Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

Harley Spiller's coin collection
Alex Heuer

Do you know whose portrait appears on the $10,000 bill? Or, how about the $100,000 bill? Although they’re no longer produced by the Federal Reserve, President Woodrow Wilson’s face is on the $100,000 bill and it was only circulated internally within the federal government. Meanwhile, Salmon P. Chase appears on the $10,000 bill. Chase was in the right place at the right time as U.S. paper money – or “greenbacks” – was first issued in 1861 and he was President Abraham Lincoln’s first treasury...

St. Louis-based World Wide Technology has acquired local software company Asynchrony. WWT is a systems integrator that has 3,500 employees and had nearly $7 billion in revenue last year. Asynchrony, which is based in downtown St. Louis, has about 250 employees and will do about $40 million in revenue this year. WWT Chief Financial Officer Tom Strunk says over the last five years his company has been investing to help simplify customers’ technology infrastructure. " And as we were going...

Chris Krehmeyer
Provided by Beyond Housing

If you ask many St. Louisans what they like about the region, many will cite that its cost of living is a big plus. Housing in St. Louis is generally believed to be affordable — but not for all.

Build STL Hackathon organizer Jonathon Leek loads up a project presentation on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the 555 Building downtown.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Put coders and data experts together in a room, add in a desire to make St. Louis a better place, and hold for 48 hours. What do you get? Five altruistic apps and websites that are closer to becoming a reality. OpenDataSTL , a tech-savvy group with a mission to make data more accessible, put on their second annual “Make St. Louis Better” hackathon this weekend at the 555 Building in downtown St. Louis.

Hazelwood Logistics Center, Paul McKee
(MARIA ALTMAN, ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO/MAPBOX, OPENSTREETMAP)

Paul McKee’s Hazelwood Logistics Center now belongs to a Kansas City company. NP Hazelwood 140 held an auction Friday of all of Hazelwood Logistics Center’s assets and land, then entered the only bid of $9.2 million.

St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt says the Contractor Loan Fund is a potential game-changer for diversity in St. Louis construction at a news conference announcing the fund Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at Cortex.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Minority and women contractors who can’t get traditional loans to expand their business in St. Louis have a new resource at their disposal: the Contractors Loan Fund . Certified minority and women-owned business enterprises will be able to apply for a loan of up to $1 million from the fund, which has a pool of $10 million.

A major closure off the Poplar Street Bridge will affect downtown traffic.
Courtesy Missouri Department of Transportation

Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend. The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing the westbound Poplar Street Bridge ramp leading to Interstate 55/44 south for a month, starting Thursday night.

Paul McKee pays property taxes, Paul McKee, property taxes
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Developer Paul McKee has paid his tax bill to the city of St. Louis. St. Louis Public Radio reported in April that McKee's company, Northside Regeneration, had failed to pay more than $750,000 in real estate property taxes for 2013 and 2014. The company owns more than 2,000 parcels on the city's north side. Deputy tax collector Tom Vollmer confirmed that McKee visited the city's Collector of Revenue Department on Thursday and paid more than $700,000. "I'm 95 percent sure he's paid in full,"...

Missouri Technology Corporation, startups
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon is thanking state lawmakers... at least for the funds they appropriated for the Missouri Technology Corporation. The Democrat was in St. Louis Wednesday touting the nearly $16 million the Republican-controlled legislature included for MTC in the budget passed last week. MTC provides early-stage capital to both entrepreneurs and startups. " When MTC gives an investment everyone knows that it’s smart and effective, and the legislature going along with us to make more...

Proposed Carson, California stadium
L.A. Times| Manica Architecture

The Rams' future in St. Louis continues to be uncertain. National Football League owners are meeting this week in San Francisco and are expected to receive updates on stadium plans in St. Louis and two Los Angeles suburbs: Carson and Inglewood.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber meets with reporters in St. Louis. Garber toured a potential stadium site near the city's north riverfront.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The commissioner of Major League Soccer was in St. Louis on Tuesday to visit the site of a potential stadium on the city’s riverfront. But while expressing optimism that St. Louis could support a professional soccer team, the chief of the country’s most popular league emphasized it’s way too early to talk about when an expansion would happen.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Two auctions were held Monday in connection with developer Paul McKee’s McEagle Properties, LLC. In the first auction, held by Triad Bank, McKee appeared to pay off McEagle’s remaining debt to the bank. A company connected to McKee paid Triad $748,000 for McEagle’s assets. " We are pleased to announce that M Property Services, LLC was the successful bidder for substantially all the assets of McEagle Properties, LLC," said McKee spokesman Jim Gradl in an emailed statement. "M Property Services...

Atul Kamra, SixThirty
SixThirty

The new managing partner of St. Louis-based financial technology business accelerator SixThirty is bringing plenty of experience to the job.

Hazelwood Logistics Center, Paul McKee
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio/MapBox, OpenStreetMap)

A Kansas City company wants to take over and begin construction this summer on developer Paul McKee’s long-dormant Hazelwood Logistics Center. But Paul McKee is fighting back in court. The Hazelwood Logistics Center is in a prime location near Interstate 70 at Lindbergh Boulevard and Missouri Bottom Road. The 151-acre site was to become an industrial and logistics park, but it’s been plagued by lawsuits. That includes a suit brought by BancorpSouth in federal court over millions of dollars in...

