It sounds like Express Scripts is about to have another growth spurt. But will it be here in St. Louis?
The north St. Louis County-based pharmacy benefit manager is considering another expansion that would add 150 jobs and a $63 million building to its campus, according to the St. Louis County Economic Council.
But according to council president Denny Coleman, several other states are also pursuing the facility. And if Express Scripts went elsewhere, it could take as many as 1,300 jobs with it.
Company spokesman Thom Gross confirmed that Express Scripts is weighing its options for a consolidation of several of its nine St. Louis-area facilities, but he declined to elaborate.
"It's too early in the process for us to comment on any specifics," Gross said.
Express Scripts' facilities in the region include its two-building headquarters on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a $74 million drug distribution center it opened in June across Interstate 70 in NorthPark. The building it is considering would also be in NorthPark, Coleman said.
To persuade Express Scripts to stay, the county will propose tax breaks equal to 50 percent of new real and personal property taxes from the expansion for 10 years, Coleman said. The project also could receive incentives from Missouri, though no package has yet been proposed, said John Fougere, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
"We have a close working relationship with Express Scripts," he said. "We've worked with them before. We'll continue to work with them in the future."
The fast-growing company, which had $24.7 billion in revenue last year, is the largest headquartered in the St. Louis region, according to Fortune Magazine. It employs nearly 4,000 people here.
Keeping its growth close to home is important to the region's economy, Coleman said.
"To have a company growing rapidly in these kinds of economic times is a great benefit," he said. "We're obviously not to the finish line yet, but we're hopeful that this proposal is a step in the right direction."
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