ST. LOUIS — Rock climbing gym operator Upper Limits will soon shutter its Downtown West location, a move it described as a "forced closing" stemming from Major League Soccer expansion franchise St. Louis City SC's plans to house its headquarters at the building.
Upper Limits said its final day of operations at its Downtown West climbing gym, located at 326 S. 21st St., the Union Square Plaza building, will be Sept. 15. In announcing the impending closure on its website, Upper Limits said it initially expected to remain in its current location after City SC in 2021 purchased the 43,161-square-foot building for $4.8 million and announced plans to renovate it to house its headquarters. The building is located adjacent to City's $461 million Downtown West development that includes the 22,500-seat Centene Stadium and team training facility.
"When the building where the downtown gym is located was sold last year, our understanding was that we would be able to continue our lease without interruptions. Recently, we were informed by the new owners that we would have to close in September. We attempted to find a way that our gym could stay at its location with the new owner’s uses, but we were unable to come to an agreement," Upper Limits said.
Upper Limits has operated at the building, where it occupies 4,000 square feet, for more than 20 years, said General Manager Steven Simonis. In a phone interview Monday, Simonis said the upcoming closure "wasn't really our decision" and that Upper Limits was surprised it would have to leave the building.
"In the beginning when the new ownership took over, it was talked about that we were going to be able to stay. I don't know, or I really couldn't speak on what or when that kind of switch happened," he said.
City SC, which is set to begin play next year, didn't immediately respond to questions, including when the headquarters is slated to open.
Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal's website.