The St. Louis County office market is flooded with large blocks of space for rent, including the headquarters of a health care company.
Lumeris is selling its entire 13900 Riverport Drive headquarters in Riverport Business Park, Maryland Heights. The company provides managed services for health systems, Medicare health maintenance organizations, and its affiliated company Essence Healthcare. This was revealed in a report by commercial real estate firm JLL.
JLL reported that the block was the largest in the region during the first quarter. The region's office vacancy rate was 21.99% during the first quarter. This is a slight improvement over the fourth quarter. However, available sublease spaces increased significantly, going from 2,000,000 square feet to 2,200,000 square feet. Centene Corp. has, for instance, sought to reduce large chunks of its office space.
Lumeris, in a statement sent to the Business Journal said that the decision to "right-size" its office space had been made after considering post-pandemic reality and the increase of remote and flexible work.
Our office space was designed for our needs before Covid, when it was the norm to work in the office all day. "We adjusted our model while Covid was in place and have kept many of those changes since then in a hybrid approach," said the company in a press release. In order to reduce the size of our office, we will sublease unused space. This is in line with our mission to deliver the best healthcare at the lowest costs.
The company has not provided any details about alternative office space. The parent company of Earth City's Essence Group Holdings Corp. owns both Lumeris and Essence.
Business Journal reported that Essence Healthcare employed approximately 1,200 Lumeris workers as of September.
Lumeris has advertised several remote jobs.
According to St. Louis County Records, Kawa Capital in Florida owns the Maryland Heights Class-B building built in 1999. Vanderbilt Partners purchased it in 2018 for $22,2 million. Kawa did not immediately respond to an inquiry for comment.
Essence Healthcare moved into the building in 2009. The company consolidated two offices it had previously leased in Creve Coeur. Essence originally signed a 10 year lease.
The building was leased by Express Scripts before they moved to their own campus near University of Missouri St. Louis in 2007.
As the company began offering its health insurance plans in additional states, the decision was made to reduce the office space of Essence Healthcare.
Umar Farooq, former Centene executive in September. Farooq said the company was expecting a "significant expansion" when he began his tenure.
The company released a press release in November announcing that Essence Healthcare plans will be available in five new states starting in January: Indiana, Kentucky and Arkansas. This represents a 223% expansion in the number counties in which the plans are offered.