In The News

Simplicity Is In

Friday, April  20 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

If you’re looking for a quick home sale, consider what today’s buyer is seeking most of all – unadulterated simplicity. Refresh your existing space with features that add convenience and give back much-needed time and energy for family and self-care.


Trim & Detail

Crown moulding, trim and accents create an aesthetic that adds value and increases pride of ownership.


Kitchen Island

As formal dining fades the island becomes key. Bigger is better for seating, buffets, homework and more.

Fantastic Laundry

No longer an afterthought, today’s laundry is functional, comfortable and sometimes center stage.


Owner's Entry

Create a simple drop zone and family command center to orchestrate and organize family activities. Tour the Ashton II display at Ashford Knoll in Cottleville, MO for more terrific design ideas. Simple paint,

COTTLEVILLE, MO- Home buying season is here. Which means it's time to brush up on the latest and greatest in home design.

Payne Family Homes

Home Buying Season - Tips for Selling

Get Your Kohler On!

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday, April 1, Home

April Showers Promo Page Image

Luxury Custom Shower Experience Included at Payne Family Homes

Kohler. The name is synonymous with quality. When it comes to function, standards, and design, homeowners have come to rely on Kohler faucets and bath fixtures to be the very best, which is why Payne Family Homes has chosen to align itself with this brand.

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Cyndie Roche, explains “It is important for us to select our partners wisely and align with companies that share our passion for innovation, quality and commitment to customer care.”

Payne Family Homes, a local home builder offering communities in St. Charles, west St. Louis, and Jefferson Counties, has fast become known for its quality of construction and exceptional customer care. Payne is continually looking to its homeowners for feedback on what matters to them and seeking ways to improve the building experience. It is clear that homeowners perceive value in the Kohler reputation. As a result, Payne Family Homes is proud to offer its buyers the “Total Kohler Home,” and carries Kohler plumbing fixtures in its homes as standard.

“We are opening a whole new world to our customers by offering the extensive and innovative line of Kohler products,” remarked Roche. “We know our homeowners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the Kohler lifetime limited warranty as well."

April Showers Promotion

Through the month of April, Payne Family Homes is partnering with Kohler in its April Showers Promotion. Buyers writing firm to-be-built contracts on new homes can receive a FREE Kohler custom digital shower upgrade, including the Kohler DTV Prompt shower system with digital interface, in their master bath. In all, the upgrade is valued at over $5,000.

“For the buyers that choose Payne Family Homes, we are thrilled to bring them the state-of-the-art technology from Kohler which is easy-to-use and creates a truly luxurious custom shower experience,” says Roche.

Kohler’s DTV Prompt Shower System creates an intuitive user experience featuring a large LCD screen with raised buttons that make it easy to set the user’s ideal temperature or a maximum temperature setting which ideal for households with children. DTV Prompt’s conservation settings are not only convenient but also help to eliminate water and energy waste.

Don’t miss out! Contact Payne Family Homes or see a Community Manager today for details on how to take advantage of the April Showers Promotion and make your Payne Family Home a “Total Kohler Home.”

Additional information available at www.paynefamilyhomes. com or 314-477-1218.


2018 St Jude Dream Home Ground Breaking

From left to right: 2018 St Jude Dream Home Groundbreaking. Payne Family Homes President, Ken Kruse; Eva Fryar, Vice President of Construction Operations at Payne Family Homes; Celebrity Designer Michael Moloney; Scott Kerns Payne Family Homes Area Construction Manager; Legends Pointe Community Superintendent Adam Smith at Payne Family Homes; Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Payne Family Homes Cyndie Roche. 

Eva Fryar Named to Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

St. Louis Construction News & Review, March 21, 2018

Payne Family Homes, a leading St. Louis, Missouri based homebuilder, is proud to announce that Vice President of Construction Operations Eva Fryar has been selected for Professional Builder magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018, featured in their March 2018 issue. Her contributions are a key reason that Payne Family Homes has become the St. Louis metropolitan area’s fastest-growing homebuilder, growing from $7 million in sales in 2009 to $90 million in 2017. She also is one of a very few women to hold the title of Vice President of Construction Operations in a male-dominated field.

