Wednesday, December 27, 2006

False Advertising

There's been a trend in real estate advertising lately. Even though its both strange and anoying, I've been hesitant to criticize my fellow realtors.

There has been an increasing tendency for people with little or no sales in the downtown area to advertise themselves specialists in lofts or downtown experts.

As a realtor, I can look up the number of sales an agent has made downtown within a minute or two. While we were hesitant to proclaim any special knowledge of downtown, after several million in loft sales, it seemed appropriate. What's hard to understand is how anyone would advertise as a specialist in an area that they've never worked in.

There may be some that think this is about a fear of competition. The idea of more realtors entering the downtown market is really exciting to me actually. It means that there are people trying to learn the different variables that we have to deal with downtown that aren't a part of suburban real estate. It also might mean the end of hearing stories of realtors trying to dissuade thier clients from looking downtown by saying, "you don't want to go down there." Lastly, it means that when the developer's find other areas to develop, that there will be a community of professoinals available to keep the real estate market moving downtown.

To all the aspiring "downtown specialists," lets keep it real.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dog Park on Hold Again

We're going to have a dog park, OK! Sometimes delays can be a good thing. Aparently there's a collaborative plan by a few residential developer's that would support infrastructure improvements around their developments. The plan is through a State program called MODESA Lucas Park, where we thought we could build a dog park, is one of the locations. The plan sounds like a great thing and I'm really excited about it. The hope is that being a state funded project doesn't limit the scope or timeframe of what could be done.
We'll be having another dog park meeting sometime in mid to late January to regroup and see what we can do to get something going now. In the meantime, we are in contact with developer's involved with the MODESA plans and might have some positive influence on what these developments can bring to the downtown community.

Tragic Accident at Syndicate

This morning a client forwarded this to us. What a terrible shame. Our prayer's go out to the family of this man.
News video of Syndicate accident.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Downtown Sales Surge-Interest Rates drop

Downtown Loft Market
With the Holiday's fast approaching, one wouldn't think that we would be experiencing a spike in sales activity downtown.

Of course, home sales have always been more impacted by the interest rates than just about anything. Rates have plummeted of late and are hovering around the lowest rates of the year. Weekly rate averages.

During a "Buyer's market" the supply is usually good too. So with plenty of selection, rock bottom interest rates, and lots of motivated seller's, Now is really a great time to buy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cheap Publicity

St. Louis Downtown
A couple of months back, we all heard that the Nationwide Crime statistics were available from Morgan Quitno Press in Kansas. The reason we all heard was because they had innacurately listed us as the most dangerous city in America. What a joke.

Granted, we all want to see crime reduced. With all the clean up going on throughout the city, and the large influx of people moving into the city, we all expect a positive impact on safety.

The bottom line though, is that the reports released during the World Series games in St. Louis were not an accurate portrayal, and were basically an attempt to sell books. Channel 5 sent out a reporter to ask a few questions. The televised interview really shows one thing: these reports should be the work of trained criminologists, not used to sell books.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ultimate Model: Ballpark Village

St. Louis Downtown
Last nights meeting at the Cordish offices was an eye opening event. The past year or so, coverage of Ballpark Village has been informative but not adequate to give me a real feel of the neighborhood.

Our meeting was another example of the hard work of the Downtown Residents Association and their efforts to help people get knowledgable about downtown.

The meeting was led by Chase Martin of Cordish, and Bill DeWitt III of the Cardinals. I loved the way they described each block and street within the village as having a different focus. Starting with the "family block" at 8th and Clark to the "Live Music Block", to the "Cardinals Nation Block" and what they were looking to do to keep the village alive during offseason months. I found photos of the model online here.
Our interest being mostly the large residential component, I found that Phase 1 of Ballpark Village will include between 250-350 residential units and will be completed by approximately 2009. According to the current plans, these will be units above the currently planned retail. The three towers wouldn't be started until after the footprints of the buildings are complete. These tower's would house the bulk of the residential. After the meeting we discussed the residential component--which due to the mass of amenities in the area--would be priced higher than anything we've seen thus far downtown.
With Park Pacific being sold at $250-350 per square foot, we can only assume that a place in Ballpark Village won't be a value. I pressed for a figure, but left with the sound reasoning that they didn't want to release any number until a realistic construction estimate could be made. So we'll probably be waiting a while.
Value or not....I've got my place picked out already.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Food For Thought: The Rams on Monday Night

