Phase 2 of the Cortex development will bring 1400 new jobs to the area. Where will all these professionals live? Here are some amazing options (and their MLS descriptions) in some of the surrounding neighborhoods .
Central West End4550 McPherson $469,000. 6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths: Not only is this 6 bed, 4.5 bath home situated in a prime CWE location, it is perfectly renovated with a mix of historic, classic & modern elegance. The grand entry foyer with custom marble floors sets the tone for this home. You will also find original stained glass windows, an abundance of natural light throughout, zoned HVAC, second floor laundry, second floor sleeping porch, beautifully refinished hardwood floors & a partially finished walk-out lower level with its own full bath. The finished third floor offers three bedrooms, a full bath & an eat-in kitchenette, perfect for a mother-n-law suite.Your love for this home will not be lost as you enter the backyard to find your own private oasis with an amazing new salt water, in-ground pool, patio & gazebo, perfect for entertaining!
Gas Light Square 4100 Olive $279,900. 2 beds, 2.5baths:The most popular model in The Gate District. Open floor plan and two story great room, perfect for entertaining! This area is the best kept secret for buyers wanting a newer home with a great location. Within 5 mins to SLU, Downtown, Lafayette Square, Soulard, The Groove and South Grand. You also have parks, restaurants and stores within a bike ride too! The home was built for entertaining! The home offers open floor plan, large deck, and a kitchen than any chef would love to call home. This home was redone with the master suite in mind, overall the home consist of three suites. Upstairs is the true master suite with enormous closet and spa bathroom. Great closets, unfinished basement could be more square footage(rough-in for bath already in place) and the home sits on one of the larger lots in the area too! Be sure to check out the list of all the upgrades. Everything from jetted tub, tinted windows, larger deck, larger hot water heater, insulated garage door, 6ft vinyl fence & more!
Forest Park South East (The Grove): 4540 Oakland $314,900. 3 beds, 2.5baths:This Forest Park Southeast-Grove 3B-3b, 2 story is a 2006 complete rehab conversion to a one family home. With remarkable high quality finishes, it has all the ambiance of similarly sized, higher priced Central West End properties. Quick access to Washington University Medical Center, Forest Park, Missouri Botanical Gardens and all points from Kingshighway/64. Detailed restoration and re-use of wood trim throughout including original pocket doors and pinewood floors except for top-shelf slate flooring in the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling travertine marble in the master bath, and subway tiling in the other baths mimically respecting the house’s original history. Kitchen=WOW. Custom kitchen cabinetry and master suite casework. It beams with open spaciousness between the Dining Room and Central Hall, Kitchen and Family Room, and Master Suite. Custom Craftsman-Mission style doors throughout.
Shaw3670 Flora Place $418,500. 5 beds, 3 baths. NEW TIMBERLINE ULTRA ROOF WITH LIFETIME TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY. IN ADDITION, NEW GUTTERS AND SIDING REPAIRS. NEW STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED IN THE KITCHEN. Large, circa 1908 light-filled home on a private place featuring hardwood floors, stained and leaded glass windows, newer kitchen with granite counters, main floor laundry, family room leading to newer deck. Fenced yard with patio, hot tub and two-car garage. 4,406 square feet of living space. Five+ bedrooms, three full baths. Several additional rooms used for office and storage purposes. Sitting rooms on both the second and third floors. Full, walk-out basement. Convenient to Tower Grove Park and South Grand shopping and dining, Saint Louis University and the Grand Center Arts and Entertainment Center. Flora Place also hosts a highly successful art fair each Fall.
