UMB sees tremendous commercial real estate growth in St. Louis
Tracy Howren, senior vice president of commercial lending for UMB Bank in St. Louis, recently talked with the St. Louis Business Journal about the bank’s CRE lending growth and what this means for clients, associates and the banking economy. Read more to hear about UMB’s hiring and what this growth means for the CRE industry as demand continues to grow nationwide.
During the past four years, UMB’s commercial real estate (CRE) division has grown to more than $3.5 billion in new investment in CRE loan commitments – a growth trajectory that is mirrored in the St. Louis market. This well-balanced growth has equaled about $350 million in loan commitments for UMB in St. Louis. And while we are happy with this growth, we are more excited about what this means for our clients and the continued growth of the St. Louis economy.
During the past three to four years, we’ve seen significant development in senior housing, multifamily and industrial properties here in St. Louis – a demand that is still going strong. While a lot of supply has come online, we believe there remain strong development opportunities in select submarkets. As for office space, there’s currently not much development outside of a few larger developments, but we are seeing vacancy rates at all-time lows, which can translate to future growth opportunities. Retail is a bit more challenging as developers are evaluating what that industry will look like in the future as we see a shift to experiential-based retail and entertainment venues.
St. Charles is continuing to see strong development activity and is benefiting from continued population growth. In addition, St. Louis City is continuing to see momentum with several large projects, including The Foundry, Ballpark Village Phase 2 and the NGA project. Overall, the St. Louis commercial real estate industry continues to perform well and is generating a lot of great development opportunities.
All this CRE growth in St. Louis and among our clients has spurred a need to expand our team and hire two new underwriters in the market. We are committed to building long-term relationships with clients in the St. Louis area and position ourselves to be long-term player in the CRE industry. Our real strength at UMB is that we have deep expertise in the CRE space, a relationship-based model and room to grow our CRE portfolio. Our growth continues to be very measured and selective – a philosophy that has allowed us to hold true to our credit standards and remain committed to our clients through all economic cycles.
St. Louis is an aggressive lending environment with a lot of development activity, but we believe there are many more great opportunities in the market that will create a vibrant city for businesses and residents alike. I hope you’ll take some time to read more about our growth in this recent St. Louis Business Journal article and discover all the exciting opportunities we see for our city.
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