Our favorite St. Louis construction projects

For nearly 60 years, we’ve been proudly building in the region we call home. There’s a lot going for St. Louis right now, and it’s because its business and civic leaders have been dedicated to making it a place where folks want to live, work and play.

We’ve done too many projects here to count, but these are some of our favorites.

KETC Channel 9 broadcast center

An independent public media outlet committed to strengthening civic life, KETC Channel 9 (known locally as The Nine Network) turned to The Korte Company to meet its need for a new broadcast center in St. Louis.

Our project included the construction of new offices and conference rooms as well as state-of-the-art production studios and editing rooms. 

We utilized value engineering and expert management techniques to identify $200,000 in cost savings that KETC funneled back into the project, adding to their new space.

Indeed, it was a job well done—so much so that The Nine Network has called us back twice on additional projects following the completion of the broadcast center. It follows one of our favorite patterns: More than 80 percent of our business is repeat business.

It’s an honor to partner with The Nine Network, and we look forward to more opportunities to aid in their mission.

Center for Emerging Technology

This iconic St. Louis building was built on Forest Park Avenue in 1907 as the Dorris Motor Company. That business was the brainchild of George Dorris, who invented the truck in 1898 when he needed to figure out how to haul a piano around the city without a car in order to continue receiving financial backing from an investor.

After its stint as an auto manufacturer, the building was home to shoe manufacturers and then sat vacant for years. It made it onto the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

We came into the picture in 2004, when the expansion of the Center for Emerging Technology (CET), an arm of local developers CORTEX, meant they needed more room. They chose the Dorris building.

Our job was to turn the derelict factory into 50,000 square feet of customizable workspace for the biotech entrepreneurs that CET supports. Ninety-seven years of wear didn’t make that easy—we stripped the building down to its bare bones and took great care not to damage original features that would remain as part of the finished product.

That including blasting decades of paint off interior brickwork using walnut shells and painstakingly preserving the original wooden floor deck.

We got the job done on-budget and ahead of schedule, but it’s the work done there after we left we’re most proud of. With a state-of-the-art workspace at their disposal, CET’s entrepreneurs are innovating, making discoveries and working together to improve people’s lives.

We’re proud we played a part in that.

America’s Central Port

Known at the time as the Tri-city Regional Port District, growth at the port in 1989 prompted the need for the facility’s first commercial warehouse.

The Korte Company was proud to partner with America’s Central Port, building a 150,000-square-foot distribution center that now is designated as Foreign Trade Zone #31. That’s where companies ship goods to and from points all over the world.

It was foresight by port leaders that brought The Korte Company to the site just opposite St. Louis. That foresight has paid off. Today, 900 people work within the burgeoning 1,200-acre facility that offers the following:

  • Easy access to the Mississippi River and the region’s interstate system.
  • 1.9 million square feet of distribution space.
  • 70,000 square feet of office space.
  • 20-plus miles of railroad line with access to all Class I railroads. 

St. Louis Union Station

The site of what once was among the busiest train stations in the world, St. Louis Union Station has been an ever-evolving office and retail center since it was re-dedicated for that purpose in 1985. We’ve been on the front lines of plenty of major projects there, including:

Post Office Annex – As freight and passenger traffic increased in the early 20th century, Union Station was the site of a U.S. Postal Service expansion designed to handle the corresponding increase in letters in and out of St. Louis. The building was erected in 1904 but gutted by fire in 1979. The Korte Company, well-versed in historic building rehabilitation, was called upon to transform the Annex. Structural repairs and façade restoration were completed, and the interior was transformed to Class A office space featuring granite floors with inset carpet and custom millwork throughout. The Annex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Union Station Power House – Built on the site of the original Union Station Power House, this four-story retail and office site features a masonry façade with limestone banding and a brilliant gabled roof. The new Power House was built upon the original foundation of the old one, and includes as its focal point the original smokestack that stands 196 feet tall.

Union Station 10 Cine – This free-standing, 10-screen theater sits next to the Power House and opened in 1989, just four years after Union Station was reopened as an office and retail center. The 42,000-square-foot theater featured a deli and an ice cream parlor. It also featured a restored mural that once hung above the ticket counter inside Union Station during its time as an active railroad station.

The present and future of our hometown look much different than its past. But our work at St. Louis Union Station proves that historic buildings and their grounds have lots of life left in them even after times change.

