Craig Heller, a local developer who owns a company called Loftworks has placed his bets on converting historic buildings and warehouses in the urban core into condos, selling the units at an average of $275,000 a pop. He expects downtown loft prices to increase substantially this decade, thanks to reverse migration from the suburbs.
At the same time, a different brand of gentrification is starting to emerge in outlying towns that have been absorbed by St. Louis's sprawl. Speculators are buying traditional country homes at a discount in enclaves like Glendale, Kirkwood, Sunset Hills, and Webster Groves. They then tear them down and put up McMansions that list for multiples of the property's original sales price.