Missouri Minute: Biden meets with GM strikers in KC; developer plans project near UMSL

Good morning, MBA readers,

It’s a busy time for Missouri real estate and development. In Normandy, one out-of-state developer is betting on the area surrounding the University of Missouri-St. Louis. On the other side of the state, the Kansas City Council has sent back a proposal for a $133 million office tower, citing too much financial risk for the city’s coffers. And just across the state line in Kansas, local officials are grappling with the spread of so-called “dark store” valuations, which pit big-box retailers and local governments in a fight for tax dollars. Scroll down for more on these developments and other business news from around the state.

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Biden meets with GM strikers in KCK
Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden visited Kansas City, Kansas, Sunday and met with workers of the General Motors plant in Fairfax, who are on a labor strike. (Kansas City Star)

Peabody stock sinks after terminated debt buyback
Shares of St. Louis coal firm Peabody Energy dropped 8.1% on Friday, a day after the company announced it scrapped its cash tender offers to buy back debt. (MarketWatch)

KC Council delays $133 million Strata tower vote
The Kansas City Council has voted to table a final vote on the proposed downtown office building for a week. A majority of council members say the deal, in which the city would invest $63 million in the project, would not work in its current form. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Sterling Bank plans expansion in KC area
Poplar Bluff-based Sterling Bank, which has $1.25 billion in assets, plans to open a 6,500-square-foot branch on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. It would be Sterling’s first location in the area. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Caleres hires new HR executive
Clayton-based shoemaker Caleres has hired Angela Bass, who most recently owned an HR consulting firm in Colorado, as its new chief human resources officer. Bass replaces Doug Koch, who has been in the post since 2016. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Maryland Heights seeks proposals to redevelop 116-acre area
The Maryland Heights City Council has approved a request for bids to redevelop the 116-acre Dorsett Road Redevelopment Area. The area, where several small homes have been torn down, is expected to be attractive to home builders. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Private jet firm to open second St. Louis location
Jet Linx, an Omaha-based firm that provides private jet management and charter services, is set to open a location at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. The company, which opened at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in 2013, cited increased demand for private aviation services in the area. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Word to the wise

Dark stores

That’s the term some use to describe big-box retail properties that are valued as though they are vacant or “dark,” rather than as if they are operating. These “dark store” valuations, which have spread to at least 20 states, concern government officials, who wonder how they will continue to pay for public services if tax revenues from major retailers decline.

Say that again

“Why not UMSL? Why not Normandy? People are going to look back in five years and say, ‘How did we miss that?'”

That’s Jeff Tegethoff, who says developers have mostly neglected the city of Normandy, which surrounds the University of Missouri-St. Louis. But Tegethoff is looking to change that, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The developer’s Indianapolis-based firm Pearl Companies plans to build a $60 million, mixed-use development near the UMSL MetroLink station. Normandy Mayor Patrick Green said it’s “the largest investment” in the city’s history.

Go figure

That’s how many days General Motors workers have been on strike as of Monday. The strike, which began Sept. 16, may go on for some time as GM and the United Auto Workers continue to clash over a new contract. On Friday, negotiators for GM and the UAW said while some progress has been made, “many” outstanding issues remain, CNBC reports. The talks continued through Sunday but did not yield an agreement, according to the Associated Press.

Hello, my name is

This St. Louis startup, which is developing a way to bring back to smell of cut flowers, has signed a deal that paves the way for commercialization of its technology, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. FloraScentials has agreed to let South Carolina-based FLORALIFE exclusively test its product. Under the deal, FLORALIFE will have first rights to commercialize the startup’s intellectual property and products.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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