What does a PR guy from O’Fallon MO care about City Government?

Questioning the Motives of political propaganda

As a Realtor with lots of experience in the City, there’s a few things I know:

  1. There’s a great demand for updated urban homes.
  2. The City is being restored.
  3. Restoring 100+ year old neighborhoods takes time and money.

Noah Brandt, the purveyor of fake news in today’s Post-Dispatch, wrote an op-ed piece on how city residents are fleeing because of their concerns of safety, and that its going to get worse with the new mayor.

Working extensively in the City in areas Like Tower Grove, Benton Park, Soulard, Lafayette Square and Forest Park Southeast, I see major shift in occupancy trends. People want more space. Converting a 2 family or 4 family apartment into a single family home, or converting a 5 bed / 1 bath home into a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath home means smaller family sizes. A gut rehab we did a few years ago had 8 people living in 2 apartments at the 1940 census, was purchased by a single person. The home 2 bedroom home my grandmother grew up in with her family of 9 was demolished to build the new SLU hospital. Before the 80’s the population had a lot to do with the size of families in the City. Now, large families are rare. There are too many factors to describe why the poplulation of St. Louis is dropping. Maybe he can ask Paul McKee how many St. Louis City resident’s he displaced with his failed attempt to improve the area.

He describes the population loss in St. Louis, and attributes it to fear of crime, while comparing the growth in St. Charles County at the same time. As a Realtor with lots of experience in St. Charles, I know a few things about that too.

  1. St. Charles County has more affordable new construction and for sale each year than ST. Louis City and St. Louis County combined. In the past 365 Days, a quick search of the MLS shows that 905 homes sold in St. Charles county with an average price of $368,988, whereas St. Louis City & County had a combined 558 sales with an average price of $635,456.
  2. St. Charles has a land mass of 560 sq miles, versus St. Louis City has a land mass of 61.74 sq miles.
  3. Clearing farmland and building new homes is cheaper, easier and quicker than restoring neighborhoods and infrastucture built in the 19th Century.

Finding a place to live that meets up to certain standards is getting harder and more consuming for people, increasing the likelyhood that they’ll consider spreading out and paying less. Last year, I had a client that wanted to find a home in the city. We looked and made offers, but they eventually settled on a home in Affton. In January, we listed a home in Affton that ended up receiving 11 offers. It left 10 buyer’s, all with strong offers, scratching their heads about where they were going to find a home. Some may choose the path of least resistance, where homes are more plentiful and more affordable. Someplace like St. Charles.

The Bottom Line….

No one has asked me who I would have picked for the new mayor, so I won’t say, but it wasn’t Tishuara Jones. My hope is that she works hard, and knows more about how to address the problems in St. Louis and is able to energize the City’s residents. The pandemic was hard on the region, and she has her work cut out for her. Even if I was a skeptic, its a little early to be weighing in, casting doubt through fear based propaganda. I say give the new administration a chance.

What I’m wondering is what motivated a PR guy from St. Charles County cast doubt on the city through misleading statements and negativity. Who paid him, and what does he have to gain?

JUST LISTED! – 5703 Parc Ridge Way!


5703 Parc Ridge Way is a MOVE IN READY, updated townhome in the Heart of St. Louis! With 3 LARGE BEDROOMS, a master suite and spacious open floorplan, vaulted ceilings, this has everything you want!

Close to everything, this home is located near the Hampton / Arsenal intersection, so access to all the major highways is minutes away, along with access to the River Des Peres Trail, Forest Park, Sublette Park and more!

Is STL in Your Plan?

Medical residency programs are in Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Richmond Heights and St. Louis City.

Real estate is a 365 day a year business, but as we inch closer to spring time, [24 days, but who’s counting?] calls from nervous buyer’s and sellers start to intensify. One group we know and love is the resident physicians, since they run on a schedule, and often times don’t have a lot of time to waste. But there’s a lot of others coming for academic posts, corporate jobs, or even a change of scenery. With Washington University and St. Louis University being located centrally, a good chunk of new residents look at the City, and its affordability, impressive architecture various perks!

