Sticky -- Advice on where to live in St. Louis

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I'm trying to convince my gf that we need to buy a loft, but I think we'll probably eventually end up in St. Louis Hills instead. For some reason though, every time I'm downtown, I get the feeling like that's where I need to be.

St. Louis Hills is amazing. It feels like a slice of England or something :lol:



Could never afford to live there, but at least i'm in the same zipcode :lol:

Me too, barely. I can falsely claim to be in St. Louis Hills. I don't actually want to though. While that is one of the premier areas of the city, and I like it a lot, I don't actually want to live there. I like Holly Hills more for that type of look, it feels more urban to me.

Yeah, I live in St Louis Hills, but not the cool part. I live in what is only arcanely known as St Louis Hills "Estates." That's the very ranch-style, suburban-looking area. The houses and lots are bigger, but not nearly as cool.



The Hills is a great neighborhood to live in, but it is definitely not urban. The only places I can walk to are the parks. Which is why I kinda don't like it. I'm going to law school, and can't afford to move out of the house--huge let down after living in campus apts! But when I do, I'm definitely heading downtown. I like how you can just walkaround and do all your business without needing a car. Such relief.

I can't even claim as much as you. I am technically in Kingshighway Hills. That's fine with me though. I would much rather be on Campus at SLU, or in a loft downtown.

Once you get older and start to settle down, St. Louis Hills becomes a pretty nice option. It's got that Mayberry feel to it, which is appealing. A few weeks ago, we headed down to Ted Drewe's to get a wreath and took a drive through the neighborhood - it was all lit up for Xmas, and on one particular block neighbors had moved their cars off the street and had set up several of those outdoor firepits. Everyone was out socializing, barbecuing, playing with their dogs, etc. It was pretty cool!



In between stints in DeBaliviere Place, I lived in Tower Grove South for a few years. It's getting pricey there, but it's still kind of rough in spots. I think in a few years it will be mentioned with Lafayette Square, Soulard and the CWE as one of St. Louis' top neighborhoods though.

Tower Grove South and whole area around Tower Grove Park is definitly my favorite part of the city.



I am also a big fan of DeBaliviere Place and Benton Park.
We'll be graduating from graduate school at Iowa in May and moving down shortly thereafter. We both interned in St. Louis last summer, lived in the CWE, & loved it. We'll likely rent for a year and then look to buy. Any advice on what area to live and/or landlords who are good/bad? How about Red Brick Management? We know we don't want to be in a high-rise apartment building, but could go for a small house, a floor of a house, a loft, townhouse, condo, etc. We'll both be 25, love the Cards, and going out & having fun. She works downtown, I work just west of the city.

You've come to the right place. Expect quite a few responses in the next couple of days. Based on what you said so far, the Central West End sounds like the most convenient, but if you want something different, there are plenty of choices out there. Are you looking for something brand new? Something to fix up? Something in between? Do you want to live in a trendy neighborhood, or something quieter? Would living in an up and coming neighborhood be preferable over an established one?

maybe as an excercise people should pick one of their favorite neighborhoods and try "selling" it in a paragraph or two. I'll do Dogtown :)



As a former resident of Dogtown I can tell you it gives you all the living options you want within walking/biking/short driving distance to some of the best assets the city has to offer. There are apartments, townhomes, bungalows, and small houses surrounding the neighborhood epicenter at Clayton and Tamm where you can find a variety of eating options, from Italian to Tex-Mex, upscale to on-the-go, from sit down restaurants to some of the best bars in the city. Among other things there is a small grocery store, a laundromat, and even a barbershop (even though i think they might be leaving because of that new project). Within a short 10 minute walk you can be at the Hi-pointe art-house movie theater or at the St. Louis Zoo (not to mention Forest Park in general). Driving wise, 64/40 is a block away from the neighborhood (with a park greenspace buffering it). (there are a lot of things in short driving distances, but it would be too much to write here, just assume it's a lot :)



Finally, it's a very laid back middle to working class family conscious functioning neighborhood. Highly recommended :)



edit: I forgot to mention that this was the historically Irish neighborhood, and was the vibrant center of the Irish community in St. Louis for many years. Even today it hosts the St. Patrick's Day parade which is pretty great (although i think they have one downtown, this one's the more "authentic" :wink: ). It's not uncommon to see Irish flags on some houses during the year, and particularly nearing St. Patrick's Day.

