Thursday, September 08, 2005

UMSL Lands Express Scripts

UMSL Lands Express Scripts

Express Scripts, the Maryland Heights (Riverport)-based mail-order prescription management firm, announced today its intentions to relocate its corporate headquarters to the business park at the University of Missouri Saint Louis.

This is a pretty big deal on several levels:

-- Blanche Touhill is vindicated, in some ways, for her expansionary visions over the years. I still feel the criticisms against some of her strategies for UMSL were valid; nevertheless, she's probably pretty happy she advocated for the dramatic expansion of the campus northward that makes this possible.

-- It provides a new, high-visibility tenant for the UMSL business park, which risks getting mixed up with the Missouri Research Park, located near Weldon Springs and managed primarily by UM-Columbia. It also helps justify the huge expenditures involved in rebuilding the I-70 at Florissant Road interchange (now rechristened "University Boulevard").

-- It's a major corporate relocation to the inner-ring suburbs of North County - an area that hasn't had a major new corporation locate there in probably 20 years. (Part of me is really surprised Emerson didn't pack up and head for greener pastures in the 1990s, as Northland Shopping Center rapidly decayed.) As such, it's a big coup for Charlie Dooley -- although I guess he can't make too big a deal of it, since they relocated from somewhere else (barely) in St. Louis County.

-- Matt Blunt gets to look really good (grrrr), as do all the legislators who supported the "Missouri Quality Jobs Act."

The act, which went into effect on Aug. 28th, "allows withholding tax incentives to be used to target three vital economic development areas important to Missouri's future - small and expanding businesses, new technology companies, and high impact projects... The new law also requires qualifying businesses to create a minimum number of jobs at competitive wage levels, offer health insurance to these new employees, and pay at least half their premiums."

Sounds pretty good - something that, not surprisingly, could get bipartisan support.

-- The only person (maybe) unhappy about this? Eliot Spitzer. ;-)

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