Ralcorp Signs 175 KSF Lease at Bank of America Plaza in St. Louis

Private-label foods producer Ralcorp has signed a 175,000-square-foot lease at St. Louis' Bank of America plaza, an agreement that includes a 57,000-square-foot expansion.

Bank of America Plaza in downtown St. Louis will continue to house the headquarters of Ralcorp now that the private-label foods producer has completed a new lease agreement at the 750,000-square-foot office high-rise. But Ralcorp, which had been subleasing, not only committed to staying put at the building, the company signed on to expand by 57,000 square feet for a total occupancy of 175,000 square feet of Class A office space.

“We’ve come close to backfilling the space that Bank of America gave back, so we’re getting closer to the 90 percent occupancy when the owner bought the building,” David Steinbach, a senior vice president with Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., told Commercial Property Executive. Steinbach and David Biales, a vice president with JLL, represented the building owner in the lease transaction. Cassidy Turley stood in for the tenant.

Carrying the address of 800 Market St., BofA Plaza towers 30 stories above the city’s central business district. Positive Investments acquired the asset in 2009 for $47.3 million. Today, the property is, as Steinbach noted, “outperforming the downtown market by 10 to 12 percent.”

Indeed, the St. Louis office market continues to struggle as it crawls toward recovery. The CBD closed 2011 with a vacancy rate of 21.1 percent, according to a JLL report. “In the fourth quarter in downtown St. Louis, even Class A saw negative absorption,” he said. “For the year, it was about 50,000 square feet of negative absorption. Our building has done about 100,000 square feet or more of positive absorption in over the last 12 months.”

Financial terms of Ralcorp’s lease agreement have not been disclosed. On its website, JLL markets space at BofA Plaza for $20 to $22 per square foot. With the closing of its new lease transaction, Ralcorp will kick off construction to customize the additional space it will occupy on three other floors.