It's been an exciting week, with lots of good news on the redevelopment of One City Centre, St. Louis Centre and The Laurel.
The only downside to all the recent news is that Lewis Rice's impending move to One City Centre will leave 500 N. Broadway in peril.
The Sklarov family, owners of 500 N. Broadway claims that when Lewis Rice vacates its 110,000 sf space, they will likely lose the building to foreclosure. They bought the building in 2003 for $11.8 million and currently have it listed for sale for $17.5 million.
500 N. Broadway's other tenants include LaBarge Pipe & Steel, Burton Greenberg, RBC Dain Rauscher, McGlynn & Luther, Beneficial Capital Leasing, Coleman & White, Barken & Bakewell and The Castle Law Office. Together, they lease about 65,000 sf - less than a quarter - of the 282,965 sf building.
The Sklarovs are taking issue with the city and state assistance being provided to Lewis Rice and SCR Investments, which owns One City Centre. On one hand, I can see their point; on the other hand, they've had more than enough time to attract more tenants. For years the building has had several vacant floors, so it's not as if a lack of large blocks was a detriment to its marketability.
500 N. Broadway has many positive qualities which should make it attractive to a wide variety of users, such as a great location, parking for 282 cars, modern layout and low lease rates. It offers a outstanding opportunity for a value-oriented tenant to take up to 200,000 sf, making it an excellent potential headquarters site.
Perhaps the loss of Lewis Rice will force the Sklarovs to be more aggressive in signing on new tenants. We can only hope that this building does not languish for long.