‘Creating a Vibrant Ecosystem’: Mobin Khan on the Future of Downtown St. Louis

By on January 7, 2019

From St. Louis Business Journal:  This year’s Downtown Developments List features a number of hotels, apartment buildings and mixed-use developments in the works. Compiled by Downtown STL, an organization that promotes and facilitates downtown investment, the list indicates a promising future for the 2.9-square-mile section of St. Louis. We talked with Mobin Khan, Downtown STL’s COO and vice president of economic development, to learn more about downtown’s prospects.

What are the main trends in downtown developments? Hotels — we have seen that. Residential — the last few years residential has been a source of positive growth and development. And mixed-use, with a good size component of residential even there, has been a good source of development. The office market is somewhat flat; however, we do see some positive trends. For example, after 30 years, we are seeing a new office building built in downtown as part of Ballpark Village Phase II. We see some activity related to startups taking space (downtown) once they graduate from T-REX or one of the other coworking spaces. Many startups often look for creative office spaces, so they sometimes go for a building with exposed brick, or an old industry warehouse … buildings that speak to a certain design paradigm.

Why else are companies choosing to locate downtown? People in the innovation economy, people in the creative industries — and millennials in general — like to be in downtown. As an example, the Anders accounting firm, they recently redid their office space. If you think of an accounting company and the kind of office they will typically have, and then you walk into their office, it is completely different. And if you talk to them they’ll tell you their space has been a huge factor in them being able to recruit more effectively.

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