One short but also painstakingly long year ago, our city’s landscape, make-up, and skyline looked vastly different. We have all faced challenges this year that left different levels of ugliness in our lives but through a display of Siouxland’s inherent resilience beacons of light began to emerge from the shadows. There was a beauty from years gone by waiting to be unlocked. Visions lingering in the deepest most imaginative corners of hopeful entrepreneur’s and leader’s minds who were passionately set on willing them into existence. Beautification through the chaos.
Sioux City has a rich beautiful antiquity. Historic buildings that had once headlined a bustling downtown had become decrepit shells. Uglier versions of their former selves exuding a bleak contribution to a prominent skyline. No more. Years of preparation, grit, and determination rose to the surface. Projects that will create and facilitate significant economic impact.
The Warrior Hotel once again illuminates the skyline. This historic property opened its doors some 90 years ago in 1930. Celebrities the likes of boxing legend Joe Louis and the incomparable Elvis Presley inhabited the halls and reveled in its amenities. An epicenter for the bustling streets of downtown, tragically closed its doors in 1976 and has been a dilapidated eye sore until now. A complete restoration has brought back the Art Deco brilliance, grandeur of the staircase, and ornate architectural elements in all their infinite splendor. Glamorous rooms and suites exude cozy elegance. Woodbury’s Steakhouse, War Eagle Lanes, and The Crowne rooftop bar are a nod to the past but also beg the question, why leave when a staycation is right in your back yard?
The famous Motor Mart was built in 1911. It welcomed revered musicians to its showroom. One such musician was Louis Armstrong, who would go on to sign with Bluebird records after a superb performance in the venue’s renowned roof garden. Enter Bluebird Flats. An urban industrial revival can be found on every floor of this historical building restored to its former glory. No apartment is identical with many enjoying stunning views of The Warrior and the gardens at First Presbyterian Church. Original mail shoots, elevators, and terra cotta flooring highlight the restoration. Bluebird Flats will shine as the unique original exterior was embraced and accentuated.
Apparently, celebrities were abundant on our streets in the early part of the 20th century. 14 days after the ‘27 Yankees won the World Series, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were found barnstorming on fields located in the Stockyards, the former lifeblood of the region. A behemoth now sits in this place. The EXPO Center supplies 80K sq./ft. of tradeshow space, while housing 55K sq./ft. of indoor turf primed for athletic competition. A once ancient vacant lot, is now a welcoming symbol of strength and a nod to an area that molded us.
Speaking of sports. A leaky vacated strip mall anchor became the newly renovated local “Disney World” of Sports. The ARENA Sports Academy has welcomed tens of thousands through its doors. A mission of uplifting youth has been paramount. The staff believes in creating opportunities for young people that are greater than sports, while drawing visitors regionally and nationally. If you build it they will come, but if you build it right…they will come back.
Marto Brewing, complimented by the newly constructed Crowne-Marriot, has created a town square experience with big city feel. One of the best breweries in the country is found right here. Local ownership leaves everything on the table in their dedication to offer excellence.
Ownership at Avid Hotel continues the resurgence of downtown giving encouragement that outside investors believe in our progressive growth. The leadership team at HoChunk are believers in this premise as they continue to make a positive impact developing the region’s greatest asset. The riverfront.
These additions withstood the largest pandemic in 100 years. We look at them and see the heart and resilience of our community.
-Jeff and Rachel Carlson, RE/MAX Preferred
Good news! Existing home sales continue to trend up during this unprecedented time. Per the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales grew for the fifth consecutive month in October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million – up 4.3% from the prior month and 26.6% from one year ago. The numbers are phenomenal! October’s national price increase marks 104 straight months of year-over-year gains.
The median existing-home price was $313,000. 16% more than in October 2019. Total housing inventory declined to 1.42 million, enough to last 2.5 months. A record low at this sales pace. More than 7 in 10 homes sold in October 2020.
Interest rates have never been better. As a result, buyers are purchasing! Sellers anticipating sales, have closely watched the activity of the market. Their neighbor’s home sold in two days and they are anxious to sell.
“A recent sales surge has now offset the spring market losses,” per Yun with NAR. “With news that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, I expect the market’s growth to continue into 2021.” Yun, with NAR, forecasts existing-home sales to rise by 10% to six million in 2021.
Properties remained on the market for 21 days in October. This is down from 36 days in October 2019. 72% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month. First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in October, up from the 31% in both September 2020 and October 2019. Per NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Midwest sales jumped 8.6% to an annual rate of 1,640,000, that’s up 28.1% from a year ago!
Opportunities for remote work have current homeowners and first-time buyers wanting more space. Last night I had a conversation with a client relocating from Los Angeles, her employer is allowing her to work remotely. In her words, “she wants a simpler way of life, not the craziness of LA, where every time you pull out of your driveway, you’re not taking your life in your hands.” A reminder of how great it is to live here!
-Amy Kakacek, RE/MAX Preferred