Fryar provides strategic leadership and direction for the homebuilder’s growing portfolio of residential homes in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan region. She oversees 26 people including field superintendents, estimators, and the company’s in-house architecture, purchasing and customer care teams. She also coordinates the efforts of approximately 100 suppliers.

She is charged with opening six new residential developments in early 2018, as well as again leading the campaign and building efforts for the 2018 St. Louis St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house, an effort that has helped raise over $4 million to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2014.

In addition to her achievements at Payne Family Homes, Fryar is chair of the committee for the St. Louis Professional Women in Building Council. She is also an active member of the St. Louis Home Builders Association for which she sits on its board of directors and is helping to start the association’s student education chapter. Fryar has been a judge for the National Home Builders Association Residential Construction Management Competition, which gives college students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom by completing a management project/proposal for an actual construction company. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and helps build a house every year for a low-income family.

“Eva is exceptionally bright and a great contributor to Payne’s executive team and its overall strategic direction,” says Ken Kruse, Payne Family Homes president. “We are very proud of Eva’s dedication, her perfecting of new processes and the way she leads her team. This recognition is well deserved.” 

Professional Builder received more than 150 nominations this year, illustrating the depth of talent among this collection of future and present industry leaders. The magazine’s editors selected the winners based on both personal and professional accomplishments. This year’s class included 15 women and 25 men representing all regions of the United States.

For more information about Payne Family Homes, visit or call 314-477-1218.


Prime Real Estate: News & Notes

West News Magazine March 19, 2018 529 Views



Eva Fryar, Payne Family Homes vice president of construction operations, has been selected by Professional Builder magazine for its 40 Under 40 Class of 2018, featured in their March 2018 issue.

Fryar provides strategic leadership and direction for the homebuilder’s growing portfolio of residential homes. She is charged with opening six new residential developments in early 2018, as well as leading the campaign and building efforts for the 2018 St. Louis St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house, an effort that has helped raise over $4 million to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2014. Fryar is chair of the committee for the St. Louis Professional Women in Building Council, is an active member of the St. Louis Home Builders Association and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. Professional Builder received more than 150 nominations for the 2018 class and choose finalists based on both personal and professional accomplishments.



Teri Nicely Red Key

Short supply: St. Louis residential market is the tightest in over a decade

Dilip Vishwanat | SLBJ Photographer; Steph Kukuljan and Veneta Rizvic – St. Louis Business Journal

Mar 22, 2018, 2:35pm

Teri Nicely and her husband thought nothing of it when they offered to let their friends stay with them while the friends looked for a new home.

“They could have easily moved in with one of their kids, but it was our idea,” said Nicely, a longtime realtor with RedKey Realty Leaders who handled $13 million in transactions in 2017, up from $10.6 million in 2016.

The friends wound up staying five months before they found a house in Wildwood that needed renovation — longer than Nicely and her friends, one also a real estate agent, expected.

An “extreme shortage” of homes on the market is pushing sale prices higher and forcing more buyers to make emotional pleas or financial concessions — or both. Supply has declined for 33 straight months on a year-on-year basis, according to information from the National Association of Realtors.

Months of Inventory_2012 vs. 2017

Low inventory levels have made themselves at home in the St. Louis residential market. In January, inventory fell to 2.73 months — the number of months it would take to sell all homes on the market. Inventory grew slightly to 3.21 months in February, but those were the lowest January and February levels in a decade, said Mark Gellman of the Gellman Team. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand, according to the Realtors association. For comparison, in 2012 inventory was at a 10.29-month supply, while 2009 inventory levels hit 15.93, according to MLS statistics provided by Gellman.

Nationally, existing-home sales were up 3 percent in February but that followed two straight months of declines.

