St. Louis is furious that the Belgian brewer InBev might buy their beloved American Icon, Anheuser-Busch (BUD). Although residents of St. Louis stand to make billions on their shares, not all the negatives of the InBev buyout would be psychological. The St. Louis commercial real estate market is slumping, and the city fears losing BUD will exacerbate the problem.
St. Louis’ current woes include (WSJ):
- Chrysler said it would idle its St. Louis South minivan plant indefinitely in October, a blow to warehouse owners that partly count on the auto maker’s suppliers as tenants.
- The high-profile Ballpark Village multi-use project that was to rise next door to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team’s two-year-old Busch Stadium remains stalled.
- The city suffered a setback in March when Centene Corp., a health-care company, opted out of plans to move its headquarters from the city’s Clayton suburb into the proposed $650 million project.
While InBev has promised not to close US breweries or slash too many jobs, promises leave wiggle room. But at least one analyst is confident that the St. Louis real estate can absorb the losses, albeit gradually:
“It wouldn’t be a huge sucking sound,” says Jeff Algatt, regional manager in St. Louis for Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.
But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t suck.
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