ComandanteCero wrote:
maybe as an excercise people should pick one of their favorite neighborhoods and try "selling" it in a paragraph or two. I'll do Dogtown :)



As a former resident of Dogtown I can tell you it gives you all the living options you want within walking/biking/short driving distance to some of the best assets the city has to offer. There are apartments, townhomes, bungalows, and small houses surrounding the neighborhood epicenter at Clayton and Tamm where you can find a variety of eating options, from Italian to Tex-Mex, upscale to on-the-go, from sit down restaurants to some of the best bars in the city. Among other things there is a small grocery store, a laundromat, and even a barbershop (even though i think they might be leaving because of that new project). Within a short 10 minute walk you can be at the Hi-pointe art-house movie theater or at the St. Louis Zoo (not to mention Forest Park in general). Driving wise, 64/40 is a block away from the neighborhood (with a park greenspace buffering it). (there are a lot of things in short driving distances, but it would be too much to write here, just assume it's a lot :)



Finally, it's a very laid back middle to working class family conscious functioning neighborhood. Highly recommended :)




Good idea.



Since I've only lived in two city neighborhoods in my 19 years of life, and the first I lived in until I was 5 (Southhampton), I will speak for the Bevo neighborhood.



In case you don't know, the Bevo neighborhood is smack dab in the center of South City. If location, location, location is your main concern, the area is close to some of the biggest South City arteries, such as Gravois (Highway 30) which will take you straight downtown or way out in the County. Kingshighway is at the western portion of the neighborhood and provides access to the Southwest City, North City and the Central Corridor. Grand, just a bit east of Bevo, leads, of course, to Grand Center. Chippewa at the north end of the neighborhood is a large east-west street in the City. The neighborhood, like most City neighborhoods, is perfectly fit for walking, though most drive. Interstates 64, 44, and 55 are all between five to fifteen minutes away depending upon when you're out. In addition, the Bevo neighborhood is not far south of Tower Grove Park, and a couple miles away from Forest Park as well.



The namesake of the neighborhood, the Bevo Mill, is located at the intersection of Morganford and Gravois and it is an old German restaurant in a windmill. It's always strange to me, even having lived most of my life in the neighborhood, to see a windmill right in the middle of a city. The Bevo Mill lends itself (despite its being German) to the Dutch style architecture and Dutch past of the neighborhood (though the Dutchtown neighborhood to the east had an even larger Dutch influence, obviously). The housing stock consists primarily of single-family homes moderately priced for the city. Some are as low as $50,000 and others can be well over $100,000. Some of the homes were built early in the 20th century, such as mine, built in 1911. There are small apartments along Gravois, Morganford and Chippewa, however.



Most excitingly, the neighborhood, having suffered decades of a loss of local businesses due to population loss, is now experiencing a resurgence due in no small part to the transplanted Bosnian population. The neighborhood is now home to one of the largest Bosnian populations in the area. A trip down Gravois will show you rows of formerly abandoned small commercial buildings now teeming with life and occupied by Eastern European businesses and goods. It's very exciting to live in an ethnic neighborhood where both the original residents and the immigrant population can thrive together. The neighborhood is, by St. Louis standards, in this respect very diverse.



The overall atmosphere is very laid back. While certain streets can be alive with activity due to the Bosnian affinity for nightclubs, generally the neighborhood is quiet and is probably a bit older than the national average due to the Dutch remnant population.



As far as shopping and other attractions located in the neighborhood, there is the brand new Southtown Center, formerly the Famous Barr site, which now houses a Petsmart, an Office Max, a Walgreens, an EB Games and a Men's Clothing Store (soon to add a Starbucks). The intersection of Kingshighway and Chippewa is a flurry of economic activity in South City, including the aforementioned Southtown Center as well as a Shop 'n' Save, Applebees, Steak & Shake, Blockbuster, Subway and many other smaller stores. As I have also already mentioned, the neighborhood contains many ethnic restaurants and shops, especially along Gravois and Morganford. Bevo's central location allows for relatively easy access to suburban shopping centers as well. The Galleria is 15-20 minutes away when it's not rush hour. South County mall and Crestwood mall are both about 10-15 minutes away as well.



