Centene Set to Break Ground on Second Clayton Tower in 2016 

 

Centene_one

nextSTL has learned Clayton-based Fortune 500 healthcare company Centene Corp plans to break ground on its second phase of expansion in the city in late 2016. The company has more than 13,000 national employees, including approximately 2,000 in the St. Louis area. In 2000 Centene had 270 employees company-wide, with 45 in Clayton occupying 6,000 square feet of leased office space in the former Aragon Place Building at 771 Carondelet Ave. In 2003 the company bought the building for $12.6 million, and expanded into 60,000 square feet of office space.

On July 2 it was announced that Centene would acquire Health Net for $6.8B. While the impact on the St. Louis headquarters is not yet known, the acquisition results in a much larger company, and one poised for growth. Centene currently services just more than 4M people across 22 states, primarily in subsidized health insurance programs serving low-income and disabled individuals. Health Net currently serves nearly 6M individuals via privately sponsored plans, Medicaid and Medicare.

In 2008 Centene, the State-appointed administrator of Medicaid, backed out of plans to be the corporate anchor for Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. The company considered moving its headquarters out of state before Clayton approved $22M in tax incentives. Centene then expanded its footprint within the county seat, building an 18-story office tower at 7700 Forsyth Blvd. Centene Plaza features a 1,700-space parking garage and retail, including Cantina Loredo, Pastaria, Niche, and Kakao Chocolate.

Centene - Clayton, MO{Centene Phase I included a tower at Hanley and Forsyth with parking and retail to the west}

St. Louis-based architectural and engineering giant HOK will be design lead for the second phase of expansion. The firm was also architect for the first phase, and is currently working on a concept for the new Clayton Centenebuilding and grounds. The development zone is expected to be on a recently purchased parcel located directly across Hanley Rd. from Centene Plaza.

In October of 2014 nextSTL first reported Centene had agreed to terms with Gershman Commercial regarding three properties within the expected development zone. The bundle includes 12 S. Hanley Rd. which was completed in 1958, 20 S. Hanley Rd. was constructed in 1960, and 7642 Forsyth Blvd was built in 1952. According to St. Louis County real estate records Hanley Forsyth LLC paid $14.2 million for the properties.

Centene - Clayton, MO

nextSTL sources say Centene has also recently shown interest in purchasing more Clayton properties immediately east of the parcel. These include the buildings at 7620 Forsyth, Wellbridge Athletic Club and Spa, 7606 Forsyth, CoreLink, and 7600 Forsyth, Peoples National Bank. This past October Centene announced it would open an expanded claims processing facility in Ferguson, adding up to 200 new jobs on an eight-acre site on Pershall Road. Additionally, the company has been very active leasing temporary office space in West St. Louis County.

In 2014 Centene signed 5.5-year leases for more than 100,000 square feet of office space at Woodsmill Commons I and II, in Chesterfield. According to nextSTL sources the company is also close to signing a similar lease agreement for more space at Woodsmill Commons and approximately 100,000 square feet of space at Timberlake Corporate Center, also in Chesterfield. An attempt to reach Centene for comment was unsuccessful.

{plaza connecting parking garage and retail to Centene office tower}