We Specialize in finding urban and suburban homes where YOU need them!

With rank order list deadline a week away, and Match Day coming on the 15th, STL might become a certainty for many and we’re here to help!

.….or let us know how we can help you!

Amazing Live / Work – Benton Park

When we moved to Tower Grove, our office had an apartment upstairs that we lived in, while we were estabishing our office, and remodeling a home just blocks away. Having a live work space was amazing! When we no longer needed to live their, we rented the 2nd floor aparment out and essentially paid our loan amount each month with the rental payment and “officed for free”.

This very cool opportunity is in the Heart of Benton Park, just blocks away from Sidney Street Café, Hodak’s, my favorite, Blues City Deli, and Peacemaker. It’s across the street from Cone’s and Cups and Freemont Park. Currently it’s set up as a 3 family apartment with attached restaurant, but there’s so much flexibility. Some would use the whole 1st floor as commercial, others might convert the whole thing to an apartment. For businesses, the optional lot behind the property on Lynch Street would be ideal for parking, for others, it could be used for new construction.

The options are fantastic!

In researching this property, the city tax record is most interesting.

The original architecture was entirely stripped off the 3rd floor, as was the “thing” from the 50’s -70’s …. to ‘modernize’ buildings. It made me curious to know what the building was used for most recently, and historically, so I started searching online. The architect from the rennovation has some nice photos and information about the project. The building had been abandoned. Newspapers.com has archives of newspapers going back to the 1800’s in STL, so there were some interesting news bits in there, but after the pharmacist passed away in 1948, there wasn’t much out there on the news until the physician in the northern storefront passed away in 1962, and then nothing until new life was breathed back into it thanks to historic tax credits, great developers and architects!

So it was built to be a German grocer. Then used as a Doctors office, with McNair Pharmacy operating for 36 years and the family living upstairs. The pharmacy was remodeled extensively in 1928, just in time for the Great Depression

This property is hitting the market this weekend, and will be open Sunday from 1-2:30pm. Get more details on the listing, plus pictures of the apartment

35 New Homes for the Gate District

Gate District New Homes

So 35 homes and a 12 unit condominium building is slated to fill in areas surrounding the nearly completed SLU hospital in the Gate District neighborhood according to the news.    This is exciting news for the transitioning little neighborhood, along with so much of the other development going on in its proximity.   Several developers are sharing in building on lots owned by St. Louis University with cooperation from the neighborhood development committee.

Having seen the demise of condominium builders financing once, it would be nice to see an opportunity to build new condos with reasonable provisions for builders.   Last go round, between 2001-2006, builders all over abused the provisions, taking advantage of banks loose procedures on checking for the buildings sales data.  It would be nice to try to meet in the middle, if that’s even necessary.   A well funded project / contractor may not need to start the project without some sales.

The new homes may have several builders, but UIC, active in Botanical Heights / McCree town is part of the deal, and appear to be more affordable with these homes than in the past.   I’m hoping this project moves forward as the press has it, although its never 100%.

Way to go everyone on adding more great city homes for sale and building up an already growning community!

Screenshot 2020-02-05 21.25.53



Celebrating the Holidays in St. Louis CITY

Very few places in the world are as festive as St. Louis City!   I remember my first year as a city resident, being concerned about what to do for Halloween trick or treating and being BLOWN AWAY by the scene in Tower Grove;  shut down streets, adults dressed up as zombies walking the streets, fire pits, treats for weary parents, porch parties and kids EVERYWHERE!!!

Candy Cane Lane Map (2)

Christmas season is no different.