Skinker DeBaliviere6182 Washington $275,000. 3 beds, 2 baths:With lovely original woodwork and hardwood floors thruout, this two story three bedroom two bath Skinker DeBaliviere home is waiting for a loving owner. Elaborate architectural detail – both inside and out – add turn-of-the-century charm, while zoned HVAC, and updated kitchen and baths add today’s conveniences. The large living room is all across the front of the home with a fireplace at each end. French doors open from the living room to the dining room, while the original butler’s pantry connects the kitchen to the dining room. Three large bedrooms and laundry room are on the second floor. One bedroom has a private bath, while the other two bedrooms are served by the hall bath – two of these bedrooms have fireplaces. The large laundry room – which was once a bedroom – provides plenty of space for sewing, ironing, or even a small at-home office. Plus, leave the car behind and walk to one of two Metro stops, the “Loop”, Wash U & Forest Park.
Gate District2901 St. Vincent $319,000. 3 beds, 3 baths:The most popular model in The Gate District. Open floor plan and two story great room, perfect for entertaining! This area is the best kept secret for buyers wanting a newer home with a great location. Within 5 mins to SLU, Downtown, Lafayette Square, Soulard, The Groove and South Grand. You also have parks, restaurants and stores within a bike ride too! The home was built for entertaining! The home offers open floor plan, large deck, and a kitchen than any chef would love to call home. This home was redone with the master suite in mind, overall the home consist of three suites. Upstairs is the true master suite with enormous closet and spa bathroom. Great closets, unfinished basement could be more square footage(rough-in for bath already in place) and the home sits on one of the larger lots in the area too! Be sure to check out the list of all the upgrades. Everything from jetted tub, tinted windows, larger deck, larger hot water heater, insulated garage door, 6ft vinyl fence & more!
I have two new listings coming up in Tower Grove East. When finished both will be 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths with 2nd floor laundry. Additionally each will have a two-car detached garage. The kitchens will be new with granite and stainless appliances and the first level of each home will have hardwood floors. But when these renovations are finished there will be valuable improvements that won’t be nearly as obvious.
Insulation: Each of the four exterior walls will have added insulation to make this 2 story brick home a little more energy efficient
Ductwork: The new ductwork is contaminant free and will also help with efficiency.
New Wiring: All of the old knob and tube wiring was ripped out and new wiring will be run throughout house and connected to a 200 amp panel.
New PVC: all of the vents and stacks will be replaced with PVC.
PVC Lateral Line: New plumbing under the basement floor and out to the main in the alley.
In the end, these improvements won’t be as obvious as the many more updates to come, but knowing that these improvements have been taken care will give the new homeowner peace of mind. Additionally, many of these projects will translate in an overall savings to the new homeowner. A new roof and new wiring can save on insurance costs and the new ductwork, insulation, HVAC and windows will equal a great deal of monthly savings on energy bills.
Not all rehabs are created equal, make sure to investigate what’s behind the walls. Ask for proof in the form of before and after pictures, receipts and warranties. For these two projects, I plan on keeping up with my clients throughout the rehab process. I will post their progress here, but when it is listed, I will leave a scrap book in the home so that prospective buyers get a sense of the completed work and do not have to rely on word of mouth.
I have been volunteering with Rebuilding Together-St. Louis, an organization which helps elderly and disabled homeowners remain in their homes by performing maintenance and repairs on their homes at no cost to them. Our 2nd annual ArtFix fundraiser is being held on Friday, November 14that the Mad Art Gallery in Soulard! ArtFix was a huge hit last year and I have already had many of you asking me about getting tickets.
Tickets will be available this Friday and are $40 each.
Just a little more information about the event. Bailey’s Chocolate Bar, Rooster, Serendipity, Butlers Pantry Vin de Set and Square One Brewery and several other local restaurants will be serving heavy hors d’oeuvres. We will be displaying work from 32 local and national artists and we will have a large variety of silent auction items including a chauffeured 10 passenger stretch limo, a Dooney & Bourke handbag, wine tasting for 10 at Cave Vineyard, a Nintendo Wii, handmade quilt by awarded an winning quilter, weekend at Harrah’s Resort and Casino and tickets to the St. Louis Actors’ Studio just to name a few.
For just $40 per person, you and your guests will enjoy a lively evening viewing great art and silent auction items, tasting hors d’oeuvres and desserts from fine restaurants, and enjoying unlimited beverages (wine, beer, soda, water).