The Bevo neighborhood provides a unique living experience that is both urban and laid back. Its growing status as an ethnic neighborhood makes it one of a kind in the area. Hopefully, some day the area can become as famous as the Hill area (predominantly Italian)--that is, if Bosnian food becomes popular.



If I forget to mention any aspect of the neighborhood you're interested in, let me know. I can never think to put in everything.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that Dutchtown got its name from the fact that native St. Louisans mispronounced "Deutsch," what the Germans who moved to that neighborhood in large numbers obviously called themselves. I don't think anything Dutch has anything to do with it.



But back on topic, I second CommandanteCero's recommendation for Dogtown. There are many families, but you wouldn't feel out of place as a young couple. A lot of twenty-somethings live in the area, and, well, just re-read CommandanteCero's message.



Check out Seamus McDaniel's when you visit the area.

^

That's the story I've heard as well.

DeBaliviere wrote:
^

That's the story I've heard as well.




Well I have heard that too, but I've also heard the term "scrubby Dutch" used to describe both Bevo and Dutchtown residents, as the Dutch people are "notoriously" clean and that (at least at one time) both neighborhoods were conspicuously spotless.



So, forgive me if I'm wrong. Sorry. Interestingly, the Dogtown neighborhood's name's origin is disputed also...

My suggestion is Soulard. I lived there for 2+ years right out of college and loved it. You can find apts, condo, and houses for rent no problem. It has a great vibe to it. A mix of young and old. The restaraunt/bar scene is great- real laid back blues/ jazz/ rock music. Everyone is friendly. The farmers markes will save you a bunch of $ on groceries. They are getting more and more other retail stores all the time.

I have to make a plug for my neighborhood, DeBaliviere Place.



DBP is often considered part of the Central West End, but in actuality, it's a separate neighborhood. Its enjoys a superior location, just east of the heart of the CWE and a short walk from Forest Park, the Delmar Loop, Washington University, etc.



The building stock consists of high-rise and mid-rise condos and apartments and three of St. Louis' finest private streets - Waterman Place, Kingsbury Place and Washington Terrace ($1 million+ mansions). Though the neighborhood is primarily residential, there are a few businesses in the neighborhood, including Nik's Wine Bar, Atlas Restaurant, a small gourmet market & coffee shop, Q's Sports Bar, a home furnishings store, a gym, dry cleaners and other neighborhood ammenities.



The neighborhood has a great mix of SLU and Wash U. students, young professionals/married couples, empty nesters and retirees.



The condos are still reasonably priced, from $110k+ for a one-bedroom to $150-$300K for a two-bedroom. The apartments are reasonable as well.



If you're looking for a single-family home, I would recommend Skinker-DeBaliviere, the neighborhood directly to the west of DeBaliviere Place. All the same things can be said about Skinker-DeBaliviere, however, that neighborhood is primarily single-family. Property values in both neighborhoods are definitely on the way up, so either one would offer a great investment.

DeBaliviere wrote:



DBP is often considered part of the Central West End, but in actuality, it's a separate neighborhood. Its enjoys a superior location, just east of the heart of the CWE and a short walk from Forest Park, the Delmar Loop, Washington University, etc.





Isn't DB Place just west of the CWE?

Matt Drops The H wrote:

If I forget to mention any aspect of the neighborhood you're interested in, let me know. I can never think to put in everything.




Let me also add that if you want to start a family, Bevo is the place to do it. As the others have said, the "scrubby dutch" refers to the cleanliness of the neighborhood. This is still true today, especially east of Gravois and north of Delor (Steffens Ave. rep!). The family atmosphere is still apparent, and almost every little home sits on a square lot with nearly perfectly groomed lawns. The children are everywhere. When I lived there I always felt safe wandering far from home, because it is truly a very close-knit community, thanks to the schools. I get homesick every time I go back. :cry:

urbz wrote:
Matt Drops The H wrote:

If I forget to mention any aspect of the neighborhood you're interested in, let me know. I can never think to put in everything.