Real estate agents and homebuilders said it’s a lack of sellers, rather than a surplus of buyers, that’s pushing the market to historic lows.

Sellers are waiting to put their home on the market until they themselves find a new place to live. That’s typical, Nicely said, but “there’s not enough to buy.”

“It’s a unique problem, and one I haven’t experienced in 13 years,” she said.

Switching strategies

Agents are spending months with buyers, instead of just weeks. And the conversation is changing. Flexibility is urged, and removing some contingencies is encouraged if buyers can swing it. Now, more prospective homebuyers are writing letters to owners as emotional pleas as buyers try to find anything to make their offer stand out, agents said.

It can take a combination of strategies, Kathy Beilein, president of Laura McCarthy Real Estate, said. One couple had lost out on each of their four offers for homes in Shrewsbury, Dogtown, south St. Louis and Richmond Heights despite offering $20,000 above the asking price and writing letters. So when they found a home in Webster Groves, they wrote a letter and included a photo again, but they bid $5,000 over the asking price and eliminated financial contingencies. That couple’s contract was selected from more than 10 others and got the house for $250,000.

“If they know what their options are, buyers can have a better plan,” said Beilein, whose firm reported about $340 million in sales in 2017.

Homebuilders are altering their strategies as well. Custom homebuilder Hibbs Homes and its owner Kim Hibbs said he’s having to manage clients’ expectations as it’s taking longer to find a lot and build a home due to shortages in supply and labor.

“That could slow us down,” said Hibbs, whose firm reported $7.8 million in 2017 revenue, up from $4.1 million in 2016.

But the demand has pushed the firm to make its estimator and selection coordinator, who were part-time just two years ago, full-time employees and hire a third superintendent.

Payne Family Homes has seen its labor and material costs grow double digits over the past three years, President Ken Kruse said.

Ken Kruse President Payne Family Homes

Payne Family Homes President Ken Kruse

Payne built 237 homes in 2016 and 263 in 2017, while recording revenue growth from $77.1 million in 2016 to $90.5 million last year. It recently opened Legends Point in O’Fallon, Missouri, at Highway 40 and Highway N and has more than 150 home sites in the works.

Shunning big and old

Kruse said Payne has added more staff as demand grows from buyers who want updated kitchens and bathrooms, open floor plans and main-floor laundries.

“The existing home market is attracting more buyers to newer communities,” he said. “People will move when their lives tell them, and they find a way to make it work.”

Consort Homes is building more spec homes. The Chesterfield-based firm has tripled the number of inventory homes year over year, from 23 homes today compared with seven this time last year because of demand for new homes. Consort sold or closed 155 homes in 2017, up from 128 in 2016, and saw revenue reach about $48 million, said President Ken Stricker.

Most & Fewest Days on Market by Zip Code in 2017


Stafford Manion, owner of luxury real estate firm Gladys Manion Inc., said improvements and maintenance of older homes scares off many of today’s buyers who want more efficient, less complicated houses. Over the past 12 months, homes more than 50 years old and selling for more than $2.5 million spent more than 500 days on the market — just three homes like that sold in Ladue and zero in Clayton, Manion said. But 516 homes in the $200,000-$400,000 range in Kirkwood and University City sold with an average of 32 days on the market, he added.

Nationally, there was double-digit year-over-year sales growth for homes priced at $250,000 and above, according to the Realtors association.

“I’ve never seen such a differentiated market where one is a seller’s market and the other is a buyer’s market,” said Manion, who has been in real estate more than 30 years.

Moving mortgages

As St. Louis’ largest homebuilder, McBride & Son Homes’ customers are embracing large master-planned communities, Chairman and CEO John Eilermann Jr. said. The company built 50 new communities at various locations and price points in the past few years. McBride sold 854 homes in 2017, an increase of 15 percent from the year prior. The homebuilder posted revenue of $257.3 million in 2017, compared with $206.8 million in 2016.

