Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's a Neighborhood Stupid!

There was plenty of stories about downtown in this weeks St. Louis Business Journal. Downtown's biggest critic (Post Dispatch parent co Lee Enterprises) has hit an all time low, Ballpark Village might be coming together, a new branch of Lindenwood College is coming to
1409 Washington

The article that stood out for some reason was about the decrease in loft sales over a record 2007.

Its not a bad article, really. It just states the facts. It talks about how some builders plans are changing in response to the market.

What's nutty, is that there is an implication that lofts are supposed to be like barrels of Budweiser. "Condo Sales Lag". Building lofts and condos downtown should be more about quality than quantity. Stories about the neigbhorhood should focus on how things come together, and how they add to the area, not look at homes sold like they're a commodity.

Most strange is that everyone knew the day would come when the developers would fade away and refocus on other types of construction or other areas. Most people knew that all the condo units projected to be built would be limited by the market. By comparison, the city of Creve Coeur has a larger population of approximately 16,500. Creve Coeur only had 307 homes sell last year (per the MLS). Why no write-up for Creve Coeur? The reasons are obvious: 1. Sales of homes everywhere are lagging and 2. It's ok for a neighborhood to stabilize.

It's great to hear about Ballpark Village and Lindenwood College. Downtown progress isn't over by a long shot. The great surge in owner occupied residences in since the turn of the century may be coming to an end, but the foundation has been laid for much growth and prosperity in the future.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you write a letter to the editor?

Chris Grus said...

It's been considered many times and ultimately rejected for the following reasons: readership of the editorial page lags behind the splashy negative headlines, it would presume that the Post Dispatch still stands for the ideals upon which it was founded (basically put that they care about journalism), and lastly, the blogosphere has functionally taken the place of the editorial page. Why take the time to fire off a letter to them when I could just post my complaints here and get posted 100% of the time?