ST. LOUIS – For businesses looking to establish or expand their footprint in the Midwest, the St. Louis region might be an intriguing location for opportunity.

REBusiness Online, a commercial real estate news network, highlights St. Louis in a new report and deems it an “attractive” industrial market for national and regional developers.

The report comes in coordination with Bi-State Development and cites research from the most recent “St. Louis Regional Industrial Real Estate Market Indicators & Workforce” findings released in May.

According to the report, St. Louis is a strong fit for industrial developers due to low triple-net lease rents, large amounts of available manufacturing space, and the region’s proximity to Interstate 70.

Research finds that the St. Louis metro, between Missouri and Illinois, has around 182 million square feet of space available for development. The average rent rate is around $5 per square foot, one of the lowest among Midwestern regions of similar size.

Interstate 70 also presents a wealth of opportunity for many businesses with links to Interstates 170, 270 and 370. The report estimates that nearly 90 percent of all industrial construction in the bi-state region over the last five years has happened along the I-70 corridor. That includes some major expansion plans in the works for Boeing, one of the region’s top employers.

“Not only does the St. Louis region have space needed for businesses to grow and expand, it has a trained workforce ready to meet the growing demand for industrial spaces in the market,” the report adds.

The report estimates around one-quarter of the region’s workforce along I-70 serves in either manufacturing, production, or material-moving occupations, all key cogs of warehouses and industrial markets.

Research finds that manufacturing workers in the St. Louis metro are also around 15% more productive than the national average in worker output, in terms of revenue generated for businesses.

“The thriving industrial market is a valuable asset to the bi-state St. Louis region, drawing national investors with its robust industrial-occupier activity, providing ample distribution and manufacturing space to attract expanding companies, and boasting a skilled labor supply to meet the growing demand for modern bulk and manufacturing needs,” says Allison Gray-Gunsten, vice president of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners via the report.

According to the report, construction for nearly 1.1 million square feet of industrial space has been completed so far in 2023 with 3.6 million square feet of space still under construction.