 “The increases in mortgage rates have been moderate and that has created some urgency,” Eilermann said. “That’s a part of our success. People think they are going up, so they want to buy now.”

Mark Mihal, regional mortgage manager for U.S. Bank, said rates could see a slight increase over the next year, though it’s unlikely rates will reach 5 percent. In January, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates hit 4.03 percent and increased to 4.33 percent in February, according to data from the Gellman Team. But that’s closing in on a four-year high of 4.46 percent.

Mortgage lenders see a lot of positives impacting the market, Mihal added, including low unemployment, higher wages and few economic risks.

“We’re optimistic about the housing market and mortgage rates,” Mihal said. “We expect inventory levels to increase throughout the year and expect for the first time to have year-over-year growth in 2018.”

U.S. Bank, which has a 25 percent share of the St. Louis market and had a 20 percent increase in purchase applications year-to-date, last year rolled out a new mortgage loan portal aimed at millennials, who now make up 40 percent of homebuyers, he said.

The online portal cuts the time it takes to get approval from 30 days to about 15 days, Mihal said. In a competitive market that St. Louis is seeing now, that halving could mean the difference between buying a home or losing out.



Inside & Out, Top to Bottom, Home, March 18, 2018

LUXURY INCLUDED Inside & Out, Top to Bottom

We don’t believe in taking short cuts. That’s why every Payne Family home includes remarkable construction features inside and out, top to bottom -- to ensure maximum overall quality, value and integrity. Our homes are intentionally well-crafted for the way you live with space to gather, areas for entertaining, room to grow, and places to get organized.

And imagine everything in your home being brand new, first quality … all at the same time. That’s the beauty of new home construction. Luxury included in new remarkably well-built homes featuring quality products and warranty backed for total peace of mind.

You’ll feel the difference the moment you step inside a Payne Family home. We take great time and care in the design of our homes, and we’re purposeful about the materials we use and the partners we choose. These choices create a home that will truly stand the test of time.

In fact, no home is released to close until Payne Family Homes superintendents conduct a 276 point quality inspection which hits point-by-point everything from gutters and splash blocks, to masonary and landscaping, concrete finishes to light bulbs and window screens. No detail goes unchecked.

And quality is not an option. It’s a standard. Visit any of our 17 communities in St. Charles, St. Louis, and Jefferson counties to experience the Payne standards of quality.

Build your dream home with us during the month of March and pick an additional luxury option at absolutely no extra cost, plus get $2,000 to $10,000 cash for use at closing courtesy of our union trade partners. Offer details available at and at 314-477-1218.


Eva Fryar - Professional Builder 40 Under 40 2018

By Mike Beirne, Senior Editor and Kate Carsella, Associate Editor

Starting a home building company at age 19 and becoming the go-to consultant for contractors and inspectors regarding how to frame round staircases and roofs with multiple valleys and hips is a credential for being a rising star. So is not having any field experience but learning the construction side well enough to become a superintendent before eventually rising to senior management.

The backgrounds of home building superstars selected as the 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Professional Builder are as varied as entrepreneurs whose businesses started out as back-of-the-truck carpentry or remodeling services and grew into companies averaging more than $1 million in monthly sales to professionals who pursued advanced degrees and certifications while working full-time and raising families.

They persevered during the Great Recession and kept loan defaults at bay by finding ways to keep projects going and revenue streaming in. They grew sales volume and marketing outreach by introducing their companies to new technologies, processes, and social media. Many of our winners were elected at a young age to serve as presidents of their local HBAs. The next generation of leaders also gives back in many ways by supporting charities that address needs in their communities and in other countries.

Professional Builder proudly presents the 40 Under 40 class of 2018.


Congratulations to Eva Fryar, VP Construction Operations, Payne Family Homes. We are so proud of you.