Downtown St. Louis EntertainmentIt's looking like the Championships are going to be limited to one this year, which is plenty. As I was watching the Ram's miss tackles and the referee's miss calls, I thought about some of the "mixed use" zones being developed downtown. If the Cardinals missed the playoffs this year and the Ram's were 9 and 3 and going into the playoffs, would the Ballpark Village idea be on life support with the Bottle District moving forward at full speed? Of course, the Ram's really don't have anything to do with the Bottle District except proximity to the dome.

There have been different renderings of the Ballpark village released to date, but tomorrow a model will be unveiled at the Cordish offices downtown. I plan to be there. I saw a flyer posted for it over the weekend. The meeting will be at 6pm Sharp at the Boatmen's Building (800 Market). Look for details here tomorrow.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Looking for a new post?

St. Louis real estateLately we have been working to find some help. Based on the news media, you'd think all the real estate professionals would be scanning the help wanted pages. That doesn't seem to be the case.

Just after the loft tour, our assistant flew the coup. We need someone else and have been talking with people from all over. It's really a trip. So if you're out there and have an interest in real estate, downtown, or lofts, drop us a line at and attatch a resume. We'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let Festivus Begin!

Downtown St. Louis gallery walk
Festivus begins again this year with the First Friday Gallery Walk. downtown st louis lofts
It should be a great chance to get out to some great downtown shops and see some great art all over town.

The two story gem at Jack Thompson that we have listed will be hosting artist SJ Hammack's works from 5-9pm. Wine & Cheese will be provided. Despite the weather, we are expecting a nice turnout.

For information on what is being held open, visit the
and SJ Hammacks website

Put on your boots and come on over!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Power to the People

Downtown Lofts sold
Last week I stayed up to 3:30am watching election results and listening to political speculation. It's something I can only handle every couple years or so. Thankfully, the elections tonight won't be quite as complicated.

The Downtown St. Louis Residents Association will be filling some board positions tonight at their quarterly meeting. 6:30pm at Jack Patricks (1000 Olive) This group really works to make downtown a better place to live. There's no reason not to participate!

One added incentive, the people that are involved love downtown too. So you will have something in common already.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This Place is for the Dogs!

Downtown St. Louis dog parkFor quite some time now, there has been a movement to put a dog park downtown. At the last residents meeting, a committee was mentioned to take some plans and make them a reality. Presently petitions are being circulated to take a portion of Lucas Park and turn it into an attractive fenced park for dogs to mingle freely. This is a win-win situation for downtown. For more information, email me--our next meeting is scheduled for 11/20.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Detroit Tries To Compare

One great thing about the World Series, other than a St. Louis Victory, At Home in front of thousands of crazed fans, was the surge of cash and attention into the downtown area. My friend Chris, will be happy to see his relatively new / old restaurant on Olive at 7th, Teutenbergs was mentioned in this Detroit News article It is a pretty good article about how our state tax credits are superior to what is available in Michigan and that there was greater momentum (comparaed to Detroit) in our downtown according to the author.

Having never been to Detroit, I wouldn't know.

