Grove Real Estate Hits a New High with $750K Home Sale

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In December of last year when we learned a new $500K home would be built in the city’s Forest Park Southeast (The Grove) neighborhood, it was a new high-water mark that seemed sure to last years if not longer. Yet, before that project begins, we’ve learned that a past UIC home has sold for $750K without hitting the market.

The custom home at 4224 Gibson Avenue was designed and constructed by UIC and completed in 2012. Total cost at that time once fully outfitted, neared the half-million dollar mark. The most optimistic of observers saw the project as a custom private homestead, a place that didn’t have to make sense with dollars and cents. Now, the home has sold for a price that better fits Clayton.

In fact, one can buy a 2,900sf-4bd-3ba home in Clayton for $724,900 today, or a 2,600sf-3bd-2.5ba home for $599,000. The home on Gibson Avenue may not be for everyone, but in a region of micro-markets, The Grove has clearly become hot. Its success is partly due to location, adjacent to a burgeoning medical center with more than 15,000 employees already, and the adjacent Cortex district, which is truly just getting started. The big blue box a half mile away will lead another level of change in the near future.

The big trends may be leading the way, but The Grove is also succeeding due to the many smaller long term investments, including the Atomic Cowboy, Urban Chestnut Brewery, St. Louis Language Immersion School, Kaldi’s Coffee, SPACE Architects, Sweetie Pie’s, and numerous projects by Guy Slay (Mangrove Development), Amy and Amrit Gill (Restoration St. Louis), and Austin Barzantny (Grove Properties), and many, many other businesses and individuals. The $85M Chouteau’s Grove project is set to introduce an eight-story, 300-unit apartment building, as well as 78K sf of retail, including a full size grocer. UIC recently introduced its Avant Grove contemporary single family infill project across Gibson from is earlier custom home. And four developers just received support from the neighborhood to build a mix of contemporary and faux historic homes on city-owned vacant lots.

A large portion of the neighborhood is designated as a National Register of Historic Places district, but that designation carries no building restrictions, such as can be found in Local Historic Preservation Districts. The designation does mean that select projects are eligible for historic tax credits. The lack of restrictions has produced some terrible looking infill, but may allow for more forward design as well.


{aerial renderings of project – 4224-4230 Gibson Avenue}


{the City-owned LRA lots prior to construction – 4224-4230 Gibson Avenue}


{first level floor plan – 4224-4230 Gibson Avenue}


{second level floor plan – 4224-4230 Gibson Avenue}

{this $500K Hunt Avenue custom home by UIC will be a first south of Manchester in The Grove}

In old McRee Town across Vandeventer Avenue to the south of The Grove, UIC has been playing city-builder. Anyone familiar with this area less than a decade ago would have bet, and lost heavily, against its resurgence. Now titled Botanical Grove, this is where one finds a public Montessori school with a waitlist double its capacity, a french patisserie, a wine bar and restaurant with white linen, gourmet fried chicken, and other shops. New homes here, by UIC, have sold for upwards of $300K. The Grove south of Manchester may well be primed for a similar transformation.

Untitled{the Hunt Avenue home today}

$750K on Gibson Avenue? $500K South of Manchester? Maybe if one wants to build or own a contemporary custom home in the City of St. Louis near all the best things the city has to offer – think Forest Park, Central West End, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Grand Center, etc. – maybe this is the place. Anyone familiar with the area now may be smart to bet on its future success.

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  • Patrick

    I’d be curious to know how efficient the aluminum overhead door is (looks like Raynor) and whether it added through value engineering because it doesn’t seem to show up on the plan.

    • Brad Fratello

      It was a design/build, Patrick, so it came into the design fairly late. It’s double glazed and super efficient in the winter. Can’t recommend it enough as a great way to open up a space!

      • Patrick

        Thanks for the info. Is it a Raynor door?

        • Brad Fratello

          Overhead Door Co.

  • Guest

    Someone should keep track of these new construction behemoths to see how long after someone moves in does that person move out. What is the attrition rate of these behemoth-priced mac daddy housing? Also, does the person contribute to the community in any way or is this type of purchase serves the main purpose of flipping to make money in a few years down the road. Is that a good thing? What will high turn-over do for the community? Do these people really want to be in The Grove or are they just investors disguised as home owners with the ulterior motive of flipping. You get the point–not in it for the community but for quick profit. Only time will tell the true intentions of these “home owners”. What a shame to see this type of behavior when The Grove needs stability and people who truly care about their community.

    • Brad Fratello

      Hello, I’m one of the home owners. I can’t imagine building such a personal home with the idea that you’d “flip it” in three years, and will miss my home dearly when I’m gone. The home was not for sale; in fact, far from it, and the high price reflects how much it took to get us out of it. Not only did my husband and I build the home, we also helped rehab the building next to us, which has brought even more residents to the street. We arranged to have new curb lawn trees planted on the entire block last fall. We planted trees in front of our new neighbors’ homes to be good neighbors, and will miss the block and the people we expected to grow old living near. On the other hand, we are not independently wealthy, and there comes a time when you can’t turn down offers made – even on your dream home, which is what this is to us. It involved a year of planning, a year of building, and much sacrifice. So, while I agree with your assessment of opportunistic flippers, “Guest,” I assure you that this deal didn’t involve that type of people. Thanks for the opportunity to share that.