St. Louis Hills wins the award for the most festive neighborhood for Chrismas every year.  Between the Christmas Tree lighting in Francis Park, to Candy Cane lane,  Snowflake Street, Angel Avenue, Wonderland Way and Reindeer Rd, there’s no shortage of themed events for the Holidays.   Some say its too much.   In working with home buyers, we think it may be a lawsuit waiting to happen NOT to inform prospective buyers that they may consider how ‘festive’ they are before buying on the 6500 block of Murdoch.  If someone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, it might be a long month.

For those who celebrate Christmas, anywhere in the region, should pay a visit to the amazing St. Louis Hills neighborhood this season, starting This Sunday, for the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Francis Park (where Nottingham meets Childress).   Every year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving at 7pm the Christmas Tree is lit, signifying the beginning of the Holiday Season.  With Candy Cane Lane as the old and faithful, all the streets lit up become a destination for the whole world to visit.   Top your visit off with a non-traditional dinner at Aya Sofia and a world renowned treat at Ted Drewes, and you’ve got yourself an amazing evening!

The streets below are from the St. Louis Hills neighborhood website, and other events can be found there for locals.

  • Candy Cane Lane — 6500 block of Murdoch
  • Angel Avenue — 4700 block of Prague
  • Snowflake Street — 6500 block of Neosho
  • Reindeer Road — 6700 block of Walsh
  • Wonderland Way — 6200 block of Walsh


OPEN HOUSE: Fit for a Mayor….

3723 Juniata St dramatic facade part 1

Friday I was talking to a neighbor on the 3600 block of Juniata (Say it with us: JOO-NEE-AT-UH) in Tower Grove Heights, and he told me that 3723 Juniata was the boyhood home of the celebrated Mayor and 15th Ward Alderman Alfonso J. Cervantes.   Who knew?   I’d been in his other place in the CWE and had no idea he, like me, had been a resident of Tower Grove Heights.

If St. Louis History is your passion, check it out.   The ‘water closet’ in the first floor half bath appears to be original, or at least one that goes back 60 years (and still works great) so that may be your connection to our 39th mayor.   The rest of the home has been updated.  3723 Juniata St 062

Had we known about the connection with St. Louis history, maybe we could have used it when we sold it in 2013.

3723 Juniata St 034

On a side note, Tower Grove residents have long suffered the chronic mispronunciation of Juniata [it’s not Juanita, dammit!], and in looking for where the word actually came from, (river, county, town, college and neighborhood in Pennsylvania), I came across this hysterical video from the beleaguered students at Juniata College about the pains of having your name repeatedly botched.

We have our open house today, Sunday 11/24 from 1pm-2:30pm and I’m looking forward to it.   As everyone knows, homes have been going  quick, and preliminary numbers from the National Association of Realtors show that there is a 20% year over year drop  in homes listed this year, and November isn’t known for having great new homes going on the market.

St. Louis City Buying & Occupancy Inspections!

st louis city occupancy inspectionsMany buyers in St. Louis City don’t realize it, but when a property changes hands it requires a St. Louis City Occupancy inspection. This should not be in place of the buyers building inspection, but does allow another set of eyes on the property to assure safety and occupancy.

The St. Louis city building inspector looks at the standard items of smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, address seen from the alley, peeling paint that could contain lead, and much more. In the recent weeks we had a seller located right outside of the DeBaliviere Neighborhood   flagged for a non permitted deck that was deemed not safe for the new owner. This did not come up in the buyers formal building inspection for specific repairs needed, but the St. Louis city occupancy inspector required major work of $2300+ in repairs, contractor involvement, permits pulled, and extensive repairs done. The new homeowner should get many more safe years of life out of the deck due to the required actions. Therefore the St. Louis city required occupancy inspection is a positive for the buyer purchasing in St. Louis City.

In the residential sales contract supst-louis-realtors-logolied to the Realtors by St. Louis Realtors Association  it has a section requiring that sellers are required to complete occupancy inspection and repairs unless they notify buyers in a specific time frame that the repairs will not be done. The buyer then has the option to exit the contract if not ideal. In all my years of selling real estate I have never had a seller refuse to do occupancy repairs unless it is clear that the sale is an “As-Is” up front.