Oh, yeah, and there's ballpark village too. What a time for the Redbirds to pull together a World Series Championship! The deal with the city was going to happen anyway, but what timing.
ballpark village st louis
This graphic in the Post-Disgrace didn't give me the clarity I'd hoped to have. The spoof article in the RFT that talked about the email combat going on between some of the key players in Ballpark Village gave me a Picaso-esqe visual of what 'could be.'
Despite the fact that it was clearly a joke, that article really got me wondering how the whole village was going to come together. I look forward to seeing more to come but overall I have a great feeling about how this project will tie together downtown. Looking at a map of downtown--5 blocks to the north of the new Village is the luxury condos being built in the shell of St. Louis Center with several other buildings filling in around the Old Post Office. The new added investment by the Cardinals organization and the 30% public bonds is not only helping the continued re-birth of downtown but also a sign of confidence from our storied summer residents.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Big Times Downtown

St. Louis DowntownJim Edmunds to sing at Copia? Wouldn't that be special. Watching Adam Wainright strike out Carlos Beltran to win game 7 and the NL pennant was awesome. After the hysteria, we finished some work to get ready for the Fall Downtown Living Tour being held this weekend. All of our loft listings are being held open and there's lots of preparations. The thought crossed my mind that an even better opportunity to show off our wonderful downtown neighborhoods may come when the Redbirds come back in town for the World Series. The World Series berth would also be a great springboard for the Cardinals to start selling Ballpark Village condos. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that can happen so quickly. Despite my doubts, I attempted to contact Cordish Co. today. Hopefully more to follow soon.

Be SEEN at the Loft Tour!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

2 Story Loft of the Century!

St. Louis Real Estate
The absolute coolest loft downtown has just been placed on the market. This unbeatable 3000 square foot space in the Jack Thompson Square lofts will be open both days of the Downtown Living Tour on October 21 and 22 from 12-4. Regardless of whether someone is in the market or in this price range--go see it!! It is the first time I have EVER related a loft to the grandeur of the Grand Canyon.

What also makes this loft stand out is the incidental expenses of condo living. The fees for this baby are less than the fees for a 703 square foot loft in the Knickerbocker!! Taxes are abated too.

A bit of Frontenac on Washington Ave for $589,900
Downtown Real Estate

Thursday, October 05, 2006

National Fan Base

Downtown Loft FansIn the past year, its been tough keeping up with the tremendous amount of press that our downtown renaissance has gotten. A friend from afar, the New York Times, has published on our city several times in the past couple years. Outside of the St. Louis Business Journal--downtown's biggest fan--the Times has had lots of favorable write-ups.

This weeks article discusses the turning point that developer's and loft buyer's are beginning to face. Since most of the projects have stopped offering tax abatment, the market has continued without significant disruption. Now it's the developer's turn: will they continue to build without the incentives that they have been granted that helped start this movement? The answer seems like a clear, "yes" at this point.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Awesome New Listing!

St. Louis loftsSt. Louis loftsSt. Louis lofts

Today we held our newest listings downtown open. What a perfect day! Between Taste of St. Louis, the NL Central Champion Cardinals game, and the return of Mad Mike to the dome, it seemed like downtown was stuffed with people.

This new listing at the 2020 Lofts is a 1 or optional 2 bedroom 2 full bath loft with a perfect view of the downtown skyline. Most of the viewings of a residential property are during the day. This great space has just an incredible eastern view all day but especially at night. Around the corner from Nectar and Schlafly's Tap Room, the Lofts at 2020 are situated in the center of the development in Downtown West.

This unit has 2 parking spots, a great common rooftop deck and the LOW LOW tax bill of around $135 per year. The $229,900 price would have the same payment as a loft selling for around $185,000!!
St. Louis loftsSt. Louis lofts

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Interest Rates Drop Again

For those committed to analyzing the real estate market, it seems to have picked up a bit downtown. Who really knows why? One explanation may be the interest rates have continued to drop. Pretty good news, huh. Maybe if interest and gas prices continue to drop, we may see another real estate frenzy.

Seriously though, while it stinks to see good properties sit on the market, seeing the real estate market level off in 2006 isn't all bad. It's just the way it is.

Friday, September 08, 2006

600 Washington Designer Contest

The St. Louis Business Journal, now relocated in the Old Post Office, has always been a wealth of information about the rebirth of Downtown. The first thing I do after the mail comes on Friday is scour the paper for downtown news.

This week the paper had an article about Pyramids redevelopment of St. Louis Centre. Of course, this redevelopment may be the most anticipated since the construction of the Gateway Arch. Some basics: 120 units, prices starting at $155,000 through $800,000, first floor retail facing the street with pool and courtyard inside for owners. All & all it sounds like a plan.

