Nestle Purina Cuts St. Louis Capital Improvement Budget by Half, Planning for New Building – SSM Approves $80-90M Patient Tower for Saint Joseph Hospital West

Nestle Purina – According to WhoLou sources Nestle Purina has budgeted approximately $15 million for 2013 in capital improvements at its St. Louis headquarters. Sources further allege the pet food giant of Nestle S.A. initially submitted an approximate budget of $30 million for the upcoming year.

Nestle Purina employs nearly 1,800 in St. Louis and is the biggest producer of pet food in the world. Its portfolio of nearly 30 brands include Alpo, Beneful, Cat Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Pro Plan, and Purina ONE. The company has more than 17,000 employees globally.

In August while the nation’s worst drought in a half-century was continuing to cook cornfields cross country  the government lowered its estimate of the corn yield to the lowest level since 1995. The Nestle Purina product line relies heavily on corn as an ingredient and sources allege the company has been impacted adversely by the rise in price of the commodity.

WhoLou sources believe the next significant projects at Nestle Purina will be a $15-$20 million renovation in the nearly 150,000 sq ft “C” office building and construction of a six- to eight-story office building on the campus within the next two or three years. The building would also feature underground parking according to WhoLou sources.

The Nestle Purina St. Louis campus encompasses 55-acres and is located on Chouteau Avenue between Seventh and 14th streets. The campus features 18 buildings, three ponds, and two dog runs (employee pets). The headquarters building at 1 Checkerboard Square is the only high-rise in downtown St. Louis that is south of Interstate 64/Highway 40.

Nestle Purina public relations representative Keith Schopp left a message for WhoLou denying the source allegations. Two immediate attempts to reach Schopp for comment were unsuccessful and messages left had not yet been returned.

SSM Health Care – According to WhoLou sources the SSM Health Care board of directors has approved a proposed new patient tower that will be built at St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake St. Louis. Sources further allege construction is estimated to cost between $80 million and $90 million with ⅓ of the budget dedicated to a sizable parking project.

{SSM St. Joseph Hospital West}

The design and scope of the project will be worked out early in 2013 with construction expected to begin later in the year or early 2014. The Lawrence Group will be handling the design while Alberici has been named general contractor for the job according to WhoLou sources.

Total revenue for the 130 bed hospital was nearly $430 million in 2011. St. Joseph is the only state-designated level III trauma center in Western St. Charles County and is the leading provider of emergency and obstetric services in St. Charles, Warren, and Lincoln Counties.

SSM Health Care public relations representative Mary Enger declined comment.