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Four St. Louis companies awarded preliminary TIF funding

TIF funding

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 2, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Projects amounting to $383 million won preliminary Tax Increment Financing Commission from the city of St. Louis this past week.  Four St. Louis-area real estate developments that are combined seeking more than $50 million in public financing to help construct the projects proposed earlier this year were the lucky winners.

The projects include the $83 million rehab of the Armory, a $170 million mixed-use project in the Cortex innovation district, a $104 million rehab of the Jefferson Arms building, and a $26 million project in the Delmar Loop.  But, before each of the projects can be finished, they must first be approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

For the Armory project, Green Street’s redevelopment is expected to include mixed-use space, including a health spa, restaurant and bar, offices, and other types of developments said a document provided by the city of St. Louis.  Green Street is also planning to utilize a Community Improvement District, Transportation Development District, and full real estate tax abatement.

The Aloft boutique plan, proposed by Cortex, calls for the innovation district’s very first hotel and new residential apartment development with more than 200 studio, one and two bedroom units. Construction is planned for the beginning of 2018, sources report.

Four developers are working on the projects, including Boston-based CV Properties, Baltimore-based Wexford Science and technology; Florida-based Structured Parking Solutions, and Chicago-based Silliman Group.

None of this is news to the city of St. Louis as the major developers have previously submitted their planning intentions to be considered for the TIF funding.  Though they are almost to the finish line, they do require St. Louis board certification and approval before the massive construction plans can take off.

As we speak, Alterra International, a Dallas-based developer with the Jefferson Arms building under contract, is working on the historic downtown building rehab.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo

Long-term US mortgage rates steady; 30-year at 4.19 percent

mortgage rates fall - US mortgage rates

US mortgage rates hold steady with 30-year mortgage rates at 4.19%

ST LOUIS, MO/February 2, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Long-term US mortgage rates barely budged this week, after marking their first increase of the year last week.

Current avg Last week 52-week high 52-week low
30-year fixed – 4.19 percent – 4.19 percent – 4.32 percent – 3.41 percent
15-year fixed – 3.41 percent – 3.40 percent – 3.55 percent – 2.72 percent
5-year adjustable – 3.23 percent – 3.20 percent – 3.33 percent – 2.68 percent


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Published under a license agreement between K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News and the Associated Press (AP)

STLRealEstate.News publisher – K Amant

US home prices rise 5.3 pct. amid solid demand, tight supply

US home prices

US home prices rise

WASHINGTON/February 1, 2017 (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — US home prices marched steadily higher in November, pushed up by healthy demand for homes and a shrinking supply of available properties.

The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home index, released Tuesday , rose 5.3 percent, slightly faster than October’s gain of 5.1 percent.

So far, home sales have remained healthy even as mortgage rates have risen, suggesting homebuyers are trying to lock down purchases before rates increase further. Americans bought existing homes at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in November. Yet the number of homes for sale has fallen to a 17-year low, fueling bidding wars in many cities.

Prices in Seattle jumped 10.4 percent in November from a year earlier, the biggest gain among the 20 cities tracked by the index. Portland followed with a 10.1 percent gain. Denver reported an 8.7 percent increase.

The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The November figures are the latest available.

Svenja Gudell, chief economist at housing data provider Zillow, said some relief from higher prices may be on the horizon. Rising mortgage rates and a leveling off of rents in many cities could cool demand for homes in the coming months, potentially slowing price gains.

The flattening of rents could also encourage developers to build more single-family homes rather than apartment buildings, which would provide more choices to potential buyers.

“These emerging trends could start impacting the market in time for the busy spring and summer home shopping season, and bear watching,” Gudell said.

Sales of both new and existing homes slipped in December after posting solid gains in November. But the number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes climbed last month, a sign that sales may soon increase. A signed contract is usually followed a month or two later by a closed sale.

Steady job growth and modest wage gains have helped fuel a rebound in home sales and prices following the housing bust that began in late 2006. Home prices nationwide began to rebound in 2012 and by some measures fully recovered to their pre-recession levels in September.

Low mortgage rates have been critical to the recovery. The average 30-year fixed mortgage fell below 4.5 percent in 2011 and averaged just 3.65 percent for all of last year. They have risen since the election as investors have pushed up interest rates on expectations of faster growth.