St. Louis city occupancySt. Louis city makes the occupancy inspection accessible and easy to set up. You can check out the city website for more explanation  Again, St. Louis city inspections are not usually used in place of a formal building inspection. You can check out the ASHI website for certified Building inspectors for that formal home inspection needed, but buyers can have additional comfort that additional inspections are required from St. Louis city will inspect your future home as well.

St Louis real estate is our specialty! Visit us online at 4SaleStLouis.com If you’re looking for real estate anywhere in the St Louis, MO area, including St Louis City, St Louis County, Sunset Hills, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, or one of the other areas we serve, simply click the “Search St Louis Real Estate” link at the top or bottom of this page to begin your home search


St. Louis City: We Need More Hoops!

not enough basketball hoops

In today’s Post, there was an article about how our City Park system ranks compared to the rest of the country.    We did well.  The article was on the proverbial back.

Going through the analysis, it appears that we compete very effectively against the cities on the top of the list except for one catagory.   Why the Post writer didn’t notice this is bothersome.

I came upon a GLARING DEFECT in our park system!

st louis park rankings

In most areas we are competitive with the other cities.   Its in the area of BASKETBALL HOOPS that we are the farthest behind.   The high is 40 basketball courts per 10,000 residents, the average is just over 31 courts per 10,000.   Saint Louis lags behind all the other cities with only 16 courts per 10,000 residents in its parks.  Nearly 50% less than AVERAGE!

In the Post article, it talks about how close we are to other cities scores.   It stands to reason that if we invested in adding more basketball courts to all the city parks, that this would be one ranking that we’d rise into the top 10 of all cities in the country.   Not bad!

So why would we want to do that?

ESPN polls taken in 2017 have basketball ranked as the #1 recreational sport for youths, having risen steadily since 2006.  It a suprising reality to me. Growing up in a non-NBA city prior to the internet, we heard as much about basketball as we did ski reports.    More recently, having lived in the city with 3 children playing basketball, it became clear to me when I was driving my kids home from school with some of their buddies, and a vigorous debate was going on about who was the most dominant NBA players in each position.   I was shocked.

As a basketball and soccer ‘dad coach’, the lack of adequate basketball facilities was apparent.   Competing with teams around the area, I remember driving through the suburbs and seeing house after house with driveways that included a basketball hoop.   In the city, not so much.   There aren’t many driveways, and even less basketball hoops.   Then we’d go to parks.   Suburban municipal parks almost always had basketball courts, in the city, not so much.    I remember Father’s Day of 2014 we found that Clifton Heights Park had one basketball court, so we headed over with a picnic basket and the kids, only to find that there was already a group there  ☹️ .   We attended neighborhood meetings in Tower Grove South, and the park director fielded questions about what they could do to improve the park.   For whatever reason, basketball courts weren’t what they had in mind.

Children don’t vote.   They don’t attend neighborhood meetings. Had I known when my kids were toddlers that  A.   they’d love basketball and  B.  the city lagged so far behind other cities in that catagory, I may have had time to do something about it.   Last year, I coached my son’s 2nd grade team 😬.    We practiced indoors at a charter school.   One day the weather was warm, and we played with the doors open.   OOOPS.   Without a warning, about 6 kids, mostly older than our 2nd grade casually strolled in, grabbed a ball and started playing basketball.   The kids were from the adjacent “projects”.   As a youth athletic coach, nothing is more important than maintaining control of  what’s going on.   Rounding up and expelling the intruders took about 5 minutes, while my team waited for the disruption to end.    While frustrating, I felt bad for the boys.   They wanted something to do, but they’re options were limited.   Their school didn’t have a solution, their parents and communities didn’t have a solution, and reading this article, it appears the local parks didn’t either.

Let the Director of St. Louis City Parks know!