CREW-St. Louis

CREW-St. Louis Names Winners


The St. Louis chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women has honored the outstanding achievements of its members and other female commercial real estate professionals at its 18th annual awards event held April 26.

Each year, CREW-St. Louis recognizes a cadre of women who have advanced the commercial real estate industry regionwide through leadership, accomplishments and service.

“Each year, we come together to celebrate women for their contributions to the commercial real estate industry and to the regional economy,” said Angela Drumm, president of the CREW-St. Louis Board of Directors and principal at Carmody MacDonald, P.C. “Each awardee has helped to elevate women in the industry, which improves our business community in a unique way. We honor them for their expertise and commitment to our mission.”

Here are the 2023 honorees:

New Member of the Year Award – Rebecca Thessen, Commercial Real Estate Broker, L3 Corporation

Career Advancement for Women Award – Pat Guichet, Senior Design and Construction Project Manager, SSM Health

Leadership in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion – Helen Lee, Principal, Tao + Lee Architects

Economic Impact – Armory STL and CREW Members Liz Austin (Green Street Real Estate Ventures), Addie Bunting (Wies Offsite), Sarah Luem (Capes Sokol) and Michelle O’Toole (O’Toole Design)

Woman of Influence – Yaphett El-Amin, President, Efficacy Consulting and Development

CREW Impact Award – Erin Valentine, Vice President, Business Development, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

CREW-St. Louis began honoring women with this awards event in 2006 with the goals of influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry, showcasing the power of networking and demonstrating the organization’s support to the St. Louis region.

2022 Real Estate Emerging Trends Include Uncertainty, Flexibility


The findings of PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and the Urban Land Institute’s annual survey, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022, were shared by Andy Warren, PwC director of research, during CREW-St. Louis’ annual forecast event on December 10.

Continued uncertainty and flexibility are trends dominating the commercial real estate market as brokers, investors, lenders and others look toward 2022. Some 1,200 professionals including private real estate property owners, investors, real estate advisors, servicing firms, asset managers, lenders and construction industry players from across the U.S. answered the survey in mid-2021.

“We made it through the pandemic, but there is a new age of uncertainty,” said Warren, one of several presenters at the CREW-St. Louis virtual event. “Covid impacted every geographic area of the country differently. Likewise, the recovery won’t occur the same everywhere. It looks like our real estate universe is going to get bigger, and that’s good news,” he added.

Among the thriving retail markets post-pandemic, according to survey findings, are dollar stores and home improvement stores. Office is amidst a major reset, the survey found, while certain property types and assets are obsolete as property managers strategize how to repurpose them.

42 percent of survey respondents strongly disagreed with the question, “Will business travel and large-group industry meetings return to pre-COVID-19 levels?” 29 percent agreed that large-group business travel will return to where it was pre-COVID.

“A total of 84 percent of respondents think that the real estate industry will be stronger in 2022 than it has been in 2021,” Warren said. “Although rising operating costs and difficulty obtaining materials are having an impact on inflation and on companies’ bottom lines, it’s not enough to offset the collective optimism for 2022. There is still strong demand in numerous real estate sectors.”

To download the full forecast report and survey findings, see

Developers Reenvisioning, Revitalizing Area North of Delmar Boulevard


A CREW-St. Louis virtual audience learned June 8 of the continued progress being made by Kingsway Development and Ballast CRE to attract private investment and public incentives to redevelop a 207-acre area along Delmar just north of the Central West End.

For six years, Kingsway Founder and CEO Kevin Bryant has been planning and advocating for residential and commercial redevelopment in an area known for blight, neglect and crime.

“Over the past 18 years, multiple developers have failed the people living and working in the community north of Delmar while the community south of Delmar continues to thrive,” said Bryant. “We’re working hard to change that, and we’re seeing progress.”

The Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods are the starting point for Bryant and Ballast CRE Founder and CEO Brian Pratt. Together the two are actively bringing several projects to the fore, including a 200-unit market rate housing development known as The Bridge and adaptive reuse of a 30,000-square-foot, 2-story warehouse. The warehouse redo, dubbed Elevation, is expected to break ground in August.

Over the past several years, Bryant has gone door to door, parcel to parcel, educating and encouraging residents and energizing them to help him overcome negative perceptions of the area north of Delmar.

“We’ve moved from a community that had given up on itself to one that is believing change can occur,” said Bryant, noting that Fountain Park was once a progressive community where prosperous African Americans lived.

Another project in the works sits at 4731 Delmar Boulevard, a $6.3 million rehabilitation project that will serve as a performing arts center.

Kingsway Development is partnering with Washington University in St. Louis, Gateway Mortgage, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America and others in creating an educational platform for the housing board so community members may participate.

Plans for single-family residential development along the stretch just north of Delmar include infill as well as construction of new blocks of homes featuring five distinct housing elevations to blend with the area’s historic character.

The comprehensive strategy includes continuing development several blocks westward along Delmar to eventually meet up with Delmar Divine, the redevelopment project spearheaded by Maxine Clark and being built by Clayco in the 5500 block of Delmar.