Tag - Property

St. Louis County reassessments have residents in shock

St. Louis County reassessments have residents in shock

St. Louis County residents shocked by reassessments

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 19, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) St. Louis residents this week expressed a fear in opening the mail they’ve received regarding their property reassessment. They don’t want to see the latest numbers, most of which have been reported to include a sharp increase since the last assessment. The city sent out the reassessment notices last week, and it’s put a lot of community members into sheer shock.

It would be one thing if St. Louis County residents were used to this kind of change. The problem is that this is the first time everyone, no matter their community, is seeing an increase, to the tune of 7 percent across all real estate properties. It’s something the city hasn’t seen for years. Reassessments come out every odd-numbered year, and the greater region hasn’t seen pricing increases since before the Great Recession back in 2008. For many who haven’t been following along with the read hot real estate trends and transactions in St. Louis, opening that reassessment notice came as a complete shock.

Residents, like Brenda Achenbach, want to know why her assessment shot up dramatically. She has lived in the Tower Grove East Neighborhood since 2005, and recently received her first hiking notice. She claims her assessed value went up by 76 percent. “The real estate market in St. Louis has gotten warmer, and we’ve seen our fair share of that – but 76 percent is outrageous,” claimed Achenbach.

To come to the assessment conclusions, the city claimed it used a “mass appraisal system to value the real estate.” The system uses construction location, condition, and other variables to value a specific property. The city reported that of the 140,000 parcels of land in the county, about 55,000 had an increase in value this year. “We haven’t seen significant increases in 10-years,” said Freddie Dunlap, St. Louis assessor.


Additional resources: St. Louis Association of Realtors


STLRealEstate.News publisher K Amant, LLC

It’s possible to appeal your St. Louis property assessment

It’s possible to appeal your St. Louis property assessment

It is possible to appeal your St. Louis property assessment!  Here’s how!

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 19, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) It’s that time again. Property assessments were mailed out to St. Louis residents early last week, and the response was resounding negativity from people who haven’t seen an increase in their property taxes since before the Great Recession.  Properties on both sides of the river saw the value go up – not just the typical affluent suburbs that have seen increases over the last 10-years.

As the St. Louis CBS Local Radio stated this week, now is the time to do something about the bill.  Those who wait until December to settle it will be without options.  Appeals are possible, but only in a specific timeframe.

“I do get a lot of phone calls in November and December, and taxpayers have received a 15 percent increase and they’re very upset, but unfortunately there’s not much recourse for them unless they recently purchased their property,” says Tad Berry, president of property tax assessment consultants.  Berry went onto state that the assessor hasn’t necessarily been inside every single home, meaning they’re unaware of leaking ceilings, basement cracks, foundation crumbles, and any other costly home degradation.  If residents received a significantly high assessment compared to their last one, the county owes them an in-person inspection.  “If the assessor has inspected your property, they must that by law, if they want to increase your assessment by more than 15 percent,” said Berry.

Berry went onto confirm that the St. Louis county assessor has almost 400-thousand parcels of real estate to “inspect,” and that by trying to value each one of them, mistakes are most certainly bound to happen.  Appeals for property increases under 15 percent probably won’t be considered by the assessor’s office at this time.  However, those with the significant hikes should definitely seek some kind of recourse – it’s free to request an appeal.


STLRealEstate.News publisher K Amant, LLC

US housing starts rebounded in June

Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, Justin Schultz, Ian Cole - US housing starts rebounded in June

US housing starts rebounded in June 2017 as homebuilders ramped up construction

WASHINGTON/July 19, 2017 (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — Home-builders ramped up construction in June to the fastest pace in four months, led by surges in the Northeast and Midwest.

Housing starts climbed 8.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The gain ended three straight monthly declines and marked the strongest pace of building since February. Home construction has risen 3.9 percent year-to-date, but that slight increase has been unable to make up for the decrease in existing homes being listed for sale.

The June housing figures point to healthy demand that new construction alone has been unable to satisfy.

Fewer existing homes are being listed for sale, while purchase prices for newly built homes have surged at pace more than six times wage growth. As a result, more Americans are rushing to purchase homes but are struggling to do so because of a lack of supplies and higher costs.

Builders also face higher costs for land and materials, putting a limit on just how much construction can occur.

“Steady gains in construction are expected over the next year, supported by still-strong fundamental demand for housing,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “But acting as a bit of a roadblock are problems that the builders face: rising lumber costs, and shortages of labor and lots to build on, which will boost pricing.”

