The City has a strong preference for office space on upper floors and retail uses in the arcade section (first and second floors) that contribute to the quality of the streetscape; however, other uses will be considered. Additionally, proposals which include plans to seek Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification are encouraged.I have to think that a mix of residential and office space (along with retail space in the two-story arcade) would work better than an all-office concept. The building does total 500,000 sf, after all. And if renovated as office space, it will be competing for tenants with the Railway Exchange building, which is slated to undergo renovation soon. Just how big is the market for office space in renovated historic buildings as compared to newer Class A and B buildings?
It will be interesting to see who responds to the RFP (last I heard, 2-3 firms were interested in it) and what ideas the respondents have for the building's reuse. The deadline to respond is September 30, so hopefully this fall we'll have a clearer picture of the Arcade's future. It's the lynchpin of the Old Post Office district and arguably the most prominent vacant building downtown, now that St. Louis Centre and the Kiel Opera House are being renovated.