Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to move to downtown St. Louis

st. LOUIS — After 28 years in the Central West End, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is moving to downtown St. Louis.

The nonprofit, which provides free civil legal help to low-income people, will move to Peabody Plaza, at 701 Market Street, in January. Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will occupy the entire 11th floor and part of the 12th floor, according to a release.

The nonprofit’s new office at the 16-story Peabody Plaza is 10,000 square feet more than its current floor plan at 4232 Forest Park Avenue and will accommodate the growth of several Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s programs, including housing and family law. The organization has not decided where its neighborhood vacancy initiative will be located, said Executive Director Dan Glazier.

The move will also allow Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to be closer to several courthouses it frequents and give it better proximity to the more than 150 social services and government agencies it partners with. Its new headquarters also has free parking and better access to public transportation, he said.

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“We’re excited about downtown,” Glazier said. “We think it’s a good place for us and our clients.”

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s move is a welcome sign for downtown St. Louis, where office occupancy has remained stagnant for the past few years.

Downtown reported a 79.4% office occupancy rate in the third quarter of this year, about 1 percentage point lower than it was the same time last year. Office occupancy in the third quarter of 2019 was 80.2%, according to research from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The occupancy rate is among the lowest in the region: Only north St. Louis County reported a lower rate, at 77.5%, Cushman & Wakefield research showed.

New tenants have moved to the Peabody Plaza since New York-based Briar Meads Capital bought the building in 2020 for $35 million. (Managing Director Seth Berkowitz is a former intern for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.)

Among the new tenants are: architecture firm Arcturis, law firms HeplerBroom and The Cook Group, and cafes Ukraft and Windows on Kiener Plaza.

The property’s namesake, coal company Peabody Energy, also recently signed a long-term lease renewal to occupy three floors.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri owns its Forest Park Avenue building, which is situated within the Cortex tech district. Glazier said his group is keeping its options open with that facility.

The nonprofit has over 90 employees and 50 interns and volunteers and services clients in 21 counties throughout eastern Missouri.

Patrick McKay and Hal C. Ball of commercial real estate firm Hilliker Corp. represented Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in the lease. Rick Messey and Whitney Allen of CBRE represented Briar Meads.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Rick Messey’s name.

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