So far this year, builders have turned their attention toward single-family houses and away from rental apartments. Starts of single-family houses have risen 7.9 percent, while construction of multi-family buildings has slipped 4.2 percent.

Housing starts jumped a stunning 83.7 percent in the Northeast and 22 percent in the Midwest, growth that is unlikely to be sustained. The government’s home construction report can be volatile on a monthly basis. Sales edged up in the West but declined in the South.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, were up 7.4 percent to 1.25 million.
Construction firms are confident that demand will continue, but they have also begun to temper their expectations.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index fell to 64 in July, the lowest level since November. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

The median price of a new home sold in May rose 16.8 percent from a year ago to a record $345,800. Prices have been increasing as demand has outstripped supply of new homes, in part because of a shortage of available building lots.


By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

St. Louis warehouse gets a new eclectic reboot

St. Louis warehouse gets a new eclectic reboot - STLRealEstate.News

St. Louis warehouse get a new eclectic reboot – STL Real Estate News

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 16, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Twenty years ago this month, a 16-year-old named Nick Akerberg needed to find an abandoned building where we would host an illegal rave for the high school kids at Clayton High School.  Formerly the Missouri Jewelite Sign Co., the building located at 3562 Market Street, at the juncture of Grand Boulevard and Market, stood before him empty and forgotten.  Only approachable from the rear entrance off Bernard Street, it is the most notable fixture beneath the giant neon Anheuser-Busch eagle advertisement and Budweiser sign nearby.  Akerberg ended up hosting his party there, and found himself captivated by the strange structure.

After earning an economics degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spending 10-years working in Las Vegas, Akerberg moved back to St. Louis with his sick wife, Emily.  Following his wife’s death, he wanted to reset and do something completely new.  “I couldn’t believe no one was doing anything with that building,” he said.  “It was just a billboard.  There was graffiti and maybe 50 or so people squatting in the building, but it’s like this great urban island.”

Two years later, Akerberg successfully convinced the building owners to let him launch a business laboratory in the location.  He plans to host a least half a dozen businesses in the space, where he also happens to live today.  A few weeks ago, a new sign appeared on the building, titled Crank, in yellow letters visible from the highway.  That’s his new company name, Crank Tools LLC, which he co-owns with his father.  The company strives to be an innovative gadget company for the guy who wants toys just like James Bond, Akerberg joked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

He has structured the warehouse to look like his very own Bat Cave, which will also function as the distribution center for Crank Tools company.  Today, there are Airbnb’s, fitness centers, art galleries, and other projects on the way for the eclectic building.

St. Louis swimwear line continues to explore non-traditional retail marketing

St. Louis swimwear line continues to explore non-traditional retail marketing

St. Louis swimwear line explores non-traditional retail marketing strategies that many retailers are missing

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 16, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Consumers are looking online for shopping experiences today, and brands that are taking note are soaring past the competition.  Ten years ago this month, Lori Coulter launched her St. Louis-based swimwear collection with a partnership announcement with Macy’s.  The announcement was a huge win for the designer, giving her increased brand exposure and sales.

Today, however, Macy’s and other traditional retail locations aren’t coping well with the new digital economy.  Coulter isn’t going to let that stop her.  She is among the entrepreneur apparel designers deftly bypassing traditional retail outlets.  Direct-to-consumer and e-commerce models are what are resonating with individuals, and Coulter is determined to be part of the shift.  Summersalt, the name of her latest swimwear venture, was founded in conjunction with company “TrueMeasure” technology that included 3-D digital body scanning and made-to-measure swimsuits delivered in four to size weeks.  Meanwhile, swimwear items that have already been designed and posted on the site can be ordered and delivered the next day. Coulter’s ready-to-wear Lori Coulter brand remains online, despite the closing of her body imaging booths.

Her new Summersalt line has more of an athleisure influence that’s sporty and playful, appealing to the masses today.  So far, her sales have been good, as she reported to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  She is presently waiting for more stock to replenish sold-out items from the New York manufacturer producing her line.

Today, she uses the new distribution center that opened in St. Louis, the Quiet Logistics facility in Hazelwood, to handle all of the shipping of merchandise.  Now, she can guarantee overnight delivery, which has become a paramount factor for a lot of consumers today.  Coulter stated it could “not have come at a more perfect time,” and that she looks forward to revolutionizing her business and eCommerce model for reaching as many consumers as possible.

