MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO-Safety National Casualty Corp. is staying within its home community by building a 138,000-sf office headquarters in the Westport Area, at 1832 Schuetz Road. CRA Development LLC, a division of Coldwell Banker Commercial CRA LLC, broke ground recently on the $19-million facility.

The company believes in being the owner of its own buildings, says Bruce Brophy, a principal with CRA. The insurance firm, a subsidiary of Delphi Financial Group, has owned and operated out its two buildings at 2029 and 2043 Woodland Parkway in Maryland Heights. “They’re moving from those buildings in a consolidation,” Brophy tells The 63,000-sf 2043 building is for sale for $7.8 million, and the 16,000-sf 2029 building is being offered for $1.9 million, he says.

He says CRA helped the company acquire the 1832 Scheutz property in 2005. The new building should be finished by June 2008, and the 16-acre site will provide enough room for a 300,000-sf expansion, Brophy says. The five-story building, including a lower level, will feature a fitness center, training rooms and a dining area. Duke Realty Corp. is the general contractor, and ACI/Boland is the architect.

Mayor Mike Moeller said in a statement that the development will revitalize a site that has sat idle for years. The property, where the former Wirtz School had been, was purchased by Safety National from the Special School District of St. Louis County.

CRA company officials said in a statement that this new office project is a signal of a strengthening economy. “This area does have a concentration of offices,” says Brophy. “When the new Page Avenue extension went up, there was a flurry of activity by office and industrial users.”

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