Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

CLAYTON, MO-Larry Chapman with Clayco, one of the future developers and owners of the $568 million redevelopment of the Brown Shoe Co. Inc. headquarters, says it will probably take about four-to-five months to secure the necessary approvals to begin the first phase of the mixed-use project. The footwear company has announced that it is bringing in its Famous Footwear division to the 15-acre Clayton project, which is proposed to feature 1.2 million sf of office, up to 80,000 sf of retail, about 360 residential units and a hotel.

Clayco is partnering with US Equities to build the project, with a small share by St. Louis-based Hutkin Development Co., which will handle the retail portion, Chapman says. “There’s still a number of approvals that have to be done with the city, the county and the school district, and Clayton has to approve the density and architecture review that’s part of the public process,” he tells GlobeSt.com on Tuesday.

His company joined with Brown Shoe last week in gaining about $14 million in incentives to help fund the project, including $6 million in tax credits and $8 million in BUILD construction bonds. According to a Brown Shoe statement, the company will seek to gain more than $43 million in incentives for the project.

Officials from the state and city did not return calls for comment, and a Brown Shoe spokeswoman refused to discuss the project. In the company’s statement, Gov. Matt Blunt said that the redevelopment will assure the creation of 700 new jobs and the retention of 600 existing jobs.

Brown Shoe has been in the St. Louis area for about 130 years, and established its headquarters in Clayton in 1952. The firm, which has 13,000 employees worldwide, has 650 workers in the current headquarters building. The company announced recently that it would move its Madison, WI-based Famous Footwear chain, which it purchased in 1981, to the Clayton area. About 270 employees will be offered jobs and relocation assistance to the Clayton area, the company said in a statement. “Moving our Madison office, which has the smaller population of the two, will be the least disruptive to our business and our employees,” said Famous Footwear president Joe Wood in the statement.

Brown Shoe chairman and CEO Ronald Fromm said in the statement that the move will foster collaboration, increase the speed to market and strengthen a connection with consumers. “Additionally, we believe it will further enable us to attain our goal of doubling our rate of profitability while doubling our sales,” Fromm said. His company operates 300 stores under the Naturalizer, Brown Shoe Closet, FX LaSalle and Franco Sarto names, as well as Shoes.com, and there are about 1,100 Famous Footwear stores nationwide.

The venture building the project will reportedly make a $12 million cash contribution to pay for infrastructure. After it is built, the venture will then buy the property from Brown Shoe and will lease it back to the company and the other tenants. “Clayton, the county seat for the St. Louis area, is a very desirable downtown,” Chapman says, in describing why his company wants to be involved in the project. “Brown Shoe were also looking to move to Addison, MO, St. Louis and even Texas, but they decided to stay here. We want to help Brown get out of the real estate business.”

He says the project will likely be done in more than two phases, with the first phase the construction of the 650,000-sf main headquarters building for Brown Shoe, being built on the site of the current building at 8500 Maryland. Then, the venture will tear down the existing headquarters facility and unused buildings on the site, including 8400 Maryland, to make way for the rest of the mixed-use project, which will include a 2,000-car parking garage. “We have to wait until we have the first building done, so they can all move into it,” Chapman says. Brown Shoe is also reportedly negotiating with the Clayton School District, which has an acre available on the neighboring Clayton High School property.

The Famous Footwear employees are expected to be relocated to the current Brown Shoe headquarters by the end of this year. Construction for the new HQ will reportedly be complete by mid-2010.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.