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!