‘Silicon Valley’ could head to Sunset Hills

Pictured above: The Sunset Hills location of Vatterott, as seen on Google Street View.

Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen held a public hearing June 11 on a petition from a startup company looking to move into the former Vatterott College campus and bring “Silicon Valley to Sunset Hills.”

Founded in 2010, DriveCentric’s customer-relations management, or CRM, software streamlines communications and simplifies the sales process for car dealerships by using a platform-powered artificial intelligence, allowing users to communicate more easily with prospective customers, according to a letter submitted to Sunset Hills Assistant Planner Lynn Sprick May 28 from DriveCentric co-founder and CEO David Fultz. The company has two locations, one in Creve Coeur and the other in Carmel, Indiana.

The company’s petition is for an amended development plan for a change in use of the property at 12900 Maurer Industrial Drive. An amended development plan is required since the petitioner is looking to use the roughly 41,000-square-foot two-story building for offices, a change in use from when it was constructed in 2000 and occupied by Vatterott College, Public Works Director Bryson Baker said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the petition June 5 with the condition that five variances be approved at the June 27 Board of Adjustment meeting.

Variances include the number of trees and shrubs on the property, parking spaces, width and setback, landscaping and lighting, Baker said. “All of these items are existing items with the building. So the developer is looking to use what is actually there, they aren’t looking to change anything.”

A representative for DriveCentric, Product Manager Jonathan Schultz, told the board the company outgrew its space in Creve Coeur to expand.

“We want to be the CRM software for the automotive space. Right now we have over 300 dealerships across the nation (using DriveCentric),” said Schutlz. “We’re excited to bring Silicon Valley to Sunset Hills.”

The company has about 41 employees and is looking to hire more.

Schultz added that local dealerships, like the Suntrup group, the Fusz group, Frank Leta and others, use DriveCentric.

The company is currently under contract and wants to move into the former Vatterott space as soon as possible.

“This looks like the perfect business for our city, and thank you for choosing us. We appreciate that,” said board President Mark Colombo. “We’ll make sure we do everything we can to get you in here in a timely fashion.”