Let me also add that if you want to start a family, Bevo is the place to do it. As the others have said, the "scrubby dutch" refers to the cleanliness of the neighborhood. This is still true today, especially east of Gravois and north of Delor (Steffens Ave. rep!). The family atmosphere is still apparent, and almost every little home sits on a square lot with nearly perfectly groomed lawns. The children are everywhere. When I lived there I always felt safe wandering far from home, because it is truly a very close-knit community, thanks to the schools. I get homesick every time I go back. :cry:




Nice to have another Bevo-ite in the forum. Where do you live now though?

sadly, I moved to Washington, MO after grade school (St. John's). ....and I have some horror stories about that for another time. I have not lost touch, however. I have never spent an entire week in Washington during the six years I have lived there. I'm in Bevo at least twice a week, especially since I live at SIUE now.

Isn't DB Place just west of the CWE?




Yep. Its boundaries are Union to the east, Lindell to the south, Delmar to the north and DeBaliviere to the west.
May I suggest the Carondelet neighborhood. In some respects I hesitate to draw attention to this great place because it currently falls way under anyone in St. Louis's radar. The boundries are roughly east of highway 55 to the river and south of Bellrive Park to the county line (the area around Carondelet Park is actually Holly Hills) Moved here 2 years ago from Southhampton because we found we could get more house for our money than in most other areas of South City. The home is a beatuiful Victorian built in 1885 that we renovated. We put less than 140K into it and recently had it appraised for over 225K. We look out onto a lovely pre-civil war brick Cathedral which is fronted by a large square. All around the square are wonderful shop fronts that make it seem like a small village. In addition there is the oldest bakery in St. Louis and a triangle park with an original round horse trough in the middle. From our yard you can hear the horns of the river boats echoing and the chimming of the bells from the Cathedral across the street. Have not experienced any crime but do get annoyed with the bikers and neighbors that have no pride of place. I am less than 10 minuets from Downtown and South County. Close to South Grand and St. Louis Hills. We have our own historical society and museum, summer band concerts in the park, YMCA, a great old library and dining options that range from taverns to trendy (Iron Barley). I have observed a tremendous amount of renovation going on so expect house prices to only increase. 10 years ago I never would have considered living in Carondelet but now love it. I have found that as the city grows more desirable the usual neighborhoods are unfortunately getting too expensive for many, especially those of us with kids who have to pay tuition to private schools. So options like Carondelet should be considered by all.

May I suggest the Carondelet neighborhood




I am really curious about this neighborhood. I haven't been over there yet, just as far as the park, so I don't know much about it but what i've read on their website.



The history is interesting, it seems to really hang onto its identity from when it was its own town, even to this day.



Having Carondelet Park as your backyard would definitely be a huge plus.

olvidarte wrote:
May I suggest the Carondelet neighborhood




I am really curious about this neighborhood. I haven't been over there yet, just as far as the park, so I don't know much about it but what i've read on their website.



The history is interesting, it seems to really hang onto its identity from when it was its own town, even to this day.



Having Carondelet Park as your backyard would definitely be a huge plus.




Yeah, the City pretty much stole the city of Carondelet right before its divorce with the County. I heard Cardondelet residents were pretty pissed. There's still a town in Illinois called East Carondelet right across the river to this day, perhaps to carry on its legacy as an independent entity.



I know the city annexed the town of Baden also. Any other cities St. Louis swallowed up?

Would like to thank all of you for your replies...we really appreciate it. I think that as of right now, we're looking to either go back to CWE or to Soulard. Any advice on either of these and/or possible places to look in these areas? We'd prefer a 2-bedroom townhouse, condo, or loft. We're focusing on these two because, as I said in my initial post, I will work just west of the city (close to CWE) and she will work downtown (obviously closer to Soulard); not to mention our habit of going to Cards games (close to Metro in CWE, close to downtown in Soulard). We're both from smaller cities so we're cautious about traffic. Is Busch Stadium within walking distance of Soulard?

Do either of these areas have a YMCA or something like that? We loved being close to Forest Park--is there something similar within walking distance in Soulard?

Keep in mind that this will only be for a year or so.

Thanks.