UMWA protest
(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Patriot Coal filed for Chapter 11 protection Tuesday, less than two years after emerging from bankruptcy. Patriot, which was spun off from Peabody Energy in 2007, was headquartered in St. Louis until earlier this year. The company is now based in Scott Depot, West Virginia, and filed bankruptcy in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia. President and CEO Bob Bennett said “challenging market conditions” in coal led the company’s board and management team to make the decision. The...

United Steelworkers Sub District 2 Director Dave Dowling
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the United Steelworkers are pressing U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of southern Illinois to vote against legislation that would fast-track a multi-national trade agreement.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio/MapBox, OpenStreetMap)

Local developer Paul McKee’s legal troubles have moved to the auction block. Notices of two separate auctions tied to McKee companies have been filed since the beginning of the month. The first is connected with the Hazelwood Logistics Center in St. Louis County. The 151-acre site at Lindbergh Boulevard and Missouri Bottom Road was supposed to become an industrial and logistics center but remains mostly undeveloped. In 2011 a federal judge ordered McKee and the company to pay BancorpSouth $32...

flag of Ireland
via Flickr / Michael Caroe Andersen

Much of St. Louis’s top civic and economic brass traveled to Europe over the weekend. A trade delegation led by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, World Trade Center St. Louis, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Council Chairman Pat Dolan are in Ireland through Tuesday.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds families with higher levels of education attain more wealth, and that the wealth gap between educational attainment levels is growing. But the authors also stress that education alone does not explain the differences in these outcomes.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, north city
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of residents is asking the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to cross north St. Louis off of a list of four sites the agency is considering for its relocation. The residents delivered a petition with more than 95,000 signatures to the NGA on Wednesday with the help of the Institute for Justice, an organization based in Arlington, VA, and local group Save North Side STL . The NGA is planning to move, at the earliest, in 2021 to one of four locations in the region: the St. Louis...

AOL's Steve Case at LockerDome's Lockerdorms
LockerDome.com|Gabe Lozano

As the Midwest economy continues to shift from a traditional manufacturing base, the spaces that many area workers and employers spend their days — and nights — in are also evolving. Research suggests more and more workers are shifting to non-traditional offices, ranging from pet-filled apartments to shared spaces, complete with bunk beds and craft beer.

Paul McKee
St. Louis Public Radio

Paul McKee’s legal woes are growing. PNC Bank filed a federal lawsuit late last week in the Southern District of Illinois. It claims McKee, several of his holding companies and the former Corn Belt Bank & Trust defaulted on an $8 million loan from a PNC predecessor.

Gigante puppets pulled by bike in the People's Joy Parade during Cherokee Street's Cinco de Mayo festival Saturday,May 2, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Glittery sombreros big and small. The occasional plastic mustache dangling from sunglasses. Regatón blasting from one speaker, pop tunes blaring on another. Tacos, piña coladas and colorful margaritas in fish bowls. Wrestling, live music and the eccentric, playful People’s Joy Parade. This is Cherokee Street during Cinco de Mayo. A lot of fun for sure, but was Saturday's festival all in good fun or was there an element of cultural appropriation going on?

courtesy National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Efforts to keep the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in St. Louis are in full gear. The Missouri Senate passed a measure on Thursday that would capture up to $12 million a year in withholdings taxes from NGA employees for up to 30 years. That money would go to the city for costs associated with luring the agency to a north St. Louis site.

Madison County Transit

Madison County, Illinois, bus riders will soon start seeing some changes in service. Starting next Sunday, Madison County Transit will bring an entirely new bus route to areas popular with the Highland community, and add evening and weekend service elsewhere. The expanded services will not be offered on all routes. Instead, according to SJ Morrison, Director of Marketing and Planning for Madison County’s transit system, the department evaluated holes in service and community demands, then...

Mayor Francis Slay, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet
Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio

A new partnership will focus on training and business development in the St. Louis region’s immigrant entrepreneurship community.

MoDOT District Engineer Greg Horn speaks at the TRIP report news conference Thursday, April 30, 2015 against a backdrop of the traffic management center in Chesterfield.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Roads in need of repair and expansion cost the average St. Louis-area driver $1,511 a year from car accidents, maintenance needs and wasted gas, according to a new report released Thursday by private transportation research group TRIP . The report estimates that the average St. Louis driver spends 31 hours a year stuck in traffic and that almost 30 percent of the major roads in the St. Louis area need to be reconstructed because they’ve deteriorated beyond the scope of surface-level repair.

(Flicker, Jim Fenton)

CTY is a technology company that formed in St. Louis just last year. But the startup nabbed a $35,000 Prototype Fund grant from the Knight Foundation and will test its first product in a project with the city. The product, called Numina , collects real-time data using optical sensors. This summer those sensors will count pedestrians and bicyclists and send that information to the St. Louis Department of Health. CEO Tara Pham said the city’s willingness to work with a startup and use new...

Elementary students from KIPP Victory Academy in St. Louis and Rockwood Center for Creative Learning in Ellisville break ground on the Arch museum expansion Wednesday, April 29, 2015. CityArchRiver Executive Director Maggie Hales looks on from back.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Construction is underway on the Gateway Arch museum expansion. The groundbreaking ceremony for the latest phase of the $380 million CityArchRiver project was held Wednesday at the site of the future entryway to the museum, sandwiched between the Arch and the soon-to-be-completed park over the highway.

Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, thanks her supporters after being sworn into the board of Aldermen.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development bestowed a Promise Zone designation on parts of St. Louis, officials here saw at as an opportunity to turn distressed parts of the region around. But at least one St. Louis alderman is questioning the boundaries of the Promise Zone – especially since it doesn’t take in hard-hit portions of the city’s South Side.

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