A changing downtown

The skyway to nowhere was torn down over the weekend.  The skyway once connected Dayton’s to the Wabasha court building which was demolished in 02. Sometimes progress is slow. The Dayton’s building, which was vacated by Marshall’s several years ago, will be converted into this parking, retail skating rink thing that I am not sure I understand but it sounds better than vacant with a skyway to know where connected to it downtown.

West publishing demolition
West publishing demolition

The West publishing demolition has been slow and will forever change the river bluff and the views from the river. The demolition is supposed to be complete in the next few months. Work will continue to stabilize the bluff.

I wonder what the bluff will look like ten years from now?

Living and parking downtown

Greenline

It seems like most of the Realtors who show my listings downtown these days have little or no experience with the downtown neighborhoods and not much experience with condos either.

There are a few downtown condo buildings that do not provide parking. In most cases there isn’t any way for the condo owner to sell parking to a buyer if the seller doesn’t own it. Sometimes real estate agents will tell buyers about nearby parking lots without bothering to verify if there is parking available in those lots or ramps.

If you are buying a downtown condo you will need to do a little research. If parking is included with the condo the condo documents will state which space it is or if the space isn’t assigned where the parking is.

If parking isn’t included it is up to the buyer to figure out where to park.  Here are three web sites that currently, as of January 2017, have information about parking and contact information for lot and ramp managers or owners:

http://www.uniondepot.org/about/parking/

http://www.bestparking.com/st-paul-parking/monthly-parking/

http://saintpaulparking.com/

Condo owners who are selling their units should never promise parking unless they have some kind of a contract that is transferable to a buyer.

As someone who has an office downtown and who goes downtown often I can say that there is plenty of parking. However sometimes it is half a block away or even a block away from my destination. For some people that would be a real hardship and for others it is not.

There are housing opportunities all over the city that do not include parking of any kind which is why there are cars parked on the streets.

Dances with pigeons

Marcie in rice park

I was downtown yesterday and took this shot of Marcie in Rice park. You can see a man to the right in the photo. He was chasing pigeons. I see this type of behavior all the time in Rice Park and along 7th place.

St. Paul pigeons are oh so tame and very well fed too. If you like pigeons and statues then downtown St. Paul is the place for you.

How many showings until you get an offer?

number of showings

This is a question you can ask your Realtor if your home is on the market. How many showings on average before a home gets an offer. What got me thinking about it is that over the weekend one of my clients made an offer on a condo the first day that it was on the market. The unit got very few if any showings.

Since only one person can buy the home it is a matter of having the right people stop by and take a tour. In St. Paul right now it will take about 8 showings to sell a house and about 6 to sell a downtown condo.

Downtown Bike path

Jackson Street - Downtown St. Paul

I have not had the opportunity to use it yet but the beginning of the Capital City Bikeway on Jackson Street in downtown St. Paul. Downtown biking is difficult but slightly safer than walking. For some reason when people ride their bikes on the sidewalk, which is against the law in St. Paul commercial districts, they don’t even call out so we know they are there going to pass.

 

Downtown St. Paul Condos

River Park Lofts at 406 Wacouta

The downtown St. Paul condo market is very unique. There are many real estate professionals in the metro area who not only have no experience with downtown St. Paul, they have a hard time finding the buildings. Experience selling condos is useful too.

While working with a buyer last week I found two agents who have condos listed downtown who knew little about the buildings and I believe that is why the their listings were priced incorrectly, and they were missing information about the units in the listings and of course could not answer questions.

In one case the agents worked as a team so that an offer on the unit was ignored by more than one agent. These agents are all very good at getting clients to list with them. That is their super power. Getting a listing and doing a good job selling a downtown condo are totally unrelated.

There are agents who work downtown who seem to kind of take over in various buildings with many condos for sale in the same building. That can also lead to problems with dual agency and pitting one seller against another as one agent represents several sellers.  These agents commonly charge higher commissions and extract larger fees from their clients too.

I can usually tell right away if the listing agent has no experience in the downtown market and if I am representing a buyer I take advantage of the situation if it helps my client.