ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – American tech giant Microsoft is ‘booting up’ in St. Louis. While some jobs are moving from Creve Coeur, nearly 100 new jobs are coming, and so is a state-of-the-art technology center.
On Wednesday, Governor Eric Greitens and Mayor Francis Slay joined officials from Cortex and Wexford Science & Technology in announcing Microsoft would be part of a new, 180,000 square-foot office and lab development being built at the '4240 building' on the Cortex Innovation Community campus in Central West End.
“We know how to get it done, know what an innovation district is, what it takes; there's a lot of great partners here and lots of synergy and bio tech,” Slay said.
Hank Webber, chairman of the board of directors for the Cortex Innovation District, said Microsoft will move its offices and bring 150 jobs to St. Louis. Approximatley 60 of those jobs are coming from Creve Coeur to the city and 90 new jobs will be created in the move. Cortex will serve as Microsoft’s regional headquarters.
"Microsoft's choice to join us is a remarkable vote of confidence and validation for Cortex, the City of St. Louis, and the state of Missouri," Webber said.
Washington University will serve as the anchor tenant in the new development, leasing 69,000 square-feet, Webber said.
According to Microsoft spokesman Ervin Flores, the creation of a technology center will attract even more business and jobs to St. Louis. Only 40 tech centers exist worldwide.
“Because we will bring tech here, these two investments will attract our own customers and partners to leverage our technology to be based here,” Flores said.
The office and tech center will open in summer 2018. Microsoft will invest $50 million in local jobs, facilities, and software grants. Flores said St. Louis is getting national attention for its innovation, tech talent, and political support.
“When we think about making investments somewhere, we look at talent; what kind of talent do we have in city and when we think about St. Louis, we find people, we find talent,” Flores said.
This move should solidifies the Cortex Innovation District as the Midwest's leader of innovation and technology commercialization.
“It’s also a message to talented people around the country that St. Louis is a great place to come to,” Greitens said.
Slay said in a few weeks, 40 people, including mayors from around the country, will come to tour the Cortex community. They want to see the amazing strides that have been made in St. Louis and how our area has an identity with innovation.
According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the complex itself cost $100 million to build, with $9.5 million coming from tax increment financing (TIF money).
Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.