Any home buyer’s looking in the city right now may want to check the qualifications of the Homelift Downpayment Assistance program. The program really is ‘free money’ to those who qualify since it was devised as a mandate by the federal government for misbehavior by Wells Fargo. Only those buying in St. Louis City qualify!
One of the highlights of summer for me is a relaxing evening at the Botanical Garden enjoying a packed light dinner on a Wednesday night. The Whitaker Music Festival isn’t about excitement, but just a relaxing evening outdoors in one of our cities greatest assets: the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The summer line up was just published today.
Show time is 7:30 p.m.
The concerts are free.
— June 4, Peter Martin Quartet
— June 11, Al Holliday and the East Side Rhythm Band
— June 18, Marsha Evans and the Coalition
— June 25, Javier Mendoza
— July 2, Old Salt Union
— July 9, Big Brother Thunder and the Master Blasters
— July 16, Nigel Mooney
— July 23, Augusta Bottoms Consort
— July 30, Melissa Neels Band
— Aug. 6, Gene Dobbs Bradford Blues Experience
This is a video that describes why the so called crime reports that pop up on on news sources have St Louis ranked higher for crime than it actually is.
While I’ve always understood how crime numbers are made to look bad due to the geographic size and population of St. Louis City, compared to other metro areas, I’ve never seen a video that helps people understand it.
Hopefully this video helps stop some of the lies that come from critics of the City / County merger spread about why the merger would help the region.
Today is Election Day! Vote~~
One of the cool, up and coming parts of St Louis City is the Grove in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. This neighborhood is located south of the massive BJC main campus, Central West End, and Interstate 64, east of Kingshighway, and north of Vandeventer. The Grove started out as a few popular nightclubs and grew into a diverse commercial district with great restaurants, shops and other amenities like the Language Immersion Charter School. Commerce is not all that is happening in the Grove. After finding a few buyers some awesome renovated homes in the Grove, I sat down with Austin Barzantny of Grove Properties and talked about the great strides going on in FPSE.
The folks at Grove Properties LLC do a great job of finding “shell” homes in the area and stripping them down, and restoring the homes with a high quality, modern finish while maintaining the historic charm of the home. Currently, the home on the market through Grove Properties is listed below at 4342 Hunt St. St Louis, MO. 63110 –a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath listed for $129,900.
Forest Park Southeast. She gushed about the potential of the area due to its proximity to Barnes Hospital and Interstate 64. If I was smart, I would have started buying up homes then. The latest massive growth of both CORTEX and BJC are fueling more growth in the surrounding neighborhoods like Forest Park Southeast.
One of the problems that seemed to stifle development in the past was poor access to the neighborhood. Limited highway access; there was a Boyle Avenue exit from westbound I-64 (Highway 40 for the locals), but access was blocked from Kingshighway. The bridges over the highway that allowed traffic in from the Central West End were narrow and lacked modern functionality.
Now, the MODOT project to increase traffic flow and add highway access from both directions to not only Boyle but also Tower Grove Avenue is in process. That major project, along with the ‘suburban-esque’ apartment complex being built along the highway are adding to the density and housing options available for the growing area.
With the improvements to the roads and infrastructure surrounding the Grove, along with the commercial and entertainment improvements along Manchester Avenue and throughout the northern Neighbor, the BJC Complex will leave the small neighborhood known as the the Grove in a PERFECT position to thrive into the future.
Early in my real estate career, one of my mentors told me an analogy. “Neighborhoods are like mutual funds and individual homes are like stocks,” he explained further, “values rise and fall independently but they all have an effect on the overall quality of the neighborhood.” By the same reasoning, the overall value of the City of St Louis can be based on the quality of the individual neighborhoods.
One thing that’s interesting about the urban renaissance in St Louis is when people are looking to relocate to St Louis City from the surrounding area, its amazing how little they know about the options they have. Working with buyer’s Downtown and in the Central West End, there are some folks that start by looking at the chic urban condo or loft. In the process of looking, we talk and start to uncover that they really aren’t wanting the “community lifestyle” of a condominium project, but still want a walkable, urban experience. That’s when the fun begins! Putting on the tour guide hat and helping people learn about what neighborhoods are out there and what sort of feel they want. It was the lack of knowledge about city neighborhoods that was really what inspired the creation of this blog.
One time, a St Louis County resident that grew up in Dutchtown was with me in the car. I asked them, “what do you think about Compton Heights?” They replied that they hadn’t ever seen the neighborhood. Having grown up exactly 2 miles away, and living in St Louis their whole life, I was both suprised and frustrated. We took a drive through the neighborhoood and they were amazed by the stunning mansions and beatifully winding streets. They weren’t looking to buy a mansion, but now they know that they exist in South City.
Last week I was showing homes in the Skinker-DeBallievere neighborhood when I passed Greg Freeman Park. I was glad to see a park named in his honor in his neighborhood. I was reminded of a truly motivating speech he had given about the need for city residents to identify and embrace the diverse groups of neighborhoods in Saint Louis City. At the time, most city residents couldn’t readily identify more than a few specific neighborhoods. Rather than St Louis neighborhoods, overall regions, “Southside”, Northside” were used. Since that presentation, public knowledge of the different neighborhoods and their gentrification have increased. Still a lack of understanding exists.
Lately, in selling St Louis City Real Estate, we cross neighborhood lines, and do our best to explain where we are and what makes that neighborhood special. We’ve also been working with many folks that work hard within their own neighborhoods to make things better every day. Our goal in the next year is to work to highlight these city neighborhoods and the activity going on to rebuild them and make them more livable for all St Louisans. That is the point of our ongoing series ‘City Neighborhoods 101.’
Look for more information coming soon!