St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on May 27, 1996 · Page 174
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 174

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Monday, May 27, 1996
Page 174
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ctr , !; yam ."AOrJM ' MONDAY, MAY 27, 1996 rin-?c '"Tin t I'JUJ.K t 5BP FRED FAUST MINDING BUSINESS McCarthy's Big Vegas ocal construction giant McCarthy is completing work on the first phase of the Tower Shops, the retail mall on the second floor of the Stratosphere Tower and Resort. The Stratosphere is Las Vegas' newest mega-resort. It opened April 30 on the site of the old Vegas World, a low-roller joint on the northern end of the Strip. At 1,149 feet tall, the Stratosphere Tower is owned by Grand Casinos Inc., the Minnesota company that has three of Mississippi's biggest casino projects. To buy a $7 ticket for a ride to the tower's observation deck, visitors have to walk through the casino, of course. Then to get to the elevator that takes them up, they have to walk past every shop in the mall. The mall is a joint venture of Simon Property Group Inc., which is run by the family that owns St. Louis Centre, and Gordon Co. This is the same team that developed the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, a leader among U.S. malls in sales per square foot. Judging from the few tenant names released so far, the Tower Shops will not be as high-end as the Forum Shops. But that fits, because the Stratosphere is aiming at middle-market casino visitors, not the high rollers that Caesars and the Mirage pursue., McCarthy is construction manager and general contractor for the $12 million mall. Half of the 70 shops and restaurants will open by July; the rest by November. Near the southern end of the Strip, McCarthy is building a 12-story parking garage and theater shell for the . Showcase Mall, next to the MGM Grand. The $11 million job is due for completion in December. The developer of Showcase is Forest City Development of Cleveland, which was part of a team that competed unsuccessfully for the right to build a casino project in Laclede's Landing. McCarthy's previous jobs in Las Gundaker Commercial Group represented parties in these sales: A 15,000-square-foot build-to-suit office-warehouse on 1.3 acres at Lot D2 Northwest Industrial Park to Hamilton Moving and Storage Co. from Merus Properties and G.S.& S. Cozad Commercial represented the purchaser. Three acres of land at Lot 3 Pennridge Business Park to Stanford Zimmerman from Pennridge Partnership. Sweeney-Finn Corp. represented the purchaser. Sansone Group represented both parties in the lease of 10,500 square feet of retail space at Dierbergs Clock-tower Place, 11244-52 West Florissant Road, to Famous Brand Shoes. Hilliker Corp. represented both parties in the sale of three acres of commercial land at 6925 Telegraph R6ad to Dr. and Mrs. Soung Oh Kwoun from Mr. and Mrs. David Mansfield. .Vegas include the FAA control tower at the city's airport and an office building called the Nevada Financial Tower. JUST A COINCIDENCE? Friday, for the fourth year in a row, the annual meetings of May Department Stores Co. and Venture Stores Inc. overlapped. Venture's was set for 9:30 a.m. at an airport hotel and May's was scheduled for 10 a.m. downtown. Because Venture was spun off from May in No- . vember 1990, it's logical to assume that they have plenty of shareholders in common. Some of these folks might want to attend both meetings, as might some analysts and yes, members of the financial press. . It's not unusual to see spinoffs and their former parents coordinate annual meeting dates, agreeing on the same day with one company starting i' in the morning and one in the afternoon. That way, out-of-towners can attend both meetings and still make it a one-day trip. We fail to see why the companies would want simultaneous meetings. Yet with all the weekdays and times available in late May, it's hard to believe the scheduling is an accident for four consecutive years. When one shareholder complained about the issue Friday at Venture's annual meeting, Chief Executive Robert Wildrick said, "I'll change it. I didn't schedule it last year, and I don't know why they did it that way." The audience applauded. Spokesmen for both companies insisted that they pay no attention to the other's meeting day and time. CUff Campeau, Venture's marketing director, said Venture simply sets a date that's good for Venture. "We don't look at what other companies are doing when