      • Geoff Conrad

        Thanks a lot for sharing, Brad. It is too bad you’re giving up your dream house, you guys produced an amazing place and seem to have been awesome neighbors. Is it true the buyer’s agent waited on your porch for hours waiting for you to get home? If you don’t mind me asking.

    • matimal

      St. Louis isn’t Austin or a coastal city. I don’t think there’s much flipping in St. Louis.

  • Guest

    Just a few doors down from the custom home, 4216 Gibson is listed for sale or lease. This was another home UIC developed last year. The Seller has indicated that it is a result of the noise from The Demo and The Ready Room. Unfortunate to see such a nicely developed block turn into a party house and rentals within a year due to these two venues.

  • Geoff Conrad

    This isn’t a normal market sale. A partying millionaire knowingly overpaid to get the guys off the area club owners’ backs. It’s pretty awesome, look into it. Rumor has it 4Hands will be installing keg lines out to pool and bands will be able to stay there.

    • Dean

      So instead spending his money to actually solve the acoustic problem he over paid for the house?

      • Geoff Conrad

        There is no fixing the ‘acoustic problem’ of a residence abutting a concert venue lol. It’s like 18 inches away. But to the extent there is, this is it…make it not a residence. Buyer isn’t an owner/investor in venue, just wants to be awesome apparently.

        • Andy

          St. Louis’s own gay version of Dan Bilzerian? Sounds like an awesome dude! I’m happy St. Louis has someone that fun that hasn’t moved to ATL or MIA!

          • Geoff Conrad

            The buyer isn’t gay though.

          • Andy

            Welp. It’d be a lot cooler if they were.

  • Adam

    It’s a little disconcerting that the owners are ready to move out of their custom-built house only three years after moving in. Does that say something about the neighborhood? About St. Louis? Is it a result of the noise issue? Something completely unrelated?

    • Geoff Conrad

      I’ll offer an equation where we find ‘?’. $750,000 – $500,000 = ?

      • Dean

        Right. Risk reward. Pretty hard to say no.

      • Adam

        A little too quick on the snark there, Geoff. If the house wasn’t on the market then $250K above value = “duh”. If the house WAS on the market then your equation doesn’t explain why the owners were selling. The article doesn’t specify which was the case.

        • Geoff Conrad

          If I wanted to be snarky I’d say how silly you were for even positing the question knowing they had problems with the noise. Problems enough that random people on this page are able to cite them. So a homeowner sells a property where they have noise issues for a $250k profit (50%) and you’re disconcerted. Probably safe to say you worry too much, The Grove is fine. Besides, it says in the 2nd sentence “without hitting the market” lol. I was actually way late with the snark, thanks for bringing my attention back to it.

          • Adam

            I see; being a d*ck on the internet makes you feel smart. That’s fine. I did miss the “before hitting the market” part, but even so word could have gotten out that they were intending to sell. As for the noise, I knew somebody around there HAD issues with the Demo. I didn’t know who, and I didn’t know whether or not those issues had been resolved—that’s why I asked. In any case I got the information I was looking for and you get to be the witty internet guy that everybody admires. We both win!

          • Adam

            By the way, despite these owners making a substantial profit, the fact that two homes have been put up for sale within the past three years due to noise issues does raise concern. I appreciate the Demo and the Ready Room and want them to succeed, but clearly some sort of noise abatement is needed in order for the venues and the neighbors to coexist. Considering that the neighborhood was there first, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the venues to comply.

          • Adam

            Oh, god, I’d better correct myself before you pounce: “two homes built within the past three years have been put up for sale within the past year.”

          • Prayin4Adam

            Im praying for you Adam. I see agressive post after post from you trying to be argumentative. Mental illness is not a joking matter to me so I pray that you find the help you need.

          • Adam

            I see what ya’ did there with the calling me aggressive and then calling me mentally ill (which some might consider aggressive since you know nothing about me).

            Anyway, mind directing us to some of my allegedly “aggressive” posts? Keep in mind that disagreement and aggression are not the same thing. Similarly, argument does not imply aggression.

          • Geoff Conrad

            Good grief, Adam, could you be any more sensitive and ridiculous about this? My first comment wasn’t meant to be snark at all; you begged for it, apparently so you could retort with your own. I’m not smart at all for just having a little inside knowledge. Keep grasping for ways your post could’ve meant sense though….They were never planning on selling, how in the World would anyone learn of a plan? That is rhetorical, I won’t respond to anything else you write and apologize for my failed attempt at a little humor in my original post to you.

          • Adam

            Here’s an idea: when you admittedly have inside information that others don’t, you might try answering the questions of those without that inside information in a straightforward, non-condescending manner. Nice try with the “not snark/you begged for it” nonsense. It might have been believable if you hadn’t then called me “silly” for asking a question about which, again, you admit to having inside information. It’s pretty clear that you—for whatever reason—took offense to my legitimate question about the reasons for the housing turnover in the neighborhood and responded with snark. Next time maybe be a little more thoughtful before responding. Or not. Whatever.

  • ndoz

    Is this the house that was complaining about noise from The Ready Room?

    • Alex Ihnen

      This is the home that was experiencing very loud music from the adjacent venue, yes.

    • Geoff Conrad

      It was initially The Demo. It was The Demo that was closed temporarily because of the homeowners’ complaints, but the Ready Room also caught their ire.