Gateway to Columbia | Ground broken for large new business park - Republic-Times | News

Gateway to Columbia | Ground broken for large new business park

By on October 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm
Representatives of tenants already committed to the new building join developers and contractors, Columbia city and school officials and other dignitaries in tossing the symbolic first shovels of dirt during a groundbreaking for the “11 South” complex to be built on the city’s northwest side. (Alan Dooley photo)

Representatives of tenants already committed to the new building join developers and contractors, Columbia city and school officials and other dignitaries in tossing the symbolic first shovels of dirt during a groundbreaking for the “11 South” complex to be built on the city’s northwest side. (Alan Dooley photo)

Ceremonial shovels lifted dirt in a late afternoon ceremony last Wednesday for the new office and business park complex to be built on a hillside west of Route 3 and north of Sand Bank Road in Columbia.

The first phase will consist of a 63,200-square-foot, five-story building that will dominate Columbia’s northwest skyline. The complex is planned to eventually include up to five buildings with a projected cost of $14 million for the first building, and as much as $70 million for the whole development.

The name “11 South” refers to the distance in miles from downtown St. Louis and is intended to convey to those on both sides of the river the convenient and accessible location for both clients and tenants.

When the structure is completed, the first building’s top floor will be some 100 feet above Route 3.

Joe Koppeis, whose Admiral Parkway development and management firm is heading up the project, has partnered with Waterloo physician Dr. Michael Kirk, whose Progressive Family Care will be a major occupant of the first building, along with Fred Shinn of ATI Physical Therapy.

“I looked at this property in 2009,” Koppeis told the Republic-Times. “But the economics weren’t right at the time. Then in 2013, Dr. Kirk came to me to explore a building solely for his expansion here, and that’s how we embarked on the path leading to today.”

Koppeis said the project will be a powerful visual gateway to Columbia for people arriving across the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and for those driving southward on I-255, explaining the decision to create a building with a strong appearance.

Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson echoed Koppeis’ vision of a visual gateway to his city.

“A town that’s not growing is dying,” he said. “And this is wonderful, strong growth.”

Koppeis thanked the community and its leaders for support, which includes tax abatement agreements with both the city and the school district.

The first building is already 70 percent leased, with several other parties expressing interest in locating there, according to Koppeis. The hope is that strong interest will drive rapid expansion and the ultimate use of all 21 acres of the development area.

“The first and second floors are full today,” Koppeis said. “The third floor is filling rapidly, too. If anyone’s interested in space on the fourth floor, we have lease agreements here today.”

The fifth floor of this first building will have both indoor and outdoor areas for meetings, receptions, events and other rentals.

“The side facing the St. Louis skyline will be an open patio with a spectacular afternoon and evening view,” Koppeis added.

Kirk and Shinn, as well as  Dr. Donald Unwin of Quantum Vision Centers, shared their plans for the building.

Kirk’s Progressive Family Care will occupy a 4,834-square-foot space; ATI will occupy a 7,149-square-foot space.

Quantum Vision Center is bringing state-of-the-art eye care technology, including cataract surgery more advanced than any in St. Louis, to the complex.

A proposed urgent care facility operated by Community Health Systems is expected to bring 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. service, seven days a week, to the area.

A pharmacy and two medical labs will complete the health care offerings. Koppeis also plans to bring his Admiral Parkway offices to a 3,630-square-foot area.

“But if someone wants to rent that space, I can wait,” he stressed.

Construction is scheduled to begin immediately and last an estimated 18 months.

There are preliminary plans to add a top-flight restaurant and hotel to the complex, and Koppeis is hopeful discussions with the city of Columbia will result in eventually relocating some portion of the city government to 11 South — “perhaps the police department,” he said.

Hutchinson confirmed there have been discussions of such a move.

Although ground is broken, much work still lies ahead.

“Sand Bank Road is aptly named — for the sand bank that covers this hill. This is causing us to include more costly structural foundations in our plans,” Koppeis noted.

Obstacles aside, the visual impact will soon start to emerge, and Columbia’s newest destination will definitely be seen from all directions.

City council meets
The Columbia City Council on Monday night established the salaries of city employees, including full-time appointed city officers. Aldermen also entered into a five-year agreement with Reliable Sanitation for refuse collection and signed a proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, among other matters.

Salaries for the four full-time appointed city officers were set as follows: Joseph Edwards, chief of police and EMS director, $93,720; Jerry Paul, deputy chief of police and NIMS coordinator, $82,584; Chris Smith, city engineer and director of public works, $89,000; and James Morani, city administrator, budget officer and health officer, $90,200.

Reliable Sanitation, the current and future company with which Columbia contracts to collect and dispose of refuse, entered into a five-year contract with the city to continue providing services.

The city will be charged $13.42 per month, per resident, business establishment, school and church within the city limits, according to contract terms.

Reliable will also continue to offer four large-item pick-up dates per year.

The rates are subject to change annually in accordance with changes in the federal government’s consumer price index.

Reliable Sanitation is owned by Tim Scheibe of Waterloo.

Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.