Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Downtown Home Tour This Saturday!

A New Spin on Downtown Home Tour

The 2012 Downtown Home Tour is being held this Saturday, April 28th from Noon to 6pm.    No loft tour we've seen has ever been like the one before, and this year is no different.  The theme, "The Art of Downtown Living" sounds to me like there is a utilitarian element to being able to live downtown.  The truth is that the downtown area is becoming the scene for local artists because of efforts to build and nurture the artist community.  
4th Floor Gallery at the Syndicate
Housing established as "artists lofts", new galleries, and buildings with special considerations for artists like the Syndicate make being an artist easier and lures more artists to consider downtown as the place to be.

Additionally, while creativity is often viewed as a characteristic of artists, it's also a key factor in business, entrepreneurship, and even science.  This neighborhoods proximity to business incubators, executive suites, and the downtown business community can be huge in helping fledgling businesses to start and grow.  Just within the past few years, I can think of a dozen businesses started by downtown residents that have benefited greatly from their location. 

The overall benefit to the community is summed up by the theories in the book by Richard Florida, "The Rise of the Creative Class."   Simply put, creativity adds to the economy.  In this day in age, that's a message we want about Downtown St Louis.  One other factor, is that, as a rule, the type of buyer moving to downtown St Louis often times has tremendous opportunities to show and appreciate art.  Large rooms and open spaces, high ceilings, and the opportunity to add lighting easily makes the downtown home perfect to display art.  As a Realtor, it seems that more and better art is on display in urban homes as a rule compared to the suburban and rural areas.  

So mixing art with downtown living is what this year's tour is all about.  Quite a turnaround from when loft developers pretty much ran the show for two days with their humongous marketing budgets.  Not only was their budgets spent by the thousands, so was attendance.  The events got to be overwhelming with activities galore, free shuttles and every developer trying to wrangle in the buyers.  While it had its pluses, the loft tour really didn't get good reviews for being a neighborhood tour.  It was more of a huge sales pitch.  Now there's only one day & 12 residences, some rental-some condos, and the after party at Art St Louis with its wine tasting.  What would be better would be if the after-party was at the Scottrade Center to watch the Blues stomp the Kings, but that has yet to be determined.  

All and all, it will be another busy weekend for the Premier Team as we have eight open lofts at the Syndicate and another open house at the Dorsa Lofts. Registration for the tour itself will be at the Laurel Apartments.  The area isn't the best place to highlight just yet, but soon will be home to the National Blues Museum, Pi, Snarf's, MX Movies and more coming in the summer and fall of this year.  This weekend we'll probably just see some nice signs;  previews of coming attractions in Downtown St Louis.  

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