Passionate About Organization

Passionate About ORGANIZATION

Functional Luxuries Included in Every Payne Family Home February 25, 2018, HOME Pages 1-2

Home shows. Display homes. Design magazines. Each features pristine, clutter-free, looks-like-noone- lives-here homes. But in reality, life is messy! It’s hard to maintain a clutter-free existence if you don’t have the functional space to make organizing easy and quick for the entire family.

Fortunately, when we create home plans at Payne Family Homes, there are a bunch of moms, dads, and busy professionals in the room. We encourage our team to contribute insights from their own lifestyles into every aspect of the home building process. The results are casually elegant homes where an integral part of the luxury included is the sheer functionality.

You’ll find these “functional luxuries” throughout Payne homes, including:
• Owner’s Entry – Stylish, attractive space which allows family members to organize their comings and goings without even realizing it.
• Ample Closet Space - It’s nearly impossible to have too much closet space.
• Big Kitchen Island – This is where dinner, homework, car-borrowing negotiations, and play-dough can peacefully coexist.
• Family Command Center – Keep bill pay, calendars, grocery lists, family notes and more in plain sight, yet out of view.
• Laundry Room Placement – The less laundry hauling required, the happier and more energetic everyone is. That’s why we design laundry rooms to follow the master suite.
• Optional Floor Plan Configurations and Functional Loft Spaces - Select plans allow anything from working at home, to house guests, to multi-generational living.
We get it. You want – no, need - an organized home to be the anchor for your busy life. That’s what we want for you too, so for the remainder of the month of February we’re making it easier than ever with our free finished lower rec room promotion or $15,000 in options at no added cost. Restrictions apply and time is limited, so give us a call now at 314-477-1218 to start planning your organized new home needs.


Construction underway at St. Jude Dream Home in O’Fallon

A new home being constructed in the O’Fallon neighborhood of Legends Pointe will stand out from all the rest this year.

The 2018 St. Jude Dream home, which will benefit the Memphis children’s research hospital, will donate the house to one lucky family while benefiting children with life-threatening illnesses.

The house had it’s framing constructed in O’Fallon on Saturday by volunteers from the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.

Paul Higgins, a representative from the Carpenters, said even though the cold and snowy sky wasn’t an ideal building environment, the pay off is well worth it.

“It’s not ideal weather for construction but we’re tough, we’re used to it and we never miss the chance to pitch in on one of these St. Jude homes,” Higgins said.

The dream home is being built by St. Louis-based Payne Family Homes, with donated materials and labor. With a value estimated around $400,000, the 3,700 square-foot house features four bedrooms, a finished lower level and a second floor eagle’s nest.

More than 30 cities participate in the Dream Home giveaway, which sells $100 tickets for the chance to win the house or other prizes. It is St. Jude’s largest and most recognized annual fundraiser.

Founded by actor Danny Thomas in 1962, the Memphis hospital treats 7,500 children each year, most suffering from cancer. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

For the past 30 years, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has raised $370 million for medical care and research and give away more than 450 of these dream homes.

Eva Fryar, vice president of construction operations at Payne Family Homes, said 2018 marked the fifth year the construction company has teamed up with the organization.

“It’s an amazing cause and we always say that if you’re able to do something then you should do something,” Fryar said. “It’s given away in September and we start planning for the next house in November. We have just two months off before we start planning, breaking ground and doing it all over again.”

According to a press release, this year’s build is happening under a cloud of uncertainty for the Carpenters and its signatory contractors. Gov. Eric Greitens and Republican-controlled legislature are pushing a right to work law – a potential blow to the state’s construction unions.

“In other parts of the country that are right to work they don’t get the whole Dream Home built for free because they can’t get a group like this together,” Vic Hoerstkamp, president of Cheltenham Construction Services said. “Our union carpenters out here today are part of a team, they make a good living and so they don’t mind volunteering their time like this.”