St. Louis factories wait for Trump steel tariff

St. Louis factories wait for Trump steel tariff - STLRealEstate.News

St. Louis factories anxiously await for Trump steel tariff

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 16, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) The United States Steel Corp.’s Granite City Works have been sitting idle for the last 18-months as laid-off workers are pinning their hopes on Donald Trump’s new tariff restrictions for imported steel, which is currently running Americans out of business.  However, just across the Mississippi River, other steel manufacturers worry that these new tariffs and curbs will raise their costs and make it harder to compete with foreign rivals.  The inherent and apparent conflict is at the heart of the debate inside the administration that lobbyists and lawmakers say could delay or weaken any protections recommended by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The reviews findings, which were originally expected by the end of June, could be unveiled at any time in the coming weeks.  For decades, since the end of the Cold War, American companies competing against China, which is flooding the world steel market with access production, have been unable to meet the mark.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the libertarian Cato Institute, steel mills and the steel production factories that now employ more than 140,000 people, compared to the 6.5 million steel-reliant manufacturers ranging from autos and appliances to machinery.  There’s a lot of room for American steel facilities to step up and supply these companies.

In Granite City today, where about 1,200 of the U.S. Steel plant’s 1,800 workers remain laid off despite the recent restart of some rolling mill operations, the feeling is one of optimistic anticipation for a brighter future.  “We’re waiting on the 232 to get us back to work,” said Chris Bragg, who was laid off in November 2015 when steel imports surged and oil prices cratered.  The result was a slashing demand for the mill’s main product, hot-rolled steel for oil and gas drill pipe.  Since then, Bragg has been working in construction from home, hopeful for a brighter future.

Tan-Tar-A-Resort to be rebranded as Margaritaville Hotel

Tan-Tar-A-Resort to be rebranded as Margaritaville Hotel

Tan-Tar-A Resort at Osage Beach will be renamed for re-branding purposes as Margaritaville Hotel

OSAGE BEACH, MO/July 16, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Tan-Tar-A-Resort, a popular Lake of the Ozarks hotel and conference center that has been heavily used and cherished for more than 50-years, this week made a big announcement regarding a multi-million-dollar renovation.  To be re-branded as the Maragaritaville Hotel, the chain of resorts name for singer Jimmy Buffett’s best-selling song, the hotel will be a 500-room Osage Beach resort 185-miles southwest of St. Louis.  The hotel is joining the growing list of Margaritaville hotels located primarily in coastal vacation spots, others located in Key West and the Cayman Islands.

The newly branded name will be made official in March 2019.  The official new name will be Tan-Tar-A, a Margaritaville Resort.  Presently, all 500 staff of the resort are being retrained for what is expected of them under this new chain identity.  New food and beverage employees will be hired for a Margaritaville restaurant and LandShark Bar & Grill that are being added to the premise.

This all comes after the deal that went down this past June 29th when a Miami investment firm Driftwood Acquisitions & Development acquired Tan-Tar-A-Resort from Bethesda, Md.-based CWCapital with joint venture partner Sefira Capital, a Miami-based investment boutique, the companies announced to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this past Thursday.  Included in the announcement shows that Driftwood has a licensing agreement with Margaritaville Holdings, Buffett’s company. Official financial terms of the sale were not disclosed at this time.

Buffett, known as a flip-flop wearing, beer loving performer, has expanded his business empire to include real estate, alcoholic beverages, and restaurants.  The resort will remain open while the property is renovated to incorporate Margaritaville’s “casual-luxe” design elements, stated Driftwood in the official announcement.  He did not go into detail on what kind of specific upgrades individuals can expect.  However, with Margaritaville hotels touting themselves as a laid back atmosphere, guests can expect some relaxation.

St. Louis witnessing a minimum wage decrease

St. Louis witnessing a minimum wage decrease - STLRealEstate.News

Workers in the St. Louis area are witnessing a minimum wage decrease

ST. LOUIS, MO/July 16, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) While other American cities like Seattle are hiking their minimum wage up to $15 per hour, St. Louis is actually witnessing a minimum wage decrease from $10 to $7.80 later this summer.  The state legislature voted to make illegal a citywide minimum wage law that went into effect 10 weeks ago.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch sat down with citywide employers and discovered that they are now poised to cut the wage they raised just 10-weeks ago.  However, some just can’t bring themselves to do it – even the ones who opposed the higher minimum wage chats earlier this year.

