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Deal to sell AT&T tower falls through, keeping another building empty in


ST. LOUIS — A deal to sell the vacant AT&T tower is dead, leaving real estate brokers and developers saying that it may be years before the building is redeveloped.

The sale was expected to close this summer, but real estate sources confirmed the 1.4 million-square-foot building — St. Louis’ largest office tower — is no longer under contract. It’s not clear what led to the fallout — bondholders who own the property never publicly disclosed the potential buyer. But the prospect was alluring enough that bondholders canceled an online auction for the property in March. 

The deal had offered hope for both the revitalization of the 44-story building and downtown, which has one of the highest vacancy rates in the region. At least three other significant buildings have sat vacant downtown for years:

• The Jefferson Arms, at Tucker Boulevard and Locust Street, has been empty since 2006.

• The Millennium Hotel, on Fourth Street just south of the Gateway Arch, closed in 2014.

• The Railway Exchange building, once home to May Department Stores at Seventh and Olive streets, has been vacant since technology incubator T-REX moved out of the 1.2-million-square-foot in 2014.

“It’s unfortunate that the AT&T building hasn’t sold,” Dustin Allison, senior vice president and chief real estate investment officer for the region’s business group, Greater St. Louis Inc., said in an email. “This is one of a few larger properties sitting vacant, and repositioning them is a longer-term issue we, as a region, must address.”



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