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.