The owner of the St Louis Globe Building in St Louis, Missouri, is suing a former data center tenant for $1.2 million, claiming the tenant failed to pay for damaged "specialized electrical systems."

First reported by the St Louis Business Journal, the defendants listed in the lawsuit filing are Downtown St Louis Webhosting LLC, and its guarantors Rivercity Internet Group LLC and Brian Matthews.

The St Louis Globe building – Globe Building

According to the filing, the tenant defaulted on its lease in 2018. The two companies agreed on a settlement in November 2018 in which the rent owed was reduced from $1.4m to $785,000, under the condition that Downtown St Louis Webhosting also cover the costs of any repairs to the office space, and the electrical, HVAC, and security systems.

The lease was later extended in February of 2021 and was set to run until March 2023.

In May of 2023, DCD reported that a suite with 28,700 sq ft (2,666 sqm) of floor space - 16,000 sq ft of which is built-out data center space - was available for lease, the likely previous user of which was Hostrian/Rivercity Internet, one of the defendants in this latest lawsuit.

When the tenant exited the site, Globe Building Company claims that much of the equipment was not returned in "good operating condition," defined as "maintained in good repair and good working order, in accordance with industry standards for first tier data centers", and as required by the lease agreement. Downtown St Louis Webhosting was liable to cover those costs under the terms of its lease, the lawsuit said. In the circumstance that the company could not cover those costs, Downtown St Louis Webhosting was required to have guarantors in place as it was a startup "without a track record."

However, Globe Building Company alleges that it has not received any of the settlement payments.

Steve Stone, owner of Globe Building Company, states that he had to cover the costs of the repairs which came to around $1.2m, the amount requested in the lawsuit.

The allegations have been denied by Ted Frapoli, the attorney for Matthews, who said that the site was in "fine condition" when the lease ended. Globe's attorney Paul Puricelli responded: “He and his client would do well to read their own maintenance records and the reports of third-party inspections and those done by specialists at lease termination previously provided to them.”

The Globe Building in St Louis is located at 710 North Tucker Boulevard and is designed as a multi-use facility for data centers and other technology tenants. According to the lawsuit, the owner Steve Stone invested "tens of millions of dollars" in making the site able to cater to such businesses, including offering its tenants "specialized, outsized HVAC, fire suppression and security support, as well as generators and complimentary systems that ensure uninterrupted electrical service, backup power and power distribution panels."

In total, the Globe Building is a seven-story, 550,000 sq ft building, and claims to be the largest carrier hotel in the region. Its tenants include H5 Data Centers which leases 36,000 sq ft (3,350 sqm), surgical robotics company Stereotaxis, and sales platform MoreAble.