St. Louis Pays a Second Law Firm to Stay in Downtown Building
Posted Mar 19, 2010 11:44 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
St. Louis apparently likes law firms so much that it is willing to pay them to stay in the city.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Development Corp. agreed to give Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard a $150,000 forgivable loan to renew its lease in the One City Center building, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Business Journal. The loan will be forgiven if the law firm stays in the building at least five years and adds 10 employees.
Another law firm, Lewis Rice Fingersh, got a similar loan for $300,000 to move to the building. The decision prompted a lawsuit by the law firm’s current landlord against city and state officials.
Sandberg Phoenix, which has more than 65 lawyers, will use the loan to help pay for more than $1 million in improvements it is making to its office space. The loans are part of the city’s push to renovate One City Center.
According to the Post-Dispatch, “Sandberg Phoenix is just the latest in a string of law firms that have pried incentives out of City Hall in exchange for agreeing to stay in downtown St. Louis.”
Firms besides Sandberg Phoenix and Lewis Rice that have renewed leases with the city’s help include Thompson Coburn and Polsinelli Shughart, the Post-Dispatch says.