CRE X Missouri

Symposium sponsored by Colliers and the Urban Land Institute asks the big question: How can St. Louis get more involved in the national supply chain?

Nearly 90 people attended the March economic symposium Economic Revival in the Heartland -- Recapturing St. Louis' Gateway Status held at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

[caption id="attachment_20405" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="Jim Alexander and KC Conway"] Nearly 90 people attended the March economic symposium Economic Revival in the Heartland -- Recapturing St. Louis' Gateway Status held at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Hosted by Urban Land Institute St. Louis and Colliers International|St. Louis, the event featured a panel of global and local economists discussing the strengths and weaknesses of St. Louis’ business climate and citing strategic opportunities to bring business to the region that would position St. Louis for economic growth.

Colliers International’s leading economist KC Conway began the conference by discussing the retail and industrial industries and St. Louis’ involvement in the national supply chain, noting there’s a sense of urgency to get further involved.

“Over the next two years what we understand and do in retail and industrial is going to be turned completely upside down,” he predicted. “What you do over the next 12 months will dictate the degree that [St. Louis] participates in that 24 to 36 months from now, for probably the next decade or two.”

In addition, Conway compared St. Louis’ professional business sectors with other gateway cities, noting that most have either strong financial, insurance and real estate markets known as “FIRE markets” or strong intellectual capital, energy and education markets known as “ICEE markets."

“Over the last two years, the absorption pace in the ICEE markets is double that of FIRE markets,” he says. “And [St. Louis] has both pieces. You’re both an ICEE and a FIRE market that’s performing. There may only be three examples of that in the country.”

In addition to Conway, Julie Stackhouse with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis served as moderator with Jim Alexander of the St. Louis Regional Chamber providing insight into the organization's aspiration for St. Louis to become one of the top 10 national regions in prosperity.