Office expansion, hotels fuel Maryland Heights building boom

Maryland Heights, second in hotel rooms in the St. Louis region behind only the city of St. Louis, is adding several more, bringing it to 4,000 hotel rooms. Those additions, as well as multimillion-dollar headquarters expansions by World Wide Technology and Watlow, have fueled an unprecedented boom in development and construction this year.

After a dip in 2014, building permit revenue in Maryland Heights grew significantly in the past two years, nearly doubling from $648,607 in 2015 to more than $1.2 million in 2016 — a record for the city that incorporated in 1985. The suburb located about 20 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis has a population of 27,000 and receives building permit revenue from commercial and residential construction and remodeling projects.

“We’ve seen ongoing growth in the past decade but what’s unusual is the amount we’ve seen in 2016,” said city administrator Jim Krischke. The city is hiring a new plan reviewer and building inspector to keep up with the flurry of activity.

Multiple office expansion projects had construction cranes dotting Maryland Heights’ skyline for much of the year. The biggest project under construction is the new 208,000-square-foot headquarters building for World Wide Technology at Westport Plaza. A tech company with more than $7 billion in annual revenue, WWT broke ground a year ago on the six-story building that will ultimately accommodate 1,200 employees.

Several other businesses in Maryland Heights also expanded in 2016, helping to contribute to the construction boom, including Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital and the Humane Society of Missouri.

Though Maryland Heights’ city administrator doesn’t expect 2017 to reach the level of construction activity seen this year, several other projects are in the pipeline, including a fitness and sports center and a retail and office building.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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