The 30-year fixed averaged 4.19 percent last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said, up from 4.09 percent the week before.



St. Louis median home price rose 4 percent in 2016

St. Louis median home price

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 1, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) St. Louis median home price – Realtors and residents may have scoffed skeptically when experts predicted that St. Louis would be one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets in 2016, but no one’s laughing anymore: homeowners did their laughing straight to the bank, as homes flew off the market in a fraction of the 2015 time.  The area’s median home prices rose four percent in 2016, from $160,000 to $167,000, despite the total number of sales being up 8 percent.  Additionally, the number of days on the market in St. Louis dropped from 103 to just 86.  The months of inventory for the year dropped from 4.3 to 3.9. Wow.

That’s all according to St. Louis REALTORS, which predicted this upward tick throughout the past year. The site commented, “We have been watching our housing market meet and exceed all economic predictions for the past twelve months,” said the group’s president, Barry Upchurch.  “We all heard and appreciated what chief economist Jonathan Smoke was saying about our area in February 2016.  His prediction for the year was spot on.  Now, we have the data to finally back it up.”

The trend shows no signs of slowing either.  The media sale price in December was up six percent from the previous year.  This sustainability means the prices are only going to keep rising, especially with the lack of sellable inventory.  Real estate agents’ groups believe the numbers suggest healthy growth, not an unsustainable bubble like in past years.

“Throughout the year we have experienced consistent price appreciation,” said CEO John Gormley.  “It has not been a real estate roller coaster – instead, what we have seen in St. Louis are the economic indicators that you look for in a healthy, affordable housing market including a steady incline in sales and a decreased time on market.”

It’s all great news for the residents of St. Louis.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo

Developer buys Railway Exchange Building in downtown St. Louis

Railway Exchange Building

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 1, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Railway Exchange Building – Downtown St. Louis had a bit of real estate activity this past week with the official announcement of a Florida-based developer completing a purchase of the century-old Railway Exchange Building.  After the purchase, the new owner, Hudson Holdings of Delray Beach in Florida, paid just above $20 million for the building that occupies an entire block in the middle of downtown.  When asked about the transaction, Hudson Holdings did not respond to request for comments about its plans.  The company put the building under contract last spring.

Sources are still speculating what the firm is up to, and think that redevelopment would include a mixture of residences, stores, and perhaps even a hotel.  The building comes with lofty history, having been constructed in 1914.  It has 21 floors and 1.2 million square feet of space.  It was formerly the headquarters of the May Department Stores Co. and downtown’s Macy’s Store location.

Macy’s moved out of the building when it closed in 2013.  Since its closure, the building at 601 Olive Street has been vacant.  The property includes the parking garage connected to the Railway Exchange by a fourth-floor sky-walk over Olive Street.

Recently updated on the Hudson Holdings website, the company emphasizes the “downtown historic adaptive re-use” of the location and sees potential in the older, transformational assets.  The real estate firm is no stranger to historic renovations, having projects that include the nearly century-old Huntington Building in downtown Cleveland, the Textile Building in Cincinnati, and the Mark Twain Building in downtown Kansas City.

When Macy’s downtown St. Louis closed, it occupied the Railway Exchange’s three lower floors, less than a third of the space the Famous-Barr store previously filled.

Stay tuned for information and details on what the development company plans to new with the new-found historical and strategically located acquisition.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Picture courtesy of Preservation Research Office

2016 ends on a high note for St. Louis

Mortgage rates - St. Louis, MO

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 1, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Though it wasn’t the second hottest market in the nation as one expert had predicted at the start of the year, it was one hot year for local real estate, specifically in the St. Louis region.  The year ended with closings up 7 percent, and prices up a modest 3.3 percent. Homes sold 11 percent faster than in 2015, and the overall vitality of the market is looking strong heading into 2017.

The president of Coldwell Banker Gundaker, Jim Dohr, says a lot of things came together at the right time to make a real estate year to remember.  “You couple increasing jobs and a little better local economy with very low interest rates and affordability – that’s an extremely profitable recipe for a very good housing market.”

