When the real estate market is bustling, all of the factors are in the seller’s favor. But when sales are down as they have been lately, there are some great deals to be had for buyers who know where to look. That’s the case throughout St. Louis right now, and specifically in Clayton, says Keith Manzer of Laura McCarthy Real Estate. “It’s a limited opportunity, and a great time to buy in Clayton,” he says. “People don’t realize how high the prices were per square foot in some of the condo buildings here; now there are some really great values.”

    Manzer and his partners, mother-and-daughter team Sue and Katie McLaughlin, will host a grand re-opening of the Clayton Park Place Condominiums on March 13 from noon to 5 p.m. Two new models will be shown in the boutique building, owned by Heartland Bank, with interiors designed by Cindy Saladin of Diane Breckenridge Interiors. “They’re very elegant,” Manzer says of the suites. “They turned out beautifully.”

    Each luxury condo has a fireplace and outdoor space with a built-in gas grill, which are unique in the area, as many nearby buildings ban grilling on balconies, Manzer notes. The first and second floors have 9-foot ceilings, with 10-foot ceilings on the upper floors. Other amenities include designer appliances, all-wood floors and a heated garage. The building includes two- and three-bedroom suites. “The location and the fact that they’re new are really the driving factors behind the brisk sales so far,” Manzer says, adding that interest in the market is shifting toward small boutique buildings that offer a more intimate setting than high-rises.

    The building has a French deco-inspired exterior and sits directly across from Shaw Park, which is home to an outdoor aquatic center, tennis courts, playground, ice rink and more. It is located at 8251-53 Parkside Drive, just off Forsyth Boulevard in downtown Clayton.

    “People are starting to realize that there is probably not going to be a lot of new construction for a while in Clayton, considering the land costs in the area and the economy,” Manzer says. “It’s an opportunity to buy at a very good price in a down market. The units have never been lived in, and in many cases the buyer can choose their own finishes.”  Of the 13 suites in the building, only four remain available, he adds. Prices range from $849,000 to $1.18 million.  LN

On the cover:  The grand re-opening of Clayton Park Place Condominiums will be hosted by Keith Manzer, Sue McLaughlin and Katie McLaughlin of Laura McCarthy Real Estate on March 13 from noon to 5 p.m. The boutique building sits at 8251-53 Parkside Drive, directly across from Shaw Park, and the luxury suites include designer appliances, wood floors, a fireplace and gas grill on each balcony. For more information, call 725-5100 or visit claytonparkplace.com.

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