At the Pyramid Sales office lately I've been looking at the three different arcitechtural renderings for the building and the one selected seemed like the top contender. As described in the article though, it was a difficult decision to go with a firm who was also a competing developer. Its so nice to see everyone playing nicely in the downtown sandbox!

Downtown's Most Important Event of the Year!

Downtown St. Louis ResidentsDowntown, like every neighborhood in every city, has its issues. The time to really air things out seems to be on the immediate horizon.

Thanks to the good work by the Downtown St. Louis Residents Association, their group wide meeting next Thursday will host Phyllis Young and Lewis Reed, two of the Alderman serving downtown and Kevin Farrell of the Downtown St. Louis Partnership. If you care about downtown and want to be a part of the positive changes happening, BE THERE!

As the downtown population continues to grow, it is important for the new residents to appreciate what has already been accomplished by The Residents banding together to make downtown a better place to live. While there may be lots of other people standing up to take credit for what has happened to our inner city, the vision of the people who live here HAS TO BE HEARD above all the rest of the hoopla. As the population grows, so can the positive benefits of this organization.


Thursday September 14th, at 6:30pm. Webster University Old Post Office Campus, classroom 2.

To Join DSLRA its just $7.50 after July 1.

What does a Buyer's Market mean to me?

St Louis loft salesWhat a joke! A buyer's market.....who knew?

Back in the 2nd grade, we all learned how to add and subtract. That is all we will ever need to determine the type of housing market in a given area. Take the number of available units, subtract the number of buyer's in the market, if the number is zero, we have a neutral market, if the number is positive then we have a buyer's market, negative...a seller's market.

That may be a slight oversimplification.

In reality, looking at that simple formula the loft district has probably always been a buyer's market. It is the greatest neighborhood expansion within the city of St. Louis since the 1940's. In the past two years, if you consider pre-construction, there has never been a period when buyer's have outnumbered the available units on the market.

Having said all this, what does all this mean to the person buying or selling today. Have lofts started to depreciate?

Thanks to the national media, the perception exists that all you poor saps selling a home today will practically give your place away. Buyer's are coming into the market expecting greater than 10% off the price of lofts.

Of course, if a loft is overpriced by 10%, which is not at all hard to find, then maybe we will see that type of drop. If you sell with an agent that understands the way of pricing lofts and ALL the factors--square footage, number of windows, parking, finishes, comparable sales--the whole tamale, then you shouldn't have to drop your price by more than a few percent.

In all the loft re-sales since July 1, only one loft has sold for more than 10% off its asking price--and considering it was only on the market for 30 days I was Urban Real Estate
shocked. The average percentage of asking price that buyer's paid from 7/1 through 9/1 is 97.26%. I doubt that figure differs much from the average for the super hot year of 2005.

What's the final assessment? Are we seeing lots of buyer's starting to swarm the market getting decent deals? Hardly. What I've seen is a lot of buyer's walking away from good opportunities due to unreasonably high expectations of what the buyer's market means.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mortgages Hit 5 month Low!

St. Louis MO Real EstateA mortgage banker friend of mine sent me this piece of good news.

Something that has been really hideous lately is how big of a deal the media makes about interest rates climbing. People that I come in contact are afraid they are loosing if they buy a house now. How far can that be from the truth.

I bought my first home in 2000 when interest rates were roughly 7.25% for a fixed rate 30 year mortgage. At the time, people were talking about how favorable the interest rates were. Of course, none of these people knew that rates would drop down as low as 4.75% a few years later. Now it seems that home buyer's are afraid to commit to an interest rate above 6.25%. Like renting is a better deal? That's the same as having a 100% interest rate, isn't it?

Anyway, its great to see the interest rates flattening out. I hope it makes the news.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Washington Ave Musicfest Postponed

Downtown St. Louis eventsOne thing that I was looking forward to this weekend is the Washington Ave Music Fest. Unfortunately, for reasons I am unaware of, it has been postponed to October 7th. Visit their website to get more information about this great event.

