When I came back to St. Louis in early 2008, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, in the late ’90s, my friends and I would drive from Wildwood to the Loop, high five and holler, “Downtown is awesome!” It’s safe to say my knowledge of the city was lacking — so limited that, as soon as I could, I moved to the West Coast. It was there I became passionate about sustainable construction and architecture. Then, one day, I came across an article on St. Louis’s burgeoning “green” building industry. I knew I wanted to be a part of it, so I packed my car and made the trip back.

In January of 2008, I joined my family’s real estate company. Once back, I fell hard for a city I never really knew. St. Louis is full of quaint neighborhoods, walk-able districts, corner stores, old-growth trees, streetcar boulevards and historic architecture. Our housing is one-of-a-kind; however, it was the people that stuck with me most. I’ve met many passionate people rebuilding communities through nonprofits, arts incubators, small business or personal sacrifice for the love of community. Homegrown or transplants, people fall in love with St. Louis.

Our real estate market has seen an impressive turnaround as residents drive community development one house at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood. The market has never been better in Tower Grove South, Shaw, Central West End, Soulard and Lafayette Square, just to name a few. Inner ring suburbs are booming too. Competition is strong in Clayton, University City, Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Crestwood and Sunset Hills.

Whether investing in a two- or four-family flat, live/work storefront or buying your first or second home, St. Louis provides a unique opportunity for everyone. With low rates, now is the time to look into that Greek revival, Italianate, Gothic revival, shotgun or flounder house, Tudor, arts and crafts, prairie, colonial revival or Victorian for which you’ve been pining.

In the 10 years I’ve been back, I’ve immersed myself in various organizations in the performing arts, civic progress and education spaces. Some of my favorites include United 4 Children, Jazz St. Louis, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, GlobalHack, Loop, Progress 64 West and the Baden Enrichment Center. I’ve also started my own real estate firm, Complete Street Real Estate, and coach a 16U baseball team. You can find me around town with my Labradoodle, Sophie — sorry, had to mention her or I’d be the one in the doghouse.

I am Patrick Shaw, managing broker, Complete Street Real Estate. I am MAX. M