A Missouri state board next week will vote on $6.8 million in bonds to help finance Express Scripts' planned expansion in north St. Louis County. It's the first piece of an incentive package that could eventually exceed $30 million in state subsidies for the company.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Missouri Development Finance Board will consider the bonds, intended to help finance a $44 million, 225,000-square foot building the pharmacy benefit manager wants to construct in the NorthPark business park.
In its bond application, Express Scripts says it plans to eventually house nearly 1,100 new jobs in the building, which is located across Interstate 70 from its headquarters on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. That's fewer than the 1,500 the company discussed when it first announced the plan, though some new jobs will likely be housed in other buildings.
If all those jobs, which Express Scripts said will pay an average of $65,000 a year, are added, the company will be eligible for another $24.7 million in state tax credits. St. Louis County also is offering Express Scripts $9.1 million in sales and property tax breaks over the next 10 years. The state's analysis of the application projects $115 million in economic impact over 15 years from the development and new jobs.
The company, St. Louis' largest by revenue, with $93 billion a year in sales, has said it needs the new building and employees to handle a general expansion of business in the wake of its $29 billion purchase of rival Medco Health Solutions last year.
When Express Scripts first announced the expansion in June, a spokesman said the company was "committed to being" in St. Louis and that it had not seriously considered other sites for this facility. But the company has also said the project is contingent on state and local incentives.
If the MDFB approves the company's request on Tuesday, Express Scripts said it hopes to start construction in September and open the building in June. ___
[Image from flickr user JPHoesch.]