I am actually pretty excited about it being held in early October despite my plans changing this weekend. I'm actually on vacation in Mexico and was sort of thinking that I'll have had my fill of sitting out in the heat by then.

Check out Downtown St. Louis Partnership's website if you would like more information about events downtown.

Great New loft for sale

St. Louis loft for saleI am so excited to see the doors open at Moon Brother's Carriage Lofts. I was in that building so much over the last year observing the construction work progressing forward. Now that the buildings complete its just wild.

We listed the Southeast corner unit last week and have had a ton of excitement so far. We had three realtors in it within the first day on the market. Shoot me an email on Friday or later with any questions or a viewing.

This building has tons of exposed brick and great timber ceilings. Loftworks has done a great job of turning so many spaces into cool 2 bedroom lofts also. I am excited for all our clients going in. It's a gem.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

St. Louis loft sales
Oh how I wish it was still May. It wasn't 100+ degrees outside, the grass wasn't brown, and I only had 8 lofts to put in the list of monthly sales. For June and July the MLS says there are 47 sales. In truth there are many more. In June, move in's started in Banker's; July saw Lucas Lofts, Moon Brothers, and Meridian. Moon Brothers Carriage lofts, the Meridian, Banker's Lofts and Lucas Lofts all are begining to come to life. Last summer, when a bunch of projects had move in's around the same time, the neighborhoods suddenly felt different. I couldn't get a parking spot as easily in the typical places, I no longer could get a seat in Flannery's during a ballgame and so on. I'm bracing myself. Here's the sales for June and July.St. Louis Urban Real Estate


Banker's Lofts Units

This would be an appropriate place to comment that Pyramid, like some of the other developers lately, should be commended for listing all the units on the MLS so that 1. Realtors can learn something about selling downtown neighborhoods without having to pull teeth, and 2. most importantly, so appraiser's can appraise lofts without looking like complete buffoons. I've had appraiser's tell me more than once that they can not use information that isn't on the MLS to justify a price. While I don't believe that, they do have constraints.

Other Sales in June
1627 Locust #204-----------------------------$156,000
1511 Locust #401-----------------------------$161,500
1501 Locust #403-----------------------------$176,900
1501 Locust #1003----------------------------$183,000
2020 Washington #210-------------------------$185,000
2020 Washington #214-------------------------$222,900
1511 Locust #307-----------------------------$229,900
1709 Washington #706-------------------------$247,900
1010 St. Charles #501------------------------$289,000
1501 Locust #1008----------------------------$311,500
703 N 13th St. #402--------------------------$325,000


Banker's Lofts Units

Lucas Lofts Units
One of my mortgage broker friends told me that Lucas lofts hadn't fully applied for abatement as of his closing at a unit. The developer had to kick in some additional funds at closing to cover the difference. Was that the case for all those closings? I wonder but have been too busy to find out.

More July Sales
1627 Locust #404-----------------------------$150,000
2020 Washington #510-------------------------$169,000
1501 Locust #1203----------------------------$182,000
1501 Locust #1202----------------------------$188,000
1501 Locust #405-----------------------------$260,000
1611 Locust #405-----------------------------$290,000
1203 St. Charles #6D-------------------------$410,000

Can anyone blame me for putting this post off 'til mid month?

And also, to my faithful readers, my sincere apologies for not posting lately. With all the technical problems and all the selling going on, its no wonder I haven't been up to date. Hope to see you at Washington Avenue Music Fest this Saturday!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Downtown Restaurants Fare Well

Tell me something new! Ok....if I wanted to break up with someone and still be seen....go to Lucas Park Bar & Grill.

In looking through the latest reader poll from Sauce Magazine I was pleased to see that many of the best downtown restaurants were highly regarded by the readers. Pleased, but definately not suprised.

When it comes to restaurants, downtown just has a superior collection. What's also nice is that many of the other recognized establishments may not have been "downtown" like Eleven Eleven Mississippi, but are just outside the downtown area.