Tickets for last year’s giveaway, which was also built in St. Charles County, sold out and raised more than $1 million. Contestants can start entering this year’s drawing from the dream home beginning in June at


Crews break ground on O’Fallon ‘Dream Home’

2018 St Jude Dream Home Ground Breaking

O'FALLON, MO — Crews broke ground Thursday morning (Jan. 25) on the next St. Jude Dream Home in O’Fallon Missouri. Fox 2/KPLR 11 was there with the team from Payne Family Homes along with their many partners to celebrate the event.

The one and one-half story home will feature four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, a three car garage and high ceilings throughout.

Payne Family Homes will spare no detail when designing and building the new home. There will be a custom stained glass window with the St. Jude logo, built-in bunk beds, a sunken media room, and the Magic House is contributing a playroom in the lower level.

Celebrity Designer Michael Moloney from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has partnered up with St. Jude to design Michael’s Mystery Suite. He'll lend his talents to design a special master suite which will be unveiled after the ribbon cutting ceremony.

There’s a lot of work to be done, and the team is ready to hit the ground running. Over the next few weeks, crews will lay the foundation for the month, and next month they will put up the frame of the house in a single weekend.

Tickets for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway go on sale June 14 for $100 each. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

More information:


Say Good-bye to New Year Clutter Blues


Post-Dispatch, Home Section, Jan 21, 2018


The decorations are down. Holiday guests have arrived safely back home. And, the house is a wreck! All the holiday joy has caused new stuff to overload called the Clutter Blues. What a luxury it would be to have room to organize, room to store, and room to relax so January could be less about continuing the madness and more about cozyingup in front of the fireplace.

Fortunately, Payne Family Homes has thought through even the smallest detail of every floor plan to include everything you need in your new home to enhance your lifestyle and avoid stuff overload.

Our new home designs start with an open kitchengreat room-café concept to create a light-filled space which makes it nearly impossible to feel cluttered. The owner’s entry provides a drop space for book bags and backpacks keeping stuff out of view from the rest of the home. And, optional floor plan configurations provide spaces to allow your family and your guests to spread out in luxurious comfort.

Our optional finished lower levels are designed to give your family a luxurious place to have fun and to do some serious stuff-storage. As a special treat, Payne Family Homes is offering all homebuyers signing firm contracts in January a free finished lower level rec room or $15,000 in upgrade options to help put a serious dent in your clutter problem.

So if you’re looking around wondering where to go with all the stuff, check out the luxury included in every Payne Family home. Call 314- 477-1218 or visit us now. Next January could be relaxing rather than battling the Clutter Blues.


Go west! St. Charles County continues to experience a westward expansion

By: Brian Flinchpaugh, Mid Rivers NewsMagzine, October 30, 2017

The siren’s call of the Wentzville School District, with its tentacles reaching into O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie and Lake Saint Louis, is luring homebuilders and home buyers into western St. Charles County.

One developer leads the charge

In the last few weeks, major residential developments have been announced or received significant approvals that will allow them to move forward in Dardenne Prairie, O’Fallon and Lake Saint Louis. All are by one major homebuilder, Payne Family Homes. The company also has other developments under review, being built or about to be submitted to those municipalities and others in St. Charles County. But Payne is not alone; other homebuilders also are active in the area.

In Dardenne Prairie, the city’s Board of Aldermen voted 4-1 on Oct. 18 to approve adjustment of the single-family residential zoning and a planned unit development [PUD] plan to guide the development of 16.7 acres north of the Route 364 roundabout exit at Bryan Road. Aldermen Blake Nay [Ward 2] voted against the rezoning.

Fifty-one single-family homes would be developed on the tract, according to plans submitted by Payne. Mayor David Zucker said the company must submit a final plan for the site. The property was one of two tracts voluntarily annexed into the city in March.