This week’s real estate column in the WSJ written by Peter King focuses on energy costs. Where Utility Bills Are Low discusses three locations in the US with the lowest rates for kilowatt hours. Of the three locations mentioned, Fort Wayne, IN, Lincoln, NE, and St. Louis, MO, St. Louis ranks the most affordable at 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
The article featured the Mississippi Bluff Town Homes for its St. Louis example. Thanks to the information provided in the article it was interesting to compare taxes as well as energy costs. Taxes on a 500K home is Fort Wayne were approximately $8000 a year, for 200K home in Lincoln taxes were approximately $3000 annually. The Mississippi Bluffs Town Homes were estimated at 1% of the value, approximately $4000 a year making St. Louis real estate even more affordable. (Note: the developer of Mississippi Bluffs was just approved for 10 year tax abatement on the first 4 units, tax abatement on the remaining units is pending.)
I’ve always loved this small patch of St. Louis City. For those that are not familiar, it’s the neighborhood on the southeast corner of Forest Park, just south of the Barnes Jewish Medical Campus. It’s a perfect central location with a collection of beautiful homes that are still relatively affordable… and it’s the location of my first and last post-college rental apartment. I also can’t forget to mention it is home to one of St. Louis’ best bakeries, La Dolce Via.
The Neighborhood is still undergoing a major transformation as new developments enter the neighborhood.
Click here to read the Business Journal article about the speculated future of Forest Park Southeast (I still have a hard time calling it ‘The Grove’). Here’s a highlight:
“The Gills hope to use low lease rates to attract retailers such as small grocers or gift shops. Rents will range between $7 and $10 per square foot for commercial space. For its residential projects, rents will be below $1 per square foot, or between $650 and $850 per month. The first round will focus on one-bedroom apartment units to attract young professionals. By year five of the development, Amrit Gill said, the plan is to attract families with children and empty nesters. “
With the coming I-64/40 shutdown those trips to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are going to be that much more cumbersome. Thankfully we will soon have a new alternative in the city at 3148 Morganford.
Local Harvest Grocery will have its grand opening on June 1 and is operating in conjunction with the folks who put on the Tower Grove Farmers Market. In addition to some prepared foods, they will stock locally grown produce, meats, chesses and grains and sustainably produced products from outside the region.
EcoUrban Homes is a budding development group in St. Louis focusing on pre-fab and offering LEED certified options. Below is a short interview with Jay Swoboda.
What inspired you to go GREEN in STL?
We approached this project with the goal of rebuilding neighborhoods and decided that infill development could be most effectively addressed using some form of prefab building technology. However, the majority of our inspiration came each month when an issue of Dwell Magazine would arrive in our mailbox. We realized that the prefab process and the minimalism we aspired to through our modern design already put us on our way to building green. For us, there was just something innately green about the modern style and process we were using. We decided if we were going to do this then we wanted to have something weâ€™d be proud of – not just something that would make us money. So we made the decision to start green, build green, and finish green with our homes.
Building green not only makes financial sense for us as a builder, it also makes a lot of sense for marketing and sales. Ultimately, everyone wins â€“ the buyer, the builder, the community, and the environment. Weâ€™ll be the first LEED-certified homes in Missouri. There arenâ€™t a lot of people â€“ maybe not anyone â€“ doing the things weâ€™re doing all at once: green, modern, prefab â€“ all at a price within reach. Itâ€™s exciting, and we hope that weâ€™ll really be able to kick off something big in St. Louis.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now weâ€™re in the first phase of our product rollout building our first development in the Tower Grove East and Benton Park West neighborhoods. Our first home was delivered on April 30th to 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in Benton Park West. It was pretty exciting. Our first tour group will be going through on May 12, with more to follow â€“ just two weeks after the home was delivered. What can we expect in the next year?