Dohr went onto say as 2017 gets underway, the supply of homes on the market in St. Louis is the lowest it’s been in the last decade.  But, despite the tiny supply, he expects prices to increase only modestly this year.  “I read an article last week which said the Midwest is the new frontier in real estate, especially for millennials because of its affordability.  We’re just in the very unique spot here where prices are modest – and that is a great thing moving forward.”

Dohr ended by stating that if anyone is considering selling their home and moving out or around St. Louis, now is the time to do it.  With supply low and demand high, anyone intent on selling a home is going to get the best bang for their buck, and witness their property on the market for a very short amount of time if they list it now.

All in all, it was a great year for St. Louis, and as millennials pour into the city, it only means good things for the local economy.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo

St. Louis in 10 top rising American cities

10 top rising American cities

ST LOUIS, MO/January 27, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Years in review are still coming in as we near the third week of January, and St. Louis was bestowed another title regarding real estate, city growth, and city promise for millions of millennials and individuals in search of an affordable metropolis.  In most American “it” cities today, urban living and home-ownership seem mutually exclusive and downright near financially impossible, especially in New York City and Los Angeles.  Earlier this month, real estate lifestyle magazine Curbed announced to the world that having the best of both worlds is possible – and it’s possible most of all in a city like St. Louis.

Curbed officially put St. Louis in its top 10 rising American cities where home ownership is affordable for the year ahead.  The article selected its cities by looking at affordability, walk-ability through the city, public transportation, and urban amenities without making a 7-figure salary.  To come to this conclusion, Curbed sourced information from experts at Urban Land Institute, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, American Planning Association, and  They then took the data and weighed it against factors such as job growth, home value, and millennial population growth to find cities that fit the bill.  Additionally, Curbed put special emphasis on the “overlooked” cities like St. Louis, nixing Pittsburgh, Austin, and Nashville from their final listing.

Having found a 13 percent millennial population growth, 7 percent sales prices appreciation year-over-year, $179,000 median home price and a popular of 315,685, St. Louis made the Curbed cut.  A spokesperson from Curbed stated, “The Gateway to the West has traditionally had a low profile, but its fortunes look increasingly brighter these days, with a billion-dollar construction boom, including new work around the Ballpark Village Development, and a fast-growing startup scene.”

Cities that joined St. Louis include Colorado Springs, Indianapolis, Provo, and San Antonio.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Picture courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism

Existing US home fell in December as supplies at 17-year low

US home fell

WASHINGTON/January 25, 2017 (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — Americans retreated from purchasing homes in December, as the number of properties listed for sale sank to its lowest level since 1999.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million.  For all of 2016, sales posted an annual gain of 3.8 percent to 5.45 million.

But the housing market has become trapped by a supply shortage that has pushed prices higher and may limit the potential for additional sales growth.  Home-buyers simply have fewer choices, as new construction has yet to meet demand and existing homeowners have been reluctant to list their properties for sale.

“Home buying is likely to face additional headwinds going forward, which include low inventory levels, rebounding prices and higher mortgage rates,” said Admir Kolaj, an analyst at TD Bank, who added that these factors are unlikely to “completely derail” the housing market.

Just 1.65 million homes were listed for sale in December.  This marks a 6.3 percent drop from a year ago to the smallest total since 1999.

The tight supplies pushed the median sales price to $232,200 last month, up 4 percent from a year ago.

Homebuyers were able to manage the rising sales prices in part because of low mortgage rates in 2016, but those rates have climbed upward and settled above 4 percent since Donald Trump’s presidential victory.  The financial markets expect that Trump will try to stimulate economic growth through deficit spending, which caused the rates to rise on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note and mortgages.

The Realtors estimate that rising mortgage rates in recent months increased the typical monthly payment by $75, or $900 a year.

It’s possible that rising mortgage rates are causing more people to buy homes earlier than they otherwise would in hopes of locking in lower monthly payments.

“When that activity dies down, we’re not sure where the next wave of buyers is coming from,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said last week that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.09 percent from 4.12 percent.  That was dramatically higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971.

In December, sales fell in the Northeast, Midwest and West, while staying unchanged in the South, according to the Realtors.


JOSH BOAK, AP Economics


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Latest: Senate panel approves Ben Carson for HUD job

Ben Carson

Ben Carson, Hud job

WASHINGTON/January 25, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) Ben Carson — The Latest on activities in Congress (all times EST):

11:10 a.m.

