our civic leaders need to understand what's driving these decisions in order to tackle some of the issues we're facing now and in the future."
Meanwhile, in Clayton, the second-biggest office market where average asking rents are much higher, already-lower vacancy rates are improving for the first time in a pandemic era marked by increased work-from-home habits.
Brown & Crouppen, the personal injury law firm with 277 employees, said Tuesday it could maintain a small office downtown even after moving in 2023 to a refurbished, 50,000-square-foot former factory in The Hill. But it would seem likely to take less space at One Metropolitan Square, the downtown skyscraper where the company once leased 35,000 square feet.
Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.