You can look forward to the rollout of EcoUrban homes to other neighborhoods in St. Louis. Weâ€™re also looking at expanding to other cities in the future (Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh) focusing on urban areas. What is your past development experience?
EcoUrban is a year-old company, and our parent companyâ€™s past experience has been in the downtown loft and commercial redevelopment. We also have experience in owning and operating low-income apartments and SROs. Front Elevation of Finished Home.
Below is a quick interview with Jason Stone, one of the company’s partners.
What inspired you to go GREEN in STL?
I wish I could take credit, but the idea to go green was Rick Hunterâ€™s. You would think that one of the leading green builders in St. Louis would have been the inspiration of some hyper-environmentally conscious group, but that just wasnâ€™t the case. Rick and Mike Greene (along with Realtor Sebastian Bautz) saw that there was a shortage of high quality new construction in St. Louis City. Green building simply proved to be an extension of better quality building. The more we learned about going green, the more it made sense to us. We didnâ€™t fully grasp the importance of the environmental component until we had immersed ourselves in the building science and techniques. Iâ€™m embarrassed to say that I didnâ€™t even recycle until late last year, but now that I know what I know I feel guilty throwing away anything at all. Go listen to someone like Ed Mazria talk and it will really open your eyes.
Next monthâ€™s newsletter (get the newsletter by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org) will likely be about the environmental component of what we do. Oddly enough, itâ€™s usually one of the last reasons mainstream buyers end up choosing to go green, but itâ€™s the most important and the most rewarding.
What is your past development experience?
All of the partners in the company have historic renovation backgrounds. Itâ€™s how we all met and know one another. We cut our teeth on restoring old homes in the City. We grew our individual development businesses on the state historic tax credit programs, so the transition to the 3rd party certification process of green was like old hat to us.
How many current projects and where?
As of today, we have seven homes under development. Everything weâ€™re doing has to be a certified green project, either through the HBA GBI or USGBCâ€™s LEED. Projects include the two in Dogtown (one of which just made the news for being the first home in the City ever certified green under the HBA GBI guidelines, the other is under contract and going under roof next week), four in Tower Grove South (The Gustine Townhomes are quickly becoming known as the â€œBoulder Housesâ€ among the neighbors for all the landscaping walls â€“ all salvaged limestone and granite taken from the excavation of the site the homes now sit on â€“ howâ€™s that for a recycling effort?), and the show stopper, the Owens Corning sponsored NZEH (near zero energy home) in Creve Coeur. Rick and Mike did interviews for NBC Nightly News on the house when it was featured on the National Association of Homebuilders Green Building Conference Builderâ€™s Tour. To get attention like that you know it has to be truly special home. It features all kinds of great green concepts and products including solar, geothermal, insulated concrete forms, and more. It doesnâ€™t hurt that itâ€™s a great looking house to boot â€“ right out of a story book (thank you designer Jeff Day!).
The “Boulder Houses” on Gustine in Tower Grove South
What’s in store for next year?
I think people are excited about the idea that our houses donâ€™t necessarily look green, but perform green (energy efficient, better for your health, lower maintenance, etc.). These days weâ€™re getting a ton of inquires on our custom builds, so next year will probably have us focused on some exciting custom projects. Weâ€™re also looking at a number of smaller commercial projects. The St. Louis green commercial market is one of the best in the country (technically, itâ€™s been listed as #7), so the hope is that we have something tangible underway within the next twelve months. If any of your readers are looking for green commercial space to lease, they should give us a call asap.
I’m not really sure what my fascination is but I have lately been preoccupied with these recent additions to the St Louis skyline. I think I like the idea of change and growth and the sense of industry and activity that surrounds these.
Which is why I’m still reeling from the “CAVE”man article in the Business Journal. I believe Steve Patterson had is right in his response when he coined Citizens Against Vulgar Environments. I don’t believe the city bloggers are up in arms against virtually everything nor do I think the blogoshphere is necessarily clandestine. Something else contradictory about the article: How can a group so supposedly “misinformed” act so “swiftly?”
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.