For those that are not yet familiar, Pecha Kucha has officially arrived in St. Louis. Pecha Kucha draws its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.
Typically all of the presentations focus on ‘Big Ideas & Creativity” in the region, it’s a great way for people in the area to share their ideas and work.
The next event is this Saturday night at 7pm at the Foundation at 1004 Locust, underneath the new Bridge bar next to Left Bank Books downtown. This next event is unique because it’s part of a global event on this night to raise money for Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
HOPE (Home Ownership Purchase Enhancement) will help some qualified Missouri families pay their real estate taxes in 2010.
MHDC is allocating $15 million towards the HOPE program. Qualified Missouri families that purchase a home in 2010 are eligible for a HOPE incentive equaling the amount of the 2009 real estate tax bill associated with the property they purchased, up to a maximum of $1,250. Additionally, homebuyers who are approved for the real estate property tax HOPE incentive may also be eligible to receive an additional amount if they bought a qualified, newly-constructed, energy-efficient home or bought an existing home and remodeled or purchased items such as Energy Star® appliances to make the home more energy efficient. The maximum combined total of the HOPE property tax incentive and the HOPE energy-efficiency incentive is $1,750.
To be eligible home buyers must purchase in 2010 with a contract having been executed no earlier than January 1, 2010. The $15 million is available on a first come first serve basis and does not have to be paid back as long as the homeowner lives in the property a full year after receiving the funds. To qualify buyers must meet certain income guidelines and purchase in target districts.
I recently read Farm City: The Education of An Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. Ammmaaaaazing! Check out the New York Times Book Review. In sum, the memoir is about a woman who begins by doing some squat gardening on a vacant lot in “the ghetto” next to her apartment. Ultimately she ends up raising her own food and making charcuterie of her pigs, Big Boy and Little Girl. The book spans several years and takes place in Oakland CA. Entertaining and educational, it discusses food security and the importance of knowing where your food comes from.
Of course the memoir got me thinking about community gardens and the possibilities of vacant lots in St. Louis. The food security movement is taking hold here and St. Louis has many resources for urban farms and community gardens. Below are just a few pictures from around my neighborhood.
Tower Grove East has a prolific community garden. I know it doesn’t look like much now, but in the Spring Summer and Fall this is one of the most beautiful corners in the neighborhood. Want to live here?
The same goes for Fox Park Farm. Located at the corner of Russell and California, this space is glorious when in bloom and there always seems to be someone from the neighborhood out there working. Check these home sale listings if you want to know more about housing in the Fox Park neighborhood.
City Seeds is another enterprise altogether. It’s mission is to foster self-sufficiency in addicted and chronically mentally ill homeless; increase production and distribution of locally grown fresh food for low-income residents, and provide nutrition and food preparation/preservation programs.
As I mentioned above, there are ample opportunities to farm in the city. But there might just be one more coming soon. Check out the photo below. This is a vacant lot at the corner of Minnesota and Arsenal across from the old Bavarian Inn. It is currently owned by a notable St. Louis developer, who taking a cue from the benevolent lot owner in Carpenter’s book, has offered to let neighborhood folks start planting. This blog post is in fact a bit of a fishing expedition to see if there are people out there who would be interested in the opportunity to take on a raised bed or two. There would be no charge to garden, you would be welcome to all your own produce and the owner is even considering providing the raised beds.
Last summer I was hired to help some Shaw residents sell their house. They had moved here for graduate school. It was time to put the house on the market and move on to the next phase of their lives. My clients LOVED that house and were sad to go, but with the feature on HGTV, they will have a memento that most sellers would die to have.
Here is the lead in from HGTVs website: Kathleen has finally convinced her fiance, Dan, to move from the suburbs of St. Louis to the city center. They’re on a time crunch and need a new home before their wedding. Kathleen wants a historic home and Dan wants modern upgrades and a parking spot. The first house they see is a Victorian, and has the historic charm Kathleen craves but there’s too much city noise outside. The second home is an historic duplex converted to a single-family home. It’s near Kat’s favorite park but, on the downside, it has with two front doors that Dan thinks look strange. The third home is another classic, but it’s also the smallest. On the upside, it has an updated kitchen and the two-car garage Dan’s been waiting for.
The episode aired last night 28 January and is due to air again 14 February 2010 at 8 and 11PM
Can’t wait to see which house the buyers choose ; )
I’m not sure how you feel about January and February in St. Louis, but I could do without. Short days that seems to be primarily filled with an overcast sky and cold, cold winds creeping though every crack in these old city homes. So I’m starting spring early, and apparently so are these sellers. Check out the three fabulous listings that just went up this week, and let me know if you’d like to check them out.
5512 Finkman in Princeton Heights / Southampton
Immaculately maintained bungalow in the Princeton Heights neighborhood with first floor laundry. Lots of great features to this charming home on a great South City street. Visit 5512finkman.com
1720 Chouteau #402 Loft in Lafayette Square
A great view of the city, this 2 bed/2bath loft is in the 4th floor of the Eden Lofts in Lafayette Square. Walk to all of the great neighborhood amenities! Visit 1720chouteau.com
3646 Michigan in Gravois Park
This Craftsman style home has all its original charm along with many modern updates. Take a look at the pictures and see why at only $85,000, this home is a great buy. Visit 3646michigan.com
Dawn Griffin Real Estate Blog
I’m an experienced Saint Louis Realtor specializing in St. Louis City as well as neighborhoods like Webster Groves, Maplewood, Clayton, University City and Ladue. With an undergraduate degree in Education and Master's in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development — I have the heart of teacher.
I have been immersed in Residential Real Estate, helping home buyers and sellers understand the market, manage the ambiguities and negotiate the best terms for themselves. I am consistently voted a 5-Star Agent by clients and featured as one of St. Louis' Best Agents in Saint Louis Magazine.