Bon Apetit!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Million Dollar Question

Real EstateWhat's all the confusion about tax abatement?

Questions are always asked about tax abatment. People have different ideas. We've even heard of buyer's agent's who advised clients that Abatement means "No Taxes". YIKES!!

The principal behind tax abatement is that the building is in drastic need of repair. In blighted areas, if someone is willing to do the right thing and make the necessary repairs, the building will be taxed at the same rate as prior to the improvements. This is of course, the theory only.

Important points to consider:

Downtown St. Louis is no longer considered a blighted area.
There are only 2 buildings under abatment that are new construction.
The majority of abated lofts and condos are re-sales.
Abatement is temporary. Taxes were previously reduced for a 10 year, transferable period.
Currently new construction in other neighborhoods in the city is being offered for 5 year periods. It is getting more and more difficult to qualify for this reduction in taxes.

By comparison, taxes in Missouri aren't bad. A friend in the metro east pays over twice my property tax bill for the same valued home. Abated taxes can be just a fraction of our already reasonable tax rates. Never in my experience though, has the abatment meant total elimination of taxes. That's just not reality.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Where's the Party, Dude?

St. Louis lofts partyLast weekend, loft tour, this weekend, East Meets West Block Party, next weekend, Washington Ave Music Fest. We just can't stop celebrating the changing going on, can we?

East Meets West is a great concept though. Like many events, it may have to be held year after year to really get going. Downtown stores and restaurants are popping up left and right. Last week we just found out about Simply Fondue opening up in the Printer's loft building C. As a creature of habit, I find that I have to make an effort to get out and visit new places. This is just the opportunity.

The setup of musical acts was sent to me (thanks DS!) at the Downtown St. Louis partnership site. I hope to see you there!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Spring Loft Tour Day 2

Loft realtors in St. Louis
On the frozen tundra of Washington Avenue we set up shop for day 2 of the tour. The much cooler and breezy weather paid off. It seemed like there were more people out and about than on day 1 when the Komen race brought in 64,000 people.

My overall impression of the attendance this year was that it was lighter than last spring, but more of the people that came stated they wanted toAwesome loft downtown
buy. People seemed really excited about what they were seeing and really were impressed with the area. We felt that there were more "empty-nesters" that are really excited to live downtown.

Some of the feedback we got from people was that they liked the re-sale lofts we had open more than some of the new construction displays. Despite that, of the developer's I've talked with so far, most of them are optimistic. Traffic was really good at the Avienda and Bogen. Most of the developments that have move-ins within the next 12 months are ahead of their sales forecasts also. From where I stand, the St. Louis loft market is in great shape.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

St. Louis loft tour--Day 1

Buying St. Louis loftsDay one of the Downtown Living Tour was a blast! Special thanks to our friends and clients that stopped by to help and visit. Also a thanks to McGowan Brothers Development for letting us set up in front of the Goodman Building.

Having the Komen Race for the Cure on the same day as the downtown living tour seemed to help to get people who normally wouldn't attend. The attendance in general seemed to be lighter than last year. Possibly because the buildings are a bit more spread out (try walking from the Motor Lofts to the Syndicate in 5 minutes). All & all it was great.

My favorite part was the music and dancing troup that was there to promote MacroSun. You just can't beat belly dancers.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

St. Louis Lofts Sold in May

St. Louis Missouri LoftsLoft sales in May felt a bit slow. That may be in part because much of the activity was in pre-construction sales. As a realtor, I sometimes gauge my level of activity by trips to the title company. In pre-construcion, that is delayed by several months. In looking at the sales for this month, I also looked at pending sales for pre-construcion lofts. That list exceeded the actual closed sales by 1, and that's just MLS listed properties. There are certainly more in the buildings not listed on the MLS.

