TriStar Developer Says St. Louis Has Untapped Potential: 7 Questions with Michael Towerman

By on October 12, 2018

From St. Louis Business Journal:  When World Wide Technology announced plans to build a $115 million, 176-acre campus at the Gateway Commerce Center earlier this year, the technology service provider was the latest banner company wooed by the park’s developer, TriStar Properties.

Amazon, Dial, Procter & Gamble and The Hershey Co. have all claimed a footprint at the 2,300-acre industrial park in Edwardsville over the past two decades.

World Wide Technology’s decision to expand its operations, bringing with it a possibility of 500 new jobs, comes as the St. Louis industrial segment is historically tight, with 3.8 percent vacancy, according to a recent CBRE report.

“In 20 years, not a single tenant has left the Gateway submarket,” TriStar co-founder and Principal Michael Towerman said.

Towerman talked with the Business Journal about how his company, the second-largest commercial developer in St. Louis, has been able to develop for some top firms, where St. Louis stands with competition and what’s next for the TriStar. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

When TriStar started developing Gateway Commerce Center over 20 years ago, it was a bit of an unproven project. What gave you confidence that you were making the right choices? At the time there were not many alternatives for industrial development (in St. Louis), and we were at the beginning of the trend where companies like Dial were consolidating warehouses to four or five around the country. It was my partner Rodney Thomas who saw that opportunity.

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