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has unanimously approved President Donald Trump’s nominee for housing secretary, Ben Carson.

The former Republican presidential candidate and celebrated neurosurgeon would lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a sprawling agency with 8,300 employees and a budget of about $47 billion. His nomination now heads to the full Senate.

Committee Chairman Michael Crapo of Idaho praised Carson and his impressive career, saying HUD “will benefit from having a secretary with a different perspective and a diverse background.”

Ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown said he had some reservations but welcomed Carson’s promises to address lead hazards in public housing.

11:10 a.m.

Former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon is emphasizing her experience in building a business from scratch as she seeks to become the next administrator of the Small Business Administration.

McMahon says in a confirmation hearing Tuesday that she and her husband started out sharing a desk and went on to build a company with more than 800 employees.

She also notes that she and her husband once declared bankruptcy and lost their home, saying “I know what it’s like to take a hit.”

McMahon resigned from WWE in 2009 before running unsuccessfully on two occasions for the U.S. Senate.

She spent about $100 million of her own money in those races and was a big contributor to political action committees seeking to help Donald Trump in November’s election.


11:00 a.m.

President Donald Trump has invited the Senate leadership to the White House to discuss the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

That’s the word from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday that he, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the leaders of the Judiciary Committee would meet with Trump on Tuesday afternoon.

The court has had one vacancy since last February when Justice Antonin Scalia died. McConnell and Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.


10:55 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says President Donald Trump’s nominee for budget director should be disqualified because he failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household worker more than a decade ago.

Sanders, an independent from Vermont, is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. The committee held a confirmation hearing Tuesday on Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina.

Sanders noted that Mulvaney voted for a bill in 2015 that would disqualify people with serious tax delinquencies from being federal employees.

Mulvaney said he discovered the unpaid taxes while preparing for the nominating process. He has since paid the taxes.

Unpaid taxes have derailed some previous Cabinet picks, but others were confirmed anyway. Mulvaney’s tax problem is unlikely to derail his nomination if Republicans remain united behind him.


10:50 a.m.

A Senate panel has easily approved the nomination of Elaine Chao to lead the Transportation Department.

Chao was labor secretary in President George W. Bush’s administration and deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush. She is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and was known to many senators before President Donald Trump tapped her for his Cabinet.

Chao told senators during a hearing on her nomination this month that she hopes to “unleash the potential” of private investors to boost infrastructure spending.

She is expected to play a major role in Trump’s effort to fulfill his campaign promise to generate $1 trillion in infrastructure investment. The administration is expected to release its infrastructure plan this spring.


10:45 a.m.

A Senate panel has approved President Donald Trump’s choice of conservative billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.

Ross has specialized in buying distressed companies that still have a potential for delivering profits. He has known Trump for more than 20 years, was an early supporter of his presidential campaign and an economic policy adviser to Trump’s team.

The Senate commerce committee approved his nomination by a voice vote. The full Senate must still vote on the nomination.

Ross has been a critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which he blames for a loss of U.S. jobs. He has also accused China of protectionist policies.


10:35 a.m.

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee has forced a one-week delay in the committee vote on attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein says one reason she asked for the delay until Jan. 31 is because of women who marched in Washington and other locations on Saturday. Feinstein said the women want equal rights and pay, rights for workers and protections for the environment.

“It is these principles, these values that the attorney general must defend,” Feinstein said at a committee meeting Tuesday.

She said “we owe it to” those women to be careful in considering the nomination.

Feinstein said the committee received 188 pages of new material Sunday that need to be reviewed. Committee rules allow any member of the committee to delay a vote.


10:20 a.m.

Breaking with President Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan says he has seen no evidence that 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally voted last November and cost the Republican the popular vote.

Ryan told reporters on Tuesday: “I’ve already commented on that I’ve seen no evidence to that effect.”

His comments came hours after Trump incorrectly claimed at a White House reception with congressional leaders, including Ryan, that he lost the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton because of the vote by those here illegally.

That’s according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.

Another Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, said Trump needs to move on. “The election is over,” Dent said, and Trump “won fair and square.” Trump needs to “get to the serious business of governing,” Dent said.


10:05 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he has invited President Donald Trump to address a Joint Session of Congress on Feb. 28.