Here are the May loft sales:

1720 Choteau #402----------$170,600
1511 Locust #104-----------$179,900
1511 Locust #309-----------$208,825
1511 Locust #205-----------$241,300
1611 Locust #201-----------$272,500 (congrat's AB!)
703 N 13th #405-----------$287,000
1511 Locust #806-----------$293,010
1121 Locust #401-----------$435,469

It looks like the Annex cleaned up this months sales. More of those to come in June too. More and more buyer's are coming to the market asking for things like workout facilities. They definately had foresight in having a great workout room, as did the Printer's lofts.

In the past, loft sales seem to really peak following the loft tour. We'll see what June and July brings.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gearing Up for the Downtown Living Tour

Downtown Living Tour St. LouisThe month of June is upon us and what a month we are looking at! The annual Spring Downtown Living Tour will be June 10th & 11th and that is all I can think about lately. More and more lofts are starting to come on the market, sales seem to be picking up, and crews are working at a rapid pace to turn more and more space into gorgeous lofts. I am working hard to come up with ways of showcasing the great loft spaces that we have listed for that weekend.

What the Downtown Living Tour is to me is a snapshot of the progress this downtown has made since my college days--hanging out at clubs all over Washington Avenue and Delmar, going to parties in abandoned warehouses. I don't mean to sound sentimental, but with the Meridian, Bankers, and Moon Brother's lofts all nearing completion and so many more people looking to relocate into this fantastic neighborhood I get excited. With more people comes more business, more dollars, and more development.

In 2004, looking at the Downtown Living Tour, one still had to have a fair amount of vision to see the progress. Today you can't help but feel it. The downtown living bug is catching on and the loft tour (as I always call it) is the place to do our best to showcase the fantastic downtown neighborhoods so that the bug keeps spreading.

Lofts Properties on Display
Our loft listings on the tour

Monday, May 29, 2006

The No Spin Zone

St. Louis loft developersCompetition must be heating up between developer's lately.

Last week I visited several developments with prospective loft buyers. We visited one project and heard about one of its competitors and all of its drawbacks. Then we visited the freshly trashed development. After a brief summary, they started in on the other development. Hmmm.

Both loft projects can stand in their own light. They don't need to try to attack another building to make themselves look better. The more established builders don't seem to get caught up in that game.

I asked my client what they thought about the exchange. They agreed that it cast a negative spin on their process and would prefer to just hear the positives in whatever building they visit.

All the loft developments depend upon each other to transform this great city into something dramatically better. Can't we all just get along?!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What Grocery Dilema?

Downtown St. Louis GrocersSo ever since the first loft was built downtown, one of the major negative's I've heard from local media about urban living is the lack of grocery stores. Ask anyone that moved into 10th Street Lofts in 1999 and that was the case back then. But why do we still hear that question?

Last week at the launch party for Motor Lofts, Kevin McGowan talked about that issue. Currently there are 5 grocers downtown. These are the smaller sized grocer's like City Grocers & Lucas Park Market. There are imminent plans for a grocer at 15th and Lucas. If you want a superstore grocer like Schnucks, there are a few within a short drive (the link has the addresses and distance).

It would be great if a Straub's or Whole Foods Market would also open up downtown. I think that is likely as the population continues to rise.

As Kevin pointed out though, the average St. Louisan drives 1.8 miles to the grocery store. My parents in Ballwin have to drive 2.59 miles to get to the closest Schnucks.

So with 5 small grocer's and several more within a 5 mile radius, what's the problem?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Realtors Hit the Downtown Streets

Loft Specialist realtor
Nearly 300 realtors attended a presentation today about the subject of lofts. It was good to see such a turnout. In order for this neighborhood to continue in its robust growth, the entire St. Louis metro area will have to adopt new attitudes about downtown living. A great place to start is with the people who assist in home buying and selling.

Once the development has moved on to some other part of the area, realtors will have to become familiar with the idiosyncrasy's of this urban market.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The New & Improved Washington Ave Music Fest

The Washington Avenue Music Festival originally scheduled for this Saturday was postponed until JUNE 24th! Washington will be closed from Tucker to 14th street. This is an event that is inclined to repeat itself if successful. BE THERE!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


St. Louis Loftworks

Just in case this picture above isn't showing up, Loftworks is having a party tonight for the opening of the sales center and display at Moon Brothers. The party is from 5 to 7, and regrettably I can't be there. There are still some great 2 bedroom units available in the Moon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Residents

Downtown St. Louis residentsSomeone from the Downtown St. Louis Residents Association recently mentioned that the organization had designed a new marketing piece and revised its website.