The cut is unusual as few ideas poll higher than minimum wage politically today.  The issue has had particular success in state and city legislatures and the voting booth in recent years.  Due to disagreements in the state legislature, however, St. Louis moves forward with establishing a new kind of minimum wage precedent.

One reason why employers may be reluctant to lower wages after such laws are repealed is that humans are what behavioral economist call loss averse – meaning they hate losing something more than they love gaining it.  People are so reactive to losing pay that the chaos and dissatisfaction may not be worth it to employers in the long run.  We can see this effect when looking at wage growth during recessions, which never stops outright even as prices for other things like real estate fall.  Some economists believe that this inability for employers to adjust to a downtown by lowering wages causes high rates of business failure, thereby contributing to the leap in unemployment rates.

It should be interesting to see how this decrease impacts the city in coming months.  For the smart business owners, they will be keen to keep their wage rates right exactly where they are moving forward.

24/7 Wall Street gives residency in St. Louis mixed reviews

24/7 Wall Street gives residency in St. Louis mixed reviews

ST. LOUIS, MO/June 30, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Recently, St. Louis got hit with a pretty negative review from 24/7 Wall Street as a viable contender for a place to live today.  The review left many people wondering how that’s possible given the good schools, the red-hot real estate market, and the downtown revitalization that is well underway.  One of the biggest factors for the harrowing review, 24/7 Wall Street said, is that the city’s population has nearly halved in the past 45-years, leaving an eerie feeling to what was once an industrial giant.

To come up with their ranking, 24/7 Wall Street looked at nine different criteria to rank the worst places to live in America: crime, economy, demography, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure, and leisure.  When breaking down the categories, it’s clear that St. Louis’ crime rates are still concerning enough to bring down the city’s overall ranking.  With the highest violent crime rate of any U.S. city, nearly five times the national rate, it’s still a big issue in the city.  Violent crime in St. Louis increased 4.4 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to St. Louis Metropolitan Police data.  The number of homicides remained the same, however.

Moving onto the economy, though St. Louis’ is undoubtedly rebounding, the city’s poverty rate still hovers close to 25 percent.  Education fairs better for the city, with the number of quality schools increasing in the region, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Additionally, St. Louis scored high with the number of colleges and universities in the city.  With Saint Louis University, Washington University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Maryville University and more, there are plenty of viable higher education opportunities for local residents.

Lastly, the city scored somewhere in the middle with housing as the metropolis continues to undergo a housing revitalization.  Though options are still not incredible, all signs point towards sustainable growth for many years to come.


Source: Independent Freelance Writer, Alexandra R. Fasulo

Millennials are shaping St. Louis’ industrial real estate scene

Millennials are shaping St. Louis’ industrial real estate scene

ST. LOUIS, MO/June 25, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Industrial Real Estate Scene – There are never-ending stories about how millennials are changing commercial real estate design and layout as we know it today.  They’re all about collaboration, open-aired spaces, and big ceilings with lots of light to flood the work-space.  Less talk is occurring regarding their desire to change the industrial real estate market as well.  Three aspects of that market, huge bulk distribution centers, the bread-and-butter office-warehouse sector, and obsolete manufacturing/warehouse buildings, are changing quickly because of millennial interest, especially in St. Louis and the Twin Cities region.

One reason this change is flying under the radar is because industrial real estate isn’t as visible as high-profile corporate offices or snazzy new apartments with unique fixtures.  However, industrial real estate is perhaps the most telling for where an economy is headed in the future.

Probably the most major way millennials are influencing industrial real estate is through the eCommerce explosion.  With their buying power on full display, eCommerce has exploded, and the supply chain for delivering goods purchased over the Internet has created the need for much larger bulk distribution warehouses than we have ever seen in the past.  The first St. Louis example is the build out of Amazon warehouses on the outskirts of the city.  These distribution centers will enable massive shipping capabilities with even the incorporation of same-day delivery options.

“Thanks to eCommerce, your brick-and-mortar retailers are going out of business, and in their place these huge distribution warehouses are popping up,” said Chris Garcia, a principal with St. Louis Park-based commercial real estate brokers Lee & Associates and an expert on the industrial market.  He provided the quote to the StarTribune. “Basically, say goodbye to Macy’s and say hello to a box in a cornfield.”

Additionally, millennials want these warehouses to be close to urban cores with open-air collaborative elements and something that makes the place “cool” to be in.