Ryan announced the invitation on Tuesday, informing reporters after a meeting with House Republicans. Ryan had met with Trump Monday night at the White House. Trump also met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on Monday.

Trump was sworn in as the 45th president on Friday. It would be his first speech to Congress.


10 a.m.

Congressional analysts are projecting that President Donald Trump has inherited a stable economy and a government that is on track to run a $559 billion budget deficit for the ongoing budget year.

The new estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also say the economy will hold relatively steady. Economic growth is projected to rise slightly to 2.3 percent this year and unemployment to average less than 5 percent for the duration of Trump’s term.

The latest CBO figures are in line with previous projections. They come as Trump and Republicans controlling Congress are working to repeal much of former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, boost the Pentagon budget, and reform the loophole cluttered tax code.

Balancing the budget would require cuts to domestic agencies and big health programs like Medicare


Picture courtesy of ThinkProgress


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Business Highlights – STLRealEstate.News

Business Highlights

Business Highlights


How a Trump tariff could sideswipe US auto industry

DETROIT (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — The threat from President Donald Trump to tax Mexican-made cars sold in the U.S. would throw the auto industry into disarray, analysts say. And it would force some uncomfortable choices: raise car prices or swallow the cost, stop selling Mexican-made cars in the U.S. but risk losing customers or move production to the U.S. but make less money.

Trump hosted a breakfast meeting early Tuesday with the heads of General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. But prior to the meeting, Trump tweeted that he wants “new plants to be built here for cars sold here”.


UK government loses Brexit case, must consult Parliament

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Prime Minister Theresa May must get legislative approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, raising the possibility that lawmakers will delay her plans.

The decision forces the government to put a bill before Parliament, giving members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords the chance to debate and potentially offer amendments that could soften the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU, known as Brexit.

While the ruling won’t scuttle Britain’s departure, it once again highlights uncertainty about the timetable.


Materials, financials help lift S&P 500, Nasdaq to new highs

U.S. stocks posted solid gains Tuesday, propelling the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Nasdaq composite to all-time highs.

Mining and other materials sector companies rose more than the rest of the market. The sector could benefit from initiatives by the White House to streamline the permitting process for manufacturing and clear the way for pipeline construction.

Financial stocks also rose sharply. Energy companies climbed as crude oil prices closed higher. The rally also swept up stocks in U.S. homebuilders.

Health care, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks were among the biggest laggards as bond yields rose.


Existing US home sales fell in December as supplies at 17-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from purchasing homes in December, as the number of properties listed for sale sank to its lowest level since 1999.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million. For all of 2016, sales posted an annual gain of 3.8 percent to 5.45 million.

But the housing market has become trapped by a supply shortage that has pushed prices higher and may limit the potential for additional sales growth.


Johnson & Johnson cautious in outlook, shops diabetes care

Johnson & Johnson edged above fourth-quarter profit expectations, helped by consumer goods and pharmaceutical growth, but the world’s biggest health care products company also gave Wall Street a softer-than-expected 2017 earnings forecast.

The maker of Band-Aids and prescription drugs also said Tuesday it was taking another step in restructuring its medical device segment by shopping its diabetes care businesses.

Johnson & Johnson said it is seeking a possible sale, joint venture or operating partnerships for LifeScan Inc., Animas Corp. and Calibra Medical Inc. to spark future growth and maximize shareholder value.


Amazon moves to avoid EU fines over publishing contracts

BRUSSELS (AP) — Amazon has agreed to change parts of its e-book contracts with publishers in an effort to avoid European Union fines for anti-competitive behavior.

The European Commission said Tuesday that the online giant has committed not to enforce any contract clause that might force publishers to offer Amazon similar terms and conditions as those offered to competitors.

Publishers can also terminate e-book contracts that contain a certain clause linking discount possibilities for an e-book to the retail price of it on another platform.

The commitment would apply for five years to agreements reached in Europe.


Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact

SYDNEY (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as promised, is prompting other member countries to seek ways to salvage the trade pact.

Leaders of some of the 11 other nations involved in the initiative said they hope to push ahead with the agreement in some form, with or without the U.S.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday he had discussed the pact’s future recently with the prime ministers of Japan, Singapore and New Zealand, all TPP members, and believed the pact could survive without the U.S.


