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Sansone buys Tropicana Lanes, other highly visible Richmond Heights properties on 13 acres

Posted on September 07, 2018

Clayton-based real estate development firm Sansone Group has bought the Tropicana Lanes bowling alley in Richmond Heights and two nearby office buildings in separate deals that cobbled together 13 acres in one of the tightest submarkets of the St. Louis region.

Sansone Group partnered with Los Angeles-based Stanton Road Capital on the deals, for which terms were not disclosed. The pair have worked together previously, with Sansone Group marketing and leasing the Deloitte Building at 100 South Fourth Street downtown St. Louis, which Stanton Road Capital acquired in late 2015.

Under this latest partnership, Sansone Group will lease and manage the building while Stanton Capital will act as owner.

Two of the three office buildings — 7930 Clayton Road and 7980 Clayton Road, collectively known as Clayton Executive Center — are completely occupied, with tenants including SSM Health, Centene and U.S. Title. The other office building is the former location of Layton’s restaurant.

Nick Sansone, a principal at Sansone Group, said the firms will invest in upgrading in the bowling alley and continue to operate Tropicana Lanes.

A third property, the land that sits underneath the former location of the Layton’s restaurant, was also included in the series of transactions.

“There was an opportunity to buy the office buildings and the 150,000 square feet of office space that is long-term leased to investment grade tenants so we liked the profile and the location is solid,” said Stanton Capital founder and Managing Partner Tim Ronan. “The last piece of the puzzle was the Tropicana Lanes business, which we know to be a local landmark. We like the long-term cash flow here.”

Assembling such a large swath of land in the Clayton/Richmond Heights submarket can be a challenge for any developer — it took Centene, which is building its $770 million in downtown Clayton — years to piece together. Sansone Group and Stanton Capital took 18 months to assemble these deals, which encompass a much smaller area.

Still, putting that much contiguous land under a single ownership would seem to lend itself toward new development.

Ronan said the firms have no immediate plans for new development.

Leasing rates for that area of the region typically come in around $16.18 per square foot, according to research from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The 52-lane Tropicana Lanes bowling alley has been in business for more than 50 years and is easily recognized for its vintage signage that is visible from Interstate 170.


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