Updated at 2:30 p.m., July 30 with comment from StarLake Holdings Managing Partner John Berglund — Mobile payment technology company Square will move its 500 St. Louis employees from the Cortex Innovation Community to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch building downtown over the next few years.
The newspaper is moving around the corner next month, to 901 North 10th Street.
Square signed a lease on the newspaper’s longtime home last week. The building has space for 1,400 employees, giving Square the option to expand its St. Louis presence.
Square’s departure does mean significant space will open up on Cortex’s 200-acre Central West End campus, but Cortex President Dennis Lower said there are businesses waiting to move into and expand within the district.
Lower said the goal of the innovation campus is for businesses to grow and move throughout the St. Louis area. The community opened its doors in 2002.
“Our intent has always been to seed companies here in Cortex, and as they grow, for them to move out to larger environments,” Lower said.
Cortex is at about 97% capacity, he said.
St. Louis County-based StarLake Holdings bought the newspaper's downtown office building last year. Square's lease is for 15 years and about 90% of the building.
StarLake Managing Partner John Berglund said the company will renovate the building for Square over the next 18 months.
"They just don't build buildings like this anymore," Berglund said. "Poured concrete frame, all these really interesting spaces, every floor-to-floor height is different."
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so any changes must be made with the building's history in mind. Berglund said the Post-Dispatch and StarLake recently completed a historical review of the building, ensuring it qualifies for state and federal tax credits.
In an emailed statement, Square co-founder Jim McKelvey lauded the innovation ecosystem of metro St. Louis.
“St. Louis is full of talent and economic opportunity, so it should come as no surprise that we’re continuing to grow in our hometown,” McKelvey said.
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