ST. LOUIS – Peabody Energy announced it will keep its headquarters in downtown St. Louis. The coal company was debating leaving downtown due to an increase in surrounding violence.

The enterprise has been in St. Louis since 1958 and is one of the largest private-sector coal companies in the world. The announcement comes after the building was riddled with bullets over Labor Day weekend in 2021.

“The first thing we thought about was the safety of our employees. Through those conversations that we had with city hall and Greater St. Louis Inc.,” said Scott Jarboe, chief administrative officer at Peabody Energy. “We felt very comfortable that we are making the strides we need to make this place a good place to work and live, and that’s why we made the decision to stay downtown.”

Despite the violence, Peabody said it will now sign a long-term lease to remain in place.

“Last year, Peabody was considering leaving downtown, that would have been devastating for the City of St. Louis. We are proud they chose to stay,” said Heather Taylor, deputy public safety director. “It is one of the most recognizable companies in our city. We look forward to their continued partnership.”

The CEO of Greater St. Louis Inc., Jason Hall, said when the bullets shattered the windows at Peabody Energy, One Metropolitan Square Building, US Bank, and Laclede Gas downtown a year ago, it brought the community together.

“It was a catalyst that spurred our community to come together not to yell at each other, but to come together with law enforcement, the city, the community, and nonprofit partners to form the Downtown Engagement Public Safety Initiative, “ said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis Inc.

Community leaders said they are working hard to prevent crime from happening.

“It is a victory for downtown St. Louis and another victory for public-private collaboration,” Hall said.