Eurozone economy starts 2017 with steady growth

LONDON (AP) — A survey shows that the economy of the 19-country eurozone began 2017 with relatively strong growth.

The so-called purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, edged down to 54.3 points in January from the previous month’s 54.4, which was the highest level since mid-2011.

The survey, published Tuesday by IHS Markit, showed exports doing well and employment enjoying its biggest monthly rise since February 2008. Prices were also shown to be on the rise, largely due to higher commodity prices.


Philadelphia bars employers from requesting salary history

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia has banned employers from asking potential hires to provide their salary history, a move supporters say is a step toward closing the wage gap between men and women.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney signed the measure Monday and said he’s confident the bill can withstand legal challenges.

Supporters contend that since women have historically been paid less than men, the practice of asking for a salary history can help perpetuate a cycle of lower salaries for women, continuing throughout their careers. Opponents, including cable giant Comcast, say the law goes too far in dictating how employers can interact with potential workers.


Financial Markets

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 112.86 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,912.71. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 14.87 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,280.07. The Nasdaq composite picked up 48.01 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,600.96.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 43 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $53.18 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $55.44 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose a penny to $1.58 a gallon, while heating oil added 2 cents to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ex-Easton man admits defrauding homeowners in foreclosure

defrauding homeowners

HARTFORD, Conn./January 25, 2017 (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) Defrauding Homeowners — A former Easton man has admitting he and his associates bilked homeowners facing foreclosure out of thousands of dollars by falsely promising to buy their homes and pay off their mortgages.

Timothy Burke pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to mail fraud and tax evasion.  The 65-year-old Burke faces up to 25 years in prison at his sentencing in April.

Prosecutors say Burke and attorney Bradford Barneys assumed control of the homes and rented them out to tenants.  Many of the properties Burke supposedly bought were ultimately foreclosed upon by the mortgage lender.

Authorities say Burke used more than a dozen aliases — including Pat Riley and Jim Caldwell — to conceal his identity.

Barneys has pleaded not guilty to his role the scheme.


Picture courtesy of


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis Realtors report strong 2016 for St. Louis real estate

St. Louis Realtors Report

ST LOUIS, MO/January 25, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) St. Louis Realtors Report – Close to a month after ringing in 2017, the numbers are starting to come together for making official conclusions about 2016 and how real estate numbers faired in St. Louis.  Though experts could tell it was a good year for real estate, with the house supply simply not keeping up with demand, the numbers are confirming what everyone was speculating all along.  Nearly a year ago, figures predicted a strong St. Louis housing market year, and they were correct.  Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at, said in February 2016 that St. Louis would be among the top U.S. home-buying markets in 2016.  It showed.

According to Mid America Regional Information Systems data cited Thursday by St. Louis Realtors, home sales in St. Louis city and county as a whole were up 9 percent from 2015.  Sales last year were 19,082 compared with the 17,738 in 2015.  The MARIS data also depicted that the year-over-year median sales price rose 4 percent, to $167,000.  Days on the market fell to 86 from what was previously 103, and the active listings dipped 1 percent, to 30,300.  Overall, the house inventory declined to 3.9 months from 4.3 months.

In December, the media sales price was $165,000 compared to $155,000 last year, up 6 percent.  Lastly, active listings were down to only 9 percent, to 5,594, compared with 6,159 in December 2015.

What should all of this mean for St. Louis home-buyers or sellers?  It means the trend is poised to continue far into 2017 and 2018.  The strong trajectory of the days on market and average home listing price have been building since 2015, establishing a supportive base that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.  As construction companies struggle to meet the home demand, some of their finished products will be available in 2017 for purchase.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More jobs coming to Bridgeton

Bridgeton to get new jobs

BRIDGETON, MO/January 25, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Charter Communications, Inc., a nationally based provider of cable television, internet access, data networking, telephone, video, and music entertainment services to the greater city region, this week announced they plan to hire 75 new customer relations coordinators for its Bridgeton Customer Care Center this year.  The expansion adds to Charter’s recent expansive movements, having moved its corporate headquarters from Town and Country to Stamford, Connecticut back in 2012.

Since the corporate move, Charter officials have announced that the company has invested more than $60 million in local building improvements and has nearly doubled its real estate footprint while adding the jobs.

