Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Grant Thornton Snubs Downtown

Accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP has opened a new "St. Louis" office in temporary quarters at Two CityPlace Drive in Creve Coeur. It will be moving to its permanent home in Clayton in early 2008.

This is Grant Thornton's 51st U.S. office. A quick scan of its other offices reveals that the vast majority of them are located in their respective cities' central business districts, as most major accounting firms' offices tend to be. (A few metro areas, such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have suburban satellite offices in addition to downtown offices.)

So why didn't they choose downtown St. Louis for their St. Louis office? They're clearly not averse to having downtown offices, so why Creve Coeur and Clayton? Does steering take place among commercial realtors as well as residential realtors?

1 comment:

ThreeOneFour said...

You raised a very good question about steering among commercial real estate professionals. If this is the case, you wouldn't expect it as much today as maybe 10 or 20 years ago, when the exodus of businesses and jobs to the county was in full force.

I can't imagine why a firm that typically locates in CBDs of other cities wouldn't give our downtown stronger consideration, especially with all the progress that's been made in recent years. I'd like to think the city did all it could to market itself, as it's been pretty aggressive with courting businesses that would have otherwise located in the suburbs.

It'd be nice to know more about the decision making process the firm went through, so the city can continue the refinement of its efforts to attract and retain businesses and firms (downtown).