Thursday, May 01, 2008
"Did You Hear....."
The month of April 2008 will henceforth be known as the "Did you hear about Pyramid?" month. I must have been asked that question 500 times in 3 days, followed of course by "What do you think?".
There are a whole lot of bad things about Pyramid closing. I can go on forever. Seeing so many really good people with such dedication and vision finding themselves out of work in these times is terribly depressing. I hope and pray that they all land on thier feet.
Aside from the personal side, I can't help but say that the whole thing happening wasn't a big suprise. How it happened yes. Anyone following downtown development was skeptical about their ability to pull off so much work. My thought all along was that they had a good "poker face" and that they would eventually shelve or change plans. The way things were going was just too wierd. It didn't make sense.
When John Steffen was quoted in the St. Louis Business Journal, saying that he was just doing deals because banks wanted to work with him, I was confused. Banks are always wanting to do deals with me. I get 20 credit card offers per week it seems. When I bought my first multi-family apartment building, I was approved to buy 6 of them. That would have been a recipe for disaster for sure.
As far as downtown real estate goes, despite the way things happened, its a good thing for these projects to slow down or go away for a time. Getting more focus on improving the quality of life downtown and attracting more businesses is best for downtown and the region. Getting more residences is needed, but not yesterday. Having hundreds of vacant condos sitting around won't help anyone.
Yesterday I was working with a buyer wanting to live downtown. We spoke of the advantages to living downtown as we walked into the Printer's Lofts building. As we walked in I saw a medical transport van from Mt. Vernon Missouri parked out in front. "Steve must be coming back home!" I thought. Today I read his blog post. Hearing his simple endorsement of downtown living is a wonderful focal point to consider regarding downtown development. That's what is important to me.