High on St. Louis | Mike Swearngin & Ryan Geringer

St. Louis proves to be an incredibly resilient market with a bullish future. We are, “High on St. Louis”, not just
because Missouri is the 21st state to legalize recreational use marijuana, but also because exciting things are
taking place in St. Louis.

The greater St. Louis area is one of the largest regional economies in the U.S., with an annual gross
domestic product of $187 billion. The diversity of the St. Louis economy makes it strong and resilient. The
region ranks third as the most economically diverse U.S. metropolitan area. Its thriving sectors include
healthcare, manufacturing, aviation, bioscience/health innovation, financial/business services, mobility and
transportation, and, of course, beer.

The combination of higher-than-average median household income and lower cost of living allows for higher
levels of discretionary spending. Because people spend less on housing, they have more to spend on food
and drink, apparel, and entertainment.

St. Louis residents are highly educated, and as a result, the region has a disproportionate percentage of
professional jobs. The metro area is headquarters to multiple Fortune 500 companies. Companies continue
to expand in St. Louis because of its educated workforce, the lower cost to conduct business, and Missouri
offers the 8th best corporate tax rate in the U.S.


ST. LOUISANS LIKE TO SPEND MONEY. The average person spends 4% more per year on discretionary
spending due to affordable housing and the low cost of living. This impacts retail in a tangible way, and it is
important to the region because retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer and a major economic

Consumers in St. Louis have shown resilience despite inflation; this has had a positive impact on commercial
real estate. The retail vacancy rate for the area is 5%, and rent has grown 4%, according to CoStar.
The demand for retail space in St. Louis remains strong. The area has seen a few of the struggling national
tenants close stores, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Weekend’s Only, and Tuesday Morning, but this has
created an opportunity for active retailers looking to expand in the market. A few St. Louis retail highlights

  • Costco opened their fourth St. Louis metro area store in University City. This development will also include 
    several food concepts such as Chick-fil-A, First Watch, Panera, and Chipotle.
  • Meijer will be entering the St. Louis market with a new store in Glen Carbon/Edwardsville “and is pursuing a
    2nd location in the O’Fallon/Shiloh, Illinois area” before their first store even opens.
  • Bass Pro recently opened their second St. Louis store in Sunset Hills.
  • Dierberg’s Market opened in Crestwood and will anchor a mixed-use development.
  • Midtown St. Louis continues its momentum with the addition of a new urban Target concept, and TopGolf
    has closed on ground for their second location to open in 2024.

Like most major markets, St. Louis is experiencing a plethora of activity within the retail/entertainment
sector. TopGolf’s commitment to a second St. Louis venue helps other national entertainment concepts
see the potential of the region. The City Foundry STL is a 15-acre mixed-use development that has been a
remarkable success for the central corridor. The project offers an exciting food hall featuring 22 restaurants
and has recently opened Alamo Drafthouse, Puttshack, and Sandbox VR. City Foundry also has office space
and a residential component that is currently under construction. Adjacent to City Foundry, Armory STL
opened a 250,000 SF entertainment complex which offers 6 acres of flexible indoor space to gather, play, eat,
drink, and discover.

Overall, St. Louis is a dynamic and promising market that continues to attract businesses and residents due
to its diversity, affordability, and resiliency. As a result, we are bullish on the future of St. Louis!

Mike Swearngin

[email protected]



Ryan Geringer

[email protected]