Thursday, July 19, 2012

CPI Building "Jumped"

News broke today that the struggling CPI Corporation agreed to sell it's downtown real estate - including its headquarters building to investor Dave Jump.  Parking lots between Kingbee and Moon Brothers, between the CPI Building and Ely Walker, and a few other parcels were sold to help the struggling company in restructuring as ordered last month.

Every time this company's struggles make the news, we look at this fantastic building and wonder what could become of it.  Not that it would be feasible to turn it into lofts, but having it be converted to first level retail with commercial on top could add a nice element to this part of Washington Avenue.  The surrounding buildings would likely benefit.

Full terms of the July 12 agreement weren't publicized, but its likely that the CPI Corp has a lease-back provision in the sale and will remain in business at that location.  Hopefully for a long time.

Loft Sales Busy in late Spring

Despite the negative PR campaign the Post Disgrace has for Downtown, sales have been steady in the past few months.  

Twenty-two lofts sold in May and June, which is AWESOME!  

The St Louis loft expert may point out that last year we sold more.  The same period saw 25 sales in 2011.  The 2011 market was a different market.  

Last year, 9 of the 25 sales were the dreaded FDIC liquidation sales at the Dorsa Lofts.  There was also a bit of a foreclosure glut of lofts at 2020 Washington last year, accounting for 2 sales.  

The 2012 market has its share of distressed sales, but nothing like FDIC sales or a frenzy of foreclosures in the same building competing against each other.  

Nationwide reports are showing an overall price increase in a majority of home markets, signaling a housing recovery.  This recovery takes place on a market by market basis.   Based on the lack of inventory (as of this posting, only 64 lofts are on the market downtown ranging from $44,995 to $1,300,000) and a drastic increase in market rate sales, the downtown market seems to be in the recovery phase too.

Like most markets,  downtown has 'pent up demand' to sell.  Many of these presumptive loft seller's are waiting for prices to reach a higher level.  Like all markets, this may take time.  This is consistent with most markets where the percentage of new construction going into the housing peak was as high as it was in Downtown St Louis.

Here are the Downtown Loft sales for May & June of 2012:

Blu City Spaces  210 N 17th Street

#305     $42,000
#404     $44,995
#1210   $50,000
#406     $55,000
#312     $59,995

Knickerbocker Lofts  507 N 13th Street

#502     $49,100

Columbus Square Condominiums

#33       $65,000

Lofts at 2020 (Sporting News Lofts)  2020 Washington Avenue

#703     $85,000
#706     $137,750

Westgate Lofts  410 N Jefferson Blvd. / 2323 Locust Street

#406     $94,000

Terra Cotta Lofts 1501 Locust Street

#503     $99,000

Ventana Lofts 1635 Washington Avenue

#509     $100,100

Marquette Condominiums 314 N Broadway

#1404   $120,000
#1604   $120,000
#1403   $230,000

Ely Walker Lofts  1520 Washington Avenue

#316     $153,500

Printer's Lofts 1611 Locust Street

#601     $184,000

Banker's Lofts  901 Washington Avenue

#505     $200,000

10th Street Lofts  1010 Saint Charles Street

#803     $240,000

Dorsa Lofts    1015 Washington Avenue

#304     $249,000

Edison Condominiums  400 S 14th Street

#1216   $300,000

Syndicate Condominiums   915 Olive Street

#1612   $448,200

Elder Shirt Lofts  703 North 13th Street

#503     $455,000