Good morning, MBA readers,
Developers say they are making progress on a $200 million plan to redevelop the site of a former mall near Kansas City that has sat vacant since 2005. Across the state, St. Louis forecasts 30,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses will descend on the city for a conference this weekend, bringing a substantial boost to the tourism economy. Also in St. Louis, Stifel continued its acquisition streak with the purchase of an underwriting firm. Scroll down for these stories and other top business news of the day.
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Stifel acquires KC underwriter
St. Louis investment bank Stifel Financial will purchase George K. Baum & Co., a Kansas City-based underwriter and financial adviser. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Burns & McDonnell breaks ground on ‘space battalion’ facility
Kansas City engineering and architecture firm Burns & McDonnell has begun work on a $15 million facility that will house the Colorado National Guard’s 117th Space Battalion. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Express Scripts alum lands new post
Neal Sample, who served as chief operating officer at Express Scripts, has been named chief information officer at Milwaukee-based insurance and financial management firm Northwestern Mutual. (St. Louis Business Journal)
River City Rascals to cease operations after 2019 season
The River City Rascals will no longer play baseball for the city of O’Fallon after negotiations for a new lease broke down last week. The city is in the process of looking for a new team to play at CarShield Field in 2020. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
MU to sell alcohol at football games
Fans will be able to purchase beer and wine at University of Missouri home football games this year following a change in Southeastern Conference policy. (Columbia Missourian)
Say that again
“No one could be more anxious about this than me. I’ve been working on this since 2005. Then, 2008 came along and it was a knee bender. … Has it taken longer than we expected? It certainly has. But the good news is we’ve hung in there.”
That’s developer Tom Valenti, whose Mission Gateway project near Kansas City is beginning to inch forward after 14 years of dormancy, The Kansas City Star reports. Developers of the $200 million project say progress has been made this summer doing underground electrical work and finalizing designs for the 16-acre site. Construction has begun on the building pad for the 90,000-square-foot Cinergy Entertainment complex, which will be the first tenant at Mission Gateway. The plans also call for a 200-room Marriott Element hotel, 170 apartments, office space, a retail area and a 40,000-square-foot food hall. The developers expect to announce office and retail tenants in the near future.
That’s how many Jehovah’s Witnesses will gather in downtown St. Louis for a convention next week, St. Louis Public Radio reports. The three-day event, called Love Never Fails, has booked an estimated 48,640 hotel room nights, making it one of the largest St. Louis convention and group events of 2019. An event spokesman said the convention will likely generate more than $16 million in direct spending.
Hello, my name is
The St. Louis startup has scored the first grant under BioSTL’s new federally funded program to help “de-risk” early-stage firms, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. MediBeacon, known for its optical diagnostic device, was born out of a 2011 corporate reorganization at Covidien. Since its founding, MediBeacon has raised over $30 million and secured a partnership with a Chinese drug company last month.
Looking forward to this morning’s meeting on the economic development Border War truce. My hope is that we—as states and cities—can hold it and beyond mere statements commit to developing our region together. I’m heartened by convos w/leadership from both states. #MoKan
— Mayor Quinton Lucas (@QuintonLucasKC) August 13, 2019
Lucas, Kansas City’s recently inaugurated mayor, tweeted in anticipation of Tuesday’s meeting between Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Governor Summit. There, the governors are expected to jointly address their recent efforts to end the economic development “border war” between the two states.
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.