After the expansion and this week’s announcement, Charter’s total local headcount stands at more than 4,000, mostly customer service representatives, reported the company.  They are looking to strengthen and expand their foothold in the St. Louis area, which is why they established the Call Center in a faction of St. Louis.

In order to support this recent wave of hiring, Charter hosted a job fair this past week at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, 191 Westport Plaza.  Plenty of people showed up to toss their hats in the ring for the upcoming wave of hiring to fill that 75-person Call Center requirement.

Charter invested $16 million in its new customer operations center in the former Northwest Plaza Shopping Center in St. Ann.  The entity is feeling hopeful about the hiring and expansion, and is hoping the Call Center will provide greater access to their services and various electronics and communications oversight put on by the operation.

To date, Charter has 17 local offices, all in St. Louis County, and has “continued expansion plans and employee growth now and will continue to do so,” said a spokesman from Charter.

Stay tuned with our site for more updates regarding the official hiring of the 75 new employees.


Alexandra R. Fasulo


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ellisville auto dealership building occupied – Pro-Tech Collision Center

Pro-Tech Collision Center

Pro-Tech Collision Center now in Ellisville

ELLISVILLE, MO/January 22, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) A large building in Ellisville once occupied by a Mercedes Benz dealership that relocated inside the city is now occupied by Pro-Tech Collision Center (PTCC).

According to their website, PTCC has another location in Pacific, MO at 122 North Street.

Pro-Tech is certified Mercedes Benz, Bently, Audi and Porsche with more than 75 years experience specializing in European auto body repair.  PTCC duplicates factory finishes using Standox paint products.

Much of Pro-Tech’s business is referred from high-end dealerships, however, they perform work for individuals as well.

You can’t miss the building as it sets on the north side of Manchester Road approximately one mile west of the QT.

Two locations:

Pro-Tech Collision Center

16360 Truman Rd

Ellisville, MO 63011

Phone: 636-422-1234


Pro-Tech Collision Center

122 North Street

Pacific, MO 63069

Phone: 636-271-6095


Picture courtesy of St. Louis Media, LLC


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Hilton St. Louis-Frontenac Hotel & Shopping Center Deal Goes Through

Hilton St. Louis-Frontenac

B F Enterprises Reaches an Agreement with Chicago Developer – Hilton St. Louis-Frontenac Hotel & Shopping Center

FRONTENAC, MO/January 22, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) It’s finally for certain.  Bucksbaum Retail Properties LLC, a fully integrated owner and developer of retail real estate out of Chicago has reached a deal to buy The Hilton St. Louis-Frontenac Hotel, Frontenac shopping center and adjacent bank properties.  Rumors began back in July of 2013 that the 263 room Frontenac Hilton Hotel at Highway 40 and Lindbergh Blvd, Plaza Frontenac and The Village were being shopped by the Brodsky family ownership group.

Property owner B F Enterprises, controlled by the Brodsky family of St. Louis, recently reached an agreement.  Family Patriarch, Saul Brodsky, who passed away in 2002, built the hotel in two phases with construction of the Lindbergh Blvd. buildings in 1974 and the Clayton Rd.  Le Chateau Village addition in 1984.

When Brodsky parted ways with Breckenridge, the hotel then briefly functioned as the Frontenac Grand, until 1993, when the family reached an agreement with Hilton Worldwide.  It has operated as the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac Hotel ever since.

The facility features 23,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and includes 17 event rooms and a business center.  The hotel’s 10,260 sq. ft. Ambassador Ballroom is able to accommodate 1,000 guests.  The Frontenac Hilton is also comprised of two restaurants, a fitness center, a sauna, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Le Chateau Village is a mixed-use development adjacent to the hotel and includes offices, retail spaces, a health club, a restaurant, a catering company, and a beauty salon.  Additionally the Brodsky’s own the buildings surrounding Le Chateau Village which are occupied by Triad Bank, Reliance Bank, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

St. Louis County records show that together, the properties are appraised at a value of $31.95 million.  No word yet on how much Bucksbaum Retail Properties LLC bought the properties for or exactly what they plan to do with them.

Hilton St. Louis Frontenac
1335 S Lindbergh Blvd, Frontenac
St. Louis, MO 63131


Picture courtesy of TripAdvisor


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.