It's great that they are reaching out to the hundreds of people moving down here each month. Last summer, several buildings were completed around the same time. It felt like things changed overnight. Groups like DSLRA work to keep the neighborhood cohesive. This summer when Lucas, Meridian, Moon Brothers and Bankers all have move in's tentatively within days of each other, the neighborhood will be a different place fast. Hopefully the rush of new downtown residents get involved with The Downtown St. Louis Residents Association. By joining up, we ensure that downtown's residents voice is heard and considered in all that's being done to revitalize the area.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Don't Look Now.....

If the Locust Avenue Film Festival just begins to excite you about downtown street festivals, then the following day, May 20th be at the Washington Avenue MusicFest! I saw the ad in the Greensheet, and then looked online at the address. No luck there. There's only 8 days until the event so I would guess the website should be up and running by now. There wasn't any contact number either. The print ad says that its from 10am to 10pm and will include Food, Music, dancing, games, art showings, dog park and adoptions. All this will supposedly take place on Washington between Tucker and 14th.

If, like the web address, you get there and nothing happens....don't blame me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Loft District Hosts Film Festival and Street Party

St. Louis urban film festival
On May 19th, I plan on attending the Locust Avenue Film Festival.

I've been seeing these little blue cards all over the downtown area of late and finally picked one up. It sounds like a great time. There's music, food, games, and shopping.

It sounds like an event that should be held every month during the summer. Presented by one of my favorite shops downtown,UMA I'm hoping to get more of these cards and spread them around town myself, especially outside of the loft district. This sounds like a great opportunity to showcase the neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

St. Louis Lofts sold in March & April

Lofts for Sale in St. LouisWhat a fantastic time of year! They say that the numbers don't lie. In this case they can. There were'nt really very many re-sale options for buyers in the months of February and March in the loft district. Depending upon price range and other factors, it seemed like there were times when nothing was available downtown and buyer's had to look elsewhere....or to reserve a pre-construction unit. Of course, new construction can be wonderful, but most of my buyer's that have been contacting me lately aren't interested in more than a 90 day wait. Call it baseball season or the fear of Highway 40 traffic intensity, but people want to be downtown NOW!

We can speculate all day, but here are the sales for the months of March and April:
507 N 13th St. #606------------------------$135,000
1720 Choteau #106-------------------------$138,400
1612 Lucas #409----------------------------$149,000
507 N 13th St. #208------------------------$150,000
2020 Washington #602-------------------$152,000
507 N 13th St. #407------------------------$154,000
1511 Locust #301----------------------------$162,750
1501 Locust #303---------------------------$174,000
1501 Locust #603---------------------------$177,900
2020 Washington #405-------------------$185,000
1612 Lucas #205----------------------------$199,900
1720 Choteau #201-------------------------$203,600
1709 Washington #602--------------------$205,000
1511 Locust #707----------------------------$229,250
1010 St. Charles #503----------------------$246,000
1612 Lucas #410----------------------------$249,900
1501 Locust #204---------------------------$269,000
1611 Locust #703----------------------------$291,000
1611 Locust #604---------------------------$299,900
701 N 15th St. #503W---------------------$387,500
1619 Washington #902--------------------$420,000

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Awesome 2 Story Loft!

Jack Thompson loftSt. Louis real estateThe artistic spirit of creating a living space out of an industrial space is exemplified in this 2 story Jack Thompson Square loft. Located on the 6th & 7th floors, this loft has 3 bedrooms and large amounts of living space. Two stories of windows let in plenty of natural light. The location at Tucker and Washington is second to none. Visit our web site for more information or to schedule a showing.Buy a loft in St. LouisSt. Louis loftsDowntown STL real estate