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