Clayco unveils expansion with purchase of former Express Scripts building

Clayco unveils expansion with purchase of former Express Scripts building

JEFFERSON CITY — Construction and design firm Clayco plans to consolidate its St. Louis operations into a building vacated by Express Scripts last year.

The $49.5 million move will add 400 jobs and breathe new life into a high-profile building in north St. Louis County near the intersection of Interstate 170 and North Hanley Road.

“This will allow us to all be under one roof,” Justin Linneman, the company’s chief financial officer, told members of the Missouri Development Finance Board on Monday.

The 12-member board voted unanimously and with little comment to provide $2.5 million in state aid for the project, which will transform the former Express Scripts call center into a one-stop shop for architecture, engineering and construction services.

The vote came as the board also approved $6 million in state aid for Boeing, which is expanding its footprint on properties north of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

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Boeing’s expansion will include a $1.8 billion investment from the aerospace giant and the creation of more than 500 new jobs.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, a member of the Finance Council, said investments in northern St. Louis County are “desperately needed.”

Among those attending Monday’s meeting was Bob Clark, who founded Clayco in 1984 and serves as its CEO. The company has grown from a small office in St. Louis to a national powerhouse with six subsidiaries and more than 2,600 employees.

Although it moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2013, it still employs about 600 people at its offices in Overland and Clayton. These offices will be closed upon completion of the new building, bringing the number of employees in the new building to approximately 1,000 people.

The new building, purchased for $10 million, was originally built by Clayco to serve as a call center for Express Scripts, Lienemann said.

It closed after Express Scripts was purchased by Connecticut-based health insurer Cigna in 2018.

The facility, located at 8640 Evans Ave. in Berkeley, undergoing a massive renovation to bring it in line with Clayco’s needs.

“It will be a completely new look, not just a coat of paint,” Linneman said. “This site is very visible.”

In addition to $2.5 million in state aid, the company is seeking $14.6 million in new job creation tax credits as well as $11.6 million in property and sales tax credits from Berkeley.

When filing the application, the Missouri Department of Economic Development said the company could have instead moved to Illinois, Arizona, California or South Carolina.

“This opportunity will enable Missouri to capture a significant share of future headcount growth,” the DED analysis said.

“With this significant investment in a Missouri facility, we are building not just a physical space, but a center that embodies our commitment to excellence and innovation in every project we undertake,” Clayco said in its application for state aid.

Boeing is looking to expand

Meanwhile, Boeing is poised to receive more than $235 million in state, federal and local tax subsidies as the company expands its presence at airports.

The project is designed to support “new aerospace programs” in what could be one of the largest defense projects in the region’s history.

The expansion depends on whether Boeing wins new contracts from the US Department of Defense. Boeing has not said much about the potential project, which would come as the aerospace industry prepares to compete to build the next phase of American fighter jets.

“It’s important for St. Louis and the area surrounding St. Louis. Boeing has been a great partner for the state,” Kehoe said.

“We are proud that Boeing, our state’s largest manufacturer and a global leader in aerospace, is considering St. Louis County as the site for such a significant investment,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement.

Boeing is trying to get an additional $6 million in incentives from the state of Missouri for the expansion project

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