Friday, October 17, 2008

The End of an Era

The last time I had something stolen from me in Downtown St. Louis, I was different, downtown was different, and the scenario was different.

Back in 1994, I was a student at UMSL. It was finals week and I was studying all afternoon and evening. I stopped off at Club EVOLUTION to relieve some stress, parked at 13th and Washington and returned about an hour later to find my car window was smashed and my backpack with all my books and notes had been stolen. ON FINALS WEEK! I searched around for at least 30 minutes looking in dumpsters until I found my books strewn across a dumpster full of broken beer and liquor bottles. Wearing only my well worn Birkenstocks, I climbed in and retreived everything except a microcassette recorder. My encounter that morning was likely caused by a person looking to survive in abject property.

Last night, I was enjoying myself at a table set up on Washington Avenue, about 3 blocks from where my last incident occured so long ago. A call came in from Howard McCauliffe, an agent with us that was holding open the City Museum Loft 509W (incidentally, one of the best deals around). He said a middle age, brown hair but balding man, about 5'9", came into his open house and told him that he wasn't allowed to hold an open house that evening. They discussed it, they seemed to agree that it was acceptable to hold an open house (who ever heard of a building that prevented you from reselling your loft?) Then about a half an hour later, a fellow loft owner came in and told him that his(our) sign had been taken.

After a day of calling trying to get our sign back the only option was to call the police.

The funny thing is that in the current market, these lofts probably won't sell anyway. They're priced above market and are in a building that has limited financing options. Even getting a loft to appraise out at over $200 per square foot would require an exceptional space in a building that supports that type of sale. Lastly, in this market or any, it seems odd that anyone wanting to sell housing inventory would shoot themselves in the foot by (allegedly) conducting such a selfish act directed at someone who specializes in selling their product.

As for crime in the city goes though, our last sign to be stolen was a month ago in West County. Go figure.

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