(Original) Busch Stadium

Busch Memorial Stadium had already seen many of its most memorable moments by 1988, the year the Cardinals decided that if the stadium was to remain viable as a top-tier sports venue, an update was due for the suites overlooking the field.

Our job was to renovate luxury suites and revamp the old press box. You could say we were directly responsible for enhancing Jack Buck’s comfort at home games. The work included electrical, mechanical, HVAC, entrances and exits, in-suite accommodates and outer panels.

Thanks to the work we did, Busch remained an entertainment magnet and was home to many more great Cardinals teams until it was closed and demolished in 2005.

Cahokia Mounds Museum

It fell to The Korte Company in 1989 to construct the Cahokia Mounds Museum and Interpretive Center. Our job? Construct a facility that would help local citizens and tourists from afar study and appreciate what essentially was the capital city of a massive pre-Columbian society that stretched from Wisconsin to Florida. These Native Americans are best known by the 120 or so earthen mounds they built before mysteriously disappearing.

Our work included the construction of a theater for educational films and a glass display wall that forms the focal point of the museum. When it was all said and done, we walked away with a handful of awards honoring our work.

But more importantly, we brought to life an inspirational and educational space for those who want to learn about the lives of those who were here before we were.

Forest Park Highlands

Anyone who spent a childhood summer in St. Louis in the middle of the 20th century will know about the Highlands, a sprawling amusement complex off Highway 40 across from Forest Park. Nearby stood “The Barn,” known officially as the St. Louis Arena, where Blues hockey, Spirits and Hawks basketball and countless NCAA matches across sports were played.

Fire ravaged most of the amusement area in 1963, and the site was given over to the Junior College District.

In 2009, we were looking for space to build our new St. Louis Headquarters. We fell in love with the idea of building on the old Highlands site, far removed by then from the roller coasters of yesteryear but cherished by those who still remember.

Our HQ —Highlands Plaza Two is a four-story, 70,000-square-foot space that faces Highway 40 with a sloping curve reminiscent of the imposing Highlands Comet roller coaster that had been a focal point of the site decades ago.

We base our operations out of 11,300 square feet of LEED Silver-Certified space, utilizing recycled materials, smart lighting controls and daylighting design concepts that reduce energy usage.

We’ve got tons of pride in the city we call home, and that’s why we’re glad our home base sits on a site near and dear to so many of our friends and neighbors in St. Louis.

Earle M. Jorgensen distribution center

When it was apparent last year that the Earle M. Jorgensen Company (EMJ) was growing, the supplier of steel and aluminum products to manufacturers around the world called on The Korte Company to deliver 65,000 square feet of distribution center space and a 4,500-square-foot office area.

We installed three bridge cranes and a single gantry crane to the site in nearby Union, Missouri to complete the pre-engineered metal building (PEMP) that features energy-saving LED lighting.

EMJ guarantees “On Time, Or Free” delivery to its customers. They’re dedicated to supplying their customers no matter what it takes.

That’s the kind of customer we like working with. The “get-it-done-no-matter-what” attitude is something we have in common.

Boeing Leadership Center

It’s fitting that a project we consider one of our finest was for The Boeing Company, one of the finest aerospace manufacturers in the world with roots firmly planted in St. Louis.

Last year, we completed construction of an eight-story, 98,000-square-foot expansion to the Boeing Leadership Center. The expansion includes 84 guest rooms, each with a sweeping view of the Missouri River.

The project also included the construction of new meeting spaces, an expanded private dining facility and a large fitness center.

Built on a steep river bluff, auger cast pile foundations were required to hold up the structure. There also was limited space for staging equipment and supplies. Some call challenges like those problems. We call them opportunities.

And we were thrilled for the opportunity to build for a company as well-respected —and as locally important— as Boeing.

Committed to St. Louis

Throughout our nearly seven-decade history, we’ve taken a special kind of pride on projects completed right in our back yard. Customers keep choosing The Korte Company because we bring second-to-none Design-Build experience and a commitment to building on-time and on-budget on every job we win.

If you’re considering a project in the St. Louis region, we’d love to talk it over with you—contact us to set up a consultation. You can also download the guide below to learn more about how building smart enables us to cut costs and streamline project schedules.

6 case studies on cutting cost, streamlining schedule and building smart

We've compiled six case studies on some of our toughest projects into one jam-packed guide. Read it to see how we deliver the "impossible" jobs and solve challenges of cost, schedule, constructability and more.

Download guide