picking the date," Campeau said through a spokesman. "We set ours early in the year," COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NOTES Project Rising To Stratosphere said Jim Abrams, May's spokesman. "We have no idea when theirs is. We never talk to Venture." Abrams would not say exactly when May decided on a date and time. The official announcement was made April 22. Venture decided on its annual meeting date in October, and the official announcement was made April 12. CLEANING UP GAM-BUNG: One of the few truly clever marketing ideas to emerge from Missouri's casino industry belongs to Jay Sevigny, general manager of Har-rah's in North Kansas City. He's adding a car wash. Scheduled to open July 1 , the facility will be an automated drive-through, like those at many gas stations. Sevigny's staff is still working out details, but the casino's better customers probably will get a free wash and others will pay a nominal fee. Harrah's is spending $650,000 for the equipment. Vera Jennings, general manager of the Harrah's casino under construction in Maryland Heights, said he'll study the results of the North Kansas City car wash before deciding whether to add one here. : . We're not aware of any casino anywhere that does this, and we predict that it'll be a big hit. You may drive home a loser, but you'll feel a little better driving home in a clean car. COOL MONTH: After a torrid March, Missouri casinos cooled off in April. Statewide, gambling revenue was$46.1 million. That's an increase of 18.5 percent over April 1995. But when you subtract the revenue for Boyd Gam-ing's Sam's Town, which didn't open until September, and Casino Az-tar, which had just opened at the end of April 1995, the increase becomes less than 2 percent. Station Casino St. Charles again led the state, winning $11.3 Mannion-Marx Properties LLC represented parties in these sales of office-warehouse space: 58,994 square feet at 1645 Manufacturers Drive to F.W. Human and Robert Human from Fenlease Inc. 8,000 square feet at 60 Progress Parkway to George Markus from F.W. Human, Robert Human and James Human. 32,196 square feet at 2052-92 Concourse Drive and 11854-62 Lackland Road to Concourse Investors LLC from the RREEF Funds. CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc. represented PCBB Investment LP in the sale of 10,000 square feet of office space at 2725 Clifton Avenue to Local 50 Service Employees International Union. CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc. represented St. Louis Pre-Sort Inc. in the lease of 44,214 square feet of warehouse space at 5051 Southwest Avenue from La Cittadella Inc. million from its customers. That was a gain of 2 percent from a year ago. The Admiral casino won $6 million, a drop of 8 percent from April 1995. The dominant player in the Kansas City area, Harrah's in North Kansas City, won $10.6 million in April, off 8 percent from a year ago. Argosy Gaming's casino in Riverside won $8 million, an increase of 7 percent. Sam's Town in Kansas City won $6.2 million. Aztar in Caruthersville won $2.1 million, and the St. Jo Frontier in St. Joseph won $1.8 million. The Casino Queen in East St. Louis almost tied St. Charles for the ' metropolitan St. Louis lead, winning just under $11.3 million. That was an increase of 8.5 percent over April 1995. The St. Louis Regional Quality Institute a division of J Management Association proudly presents fc-.a,,,r.....vw..,.r.-,.,f. ,, T-r-.mT-frrim-ff-irirr ;V- JuneS at the Ritz-Carlton Join us and the leaders cf Disney University Professional Development Program h an enlightening sciriinar to leam the "KEYS" ta Disney's success: 0 Disney Style Management 0 Disney Style Customer Scnice Disney Style Creativity To enroll ycur team in this day cf excellence, please call (314) 95S-53C3. AAEVl Members: $249 Non-members: $349 Group Discounts Available. The Alton Belle won the same amount in both Aprils, $6.5 million. LOCAL WINNER: Last month we wrote about a bid request issued by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which wanted a company to organize a reception at a convention in Dallas in August. The request was sent to CVC members and companies in Dallas and Indianapolis. The inclusion of non-member, out-of-town firms bothered some members. We're happy to report, however, that the work went to a St. Louis firm. Creative Producers Group got the contract. Virginia Baldwin Hick of the Post-Dispatch staff contributed some information for this column.

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