Saturday, April 20, 2013

Downtown Living Tour Today!

The 2013 Downtown Living tour is being held today starting at the luxury apartment building, Park Pacific at 1223 Pine.  

The Premier Team will be consulting prospective downtown buyers at the Syndicate Condominiums Penthouse at 915 Olive St in the heart of Downtown.  That upscale building has some of the most favorite amenities in all of downtown, with multiple roof decks, business center, onsite manager, fully appointed club room with kitchen, media room, artist workshop, dual art galleries, covered parking for everyone, plus access to the 9th street garage for additional parking and access to the Culinaria grocer.  Its the Syndicate Condominiums that define the word 'community' when it comes to downtown living.    

This years tour, as each year progresses, is more laid back than the last year with a theme of visiting only occupied units.  Our first Downtown Living Tour was in 2005 when relatively speaking, downtown St Louis was in shambles.  

We used to have an informational tent at street level and direct people to all our listings.  For several years, we put that tent next to Flannery's because the vacant building next door really looked creepy.  That building, like so many others, was transformed.  In this case into the Fitness Factory, now a sort of centerpiece for downtown residents.  Looking back, anyone involved in downtown can certainly say its come a long way!

One other thing about the tour that I remember was the energy and excitement for the number of projects going on.  In 2005, the Moon Brothers Carriage Lofts and the Ventana were announced on the day of the tour, in 2006, the Meridian was announced and tours of the vacant building were held at the tour before it was even closed on by the new developer.  For those in the know, there was always a lot of discussion with the mostly suburban crowd attending the tour about all the great things being built and conceived to make our downtown world class. As the years changed, so did the types of projects and scope of work.  

After the loft boom, getting a construction loan to redevelop a loft building was virtually impossible.  Since the Roberts Tower had already been started, it seemed to be the last building to be built, but at the prices it would take to justify the construction, prospects of completion were bleak.  Even a solid, reliable community institution like the St Louis Cardinals couldn't get the construction financing they needed to start Ballpark Village.  Projects were still completed and rental lofts and stylish apartments, the MX Exchange, and both the CityGarden and Old Post Office Plaza were completed during the scary days of the recession.  Despite the worst financial crisis since the great depression, Downtown St Louis continued to move forward, earning a distinction as the fastest growing neighborhood for young, college educated professionals.

It should be interesting to see how today's tour unfolds.  The drama and hype of the days when loft developer's ran the show are over, and left in their wake is a stable neighborhood that still has room to grow and thrive. 

Stop by and see the Premier Team at 915 Olive at the Syndicate Condominiums for a list of all our stylish downtown listings!  

Tour registration is $20 today.

Monday, April 01, 2013

First Quarter 2013 Loft Sales

Keep an Eye Out for this 2 bedroom 2 bath UPDATED LOFT!

Good things seem to be on the horizon for the downtown housing market. Unlike years past when there was a glut of unsold units in several buildings, pent up demand from current owners, and no such glut of loft buyer's to match, the current loft market has leveled out.  Reminiscent of the market in 2004-2005, when finding a loft was a struggle, buyer's have the hurdle now of being able to find 'the right space'.  

In 2004 & 5, someone that could fog a mirror could get a mortgage, now getting a mortgage isn't so much an issue for the buyer as it is for the loft that's being sold, as banks additional scrutiny seems to have fallen more upon the condominium building / association than it has the buyer.  

Still, loft sales have begun to pick up and appear to be poised for continued growth through the coming months. 

One thing that we had to deal with in 2005 was the absence of a bonafide grocer in downtown.  Now with a grocer plus several smaller convenience stores like Washington Avenue Post, that's no longer an issue.  Plus there are several exciting things going on downtown that will continue to build upon our ongoing momentum for neighborhood building:  SLU Law School, the new Mississippi River Bridge, Improvements along Tucker, Lafayette Preparatory Academy, CITY-ARCH-RIVER and Ballpark Village are all ongoing projects that will build upon the downtown living experience.  

Another factor in the loft market is basic supply and demand economics.  The number of lofts built and sold in Downtown St Louis between 2004 and 2007 was staggering.  It will be virtually impossible to ever repeat that type of growth in the owner occupied condo market ever again.  What seems to have kept the standard 'new construction' home in St Charles from being able to appreciate  much is the availability of land and even newer homes nearby. The number of downtown lofts is almost 'locked in' due to construction financing, historic tax credits, and available buildings reduced drastically from our recent past.  Values of lofts have nowhere to go but up!

Here are the sales for the first Quarter of 2013

Knickerbocker Lofts  507 N 13th Street

#210     $53,000

Lofts at 2020 (Sporting News Lofts)  2020 Washington Avenue

#703     $89,000
#509     $97,000
#309     $100,000
#305     $103,000

Motor Lofts 2201 Washington Avenue 

#302    $83,000

Railway Lofts 1619 Washington Avenue 

#905     $280,000

Windows Lofts 1601 Washington Avenue 

#204    $149,500

Meridian Lofts 1136 Washington Avenue 

#801    $219,000

Marquette Condominiums 314 N Broadway

#1902   $158,000

Ely Walker Lofts  1520 Washington Avenue

#717     $105,000

Printer's Lofts 1627 Locust Street

#704     $105,500
#706     $196,500

Syndicate Condominiums   915 Olive Street

#1104   $169,000
#1009   $260,000