BIT Hosts Worker Appreciation in St. Louis

(l-r) William Little, Vice President of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation; Robert Soutier, President of the Greater St. Louis Central
Labor Council; 
Gina Walsh, President of the Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council; Kevin McCarthy, Senior Vice President,
PNC Bank, National Association & President of PNC Realty Investors, Inc
; Jeff Aboussie, Executive Secretary-Treasurer the St. Louis
Building & Construction Trades Council; and 
Hugh McVey, President of the Missouri AFL-CIO. Arteaga Photos, LTD.



Some 200 union construction workers participated in a worker appreciation event this week to celebrate the progress made on the Cortona Apartments at Forest Park in St. Louis, MO. Cortona is a $42 million five-story apartment project funded by the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, and will open in spring 2014.


The workforce was honored at a celebratory luncheon hosted by the Washington D.C.-based AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT); Missouri AFL-CIO; the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO; Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council; Greater St. Louis Labor Council; and developer Balke Brown Transwestern.


“The Cortona Project is a perfect example of what can happen when unions invest in themselves,” said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary and treasurer, St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO.  “The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust not only provides investors with competitive returns, but also creates hundreds of local jobs.”*

Union workers attend the luncheon in their honor at Cortona at Forest Park in St. Louis. Arteaga Photos, LTD.

Over the past two decades, the BIT has invested in seven projects worth more than $130 million in the metropolitan St. Louis area. In addition to Cortona, the BIT’s investments include the FBI Building and the Veterans Administration Building downtown; the Internal Revenue Service Regional Support Center in Chesterfield; West Park II in Creve Coeur; Richardson Corporate Center in Arnold; and the Fountain Lakes Commerce Center in St. Charles.


“The Building Investment Trust is a terrific example of how union pension dollars can be used in strategic ways,” said Gina Walsh, president of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council. “More than ever, the labor movement needs to invest in itself through projects like Cortona.”*


“It is great to see the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust making another investment in St. Louis,” added Robert Soutier, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council. “With this project, hundreds of our St. Louis union members are working each and every day.”*


Cortona will be a gated community, hosting 276 apartments – 70% will be one-bedroom models and 30% are two-bedroom plans – enlivened by a lush, one-quarter-acre Euro-resort style courtyard with a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse, a multi-level saltwater swimming pool, and an outdoor kitchen, plus multiple lounging areas and cabanas, gardens, and a pavilion with fire tables.


“Cortona at Forest Park is a $42 million investment of union pension funds in St. Louis,” noted Hugh McVey, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “This is another terrific example of union dollars creating high quality jobs, along with competitive returns.”*


“We are excited to continue our commitment to the region with Cortona,” said Kevin McCarthy, president of PNC Realty Investors, investment advisor to PNC Bank in connection with the BIT. “We believe the development will be a solid addition to the BIT’s portfolio.”*

*Opinions of third parties are not representations , warranties, or opinions of PNC Bank, National Association, 
trustee for the BIT.