Meanwhile, in Lake Saint Louis, a public hearing was held Oct. 16 on a zoning amendment and PUD sought by Payne for a proposed single-family home development on 131 lots to be known as Port Calais subdivision. The hearing was continued to the next regular board meeting scheduled for Nov. 6. Payne wants to develop the subdivision on a 43.8-acre tract at 4009 Intersttate 64/Hwy. 61 between Oak Bluff Drive and Freymuth Road.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said city staff has met with Payne officials to review plans that feature single-family villa homes along with amenities such as a trail and small lake with a fountain.  A public meeting is planned for Nov. 9 at the Cuivre Electric Cooperative offices at 8357 Hwy. N. At that time, Payne officials will discuss the new subdivision with residents of Hawk Ridge on the Green, the Estates at Hawk Ridge and Heritage at Hawks Ridge subdivisions.

Earlier this month, Payne announced plans for a mixed-use development on 260 acres in O’Fallon, with plans for retail and office space developments, along with 400 single-family homes. The $400 million development, known as The Streets of Caledonia, is to be built on largely undeveloped property at the northwest corner of Interstate 64 and Route DD, just across the interstate from Winghaven. THF 40 DD Development LLC, a company associated with developers Michael Staenberg and Stan Kroenke, largely owns the property. However, the men have been involved in litigation that has delayed development of the property for more than a decade.

Initial plans call for 80-acres of office space and 25-acres of retail development in addition to the single-family homes. Included is a grocery store, pharmacy, urgent care center and other retail space. A Payne news release indicated that construction could begin next year with the project taking as long as five years to finish. But O’Fallon officials say Payne and other entities involved with the project have not yet submitted development plans as part of the city’s review process.

Tom Drabelle, the city’s communications director, said Oct. 13 that the site is one of the largest undeveloped tracts in the southern part of the city. It is across I-64 from MasterCard and Citigroup and east of the city’s new 55-acre O’Day Park, on which is set to begin construction soon.

The all-encompassing Wentzville School District

Common denominators for builders and buyers alike include the Wentzville School District and the area’s proximity to Route 364, which extends from Lake Saint Louis to Maryland Heights in St. Louis County.

Even before the final phases of the route’s extension, from I-64 to Mid Rivers Mall Drive, opened in 2014, local officials and residents speculated on the economic and other impacts it would have on central and western St. Charles County. One impact is home buyers who are drawn to the area by its new roads and a growing school district, whose enrollment shows no signs of slowing.

Since 2001, the Wentzville School District has grown by 600 or more students a year, making it the fastest growing school district in Missouri. Today, it’s the 11th largest school district in the state.

Mary LaPak, the district’s chief communications officer, said the district could be in the top five for size in the next three or four years. By 2026, district officials are projecting enrollment reaching as high as 23,180 students. The district’s current enrollment is about 16,382 students.

Cyndie Roche, vice president of sales and marketing for Payne Family Homes, described the Wentzville School District as “a huge draw” and “a huge piece of land.” The district takes in portions of four municipalities – Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Foristell and O’Fallon – and all of Wentzville.

Roche said the school district is “probably the No. 1 thing we talk about with potential buyers.” Many of those buyers have young families; others are retired but looking to stay close to their children, Roche said.

“My personal opinion is that when we get opportunities in that corridor, we do everything we can to make those opportunities work out for everyone involved,” Roche said. The Wentzville School District and the O’Fallon zip code is “a magical combination,” she added.

The proposed The Streets of Caledonia subdivision may bear out that description, offering the best of all worlds.

“You look at all the press that O’Fallon gets and how well respected it is as a municipality and then you add that the Wentzville schools are all pretty new and they’re growing, and they have a great reputation whether it be academics, sports or special schooling,” Roche said.

It’s a siren’s song that’s hard to ignore.

Easy access on new roads

I-64 and Route 364, with its possible further extension west, along with commerce already in western St. Charles and with more coming, add to the attractiveness of the area, Roche said. She said Route 364  often is used more by commuters and less by the heavy over-the-road tractor trailers that clog Interstate 70.

“So when you think about where you want your family driving, where you want to live, what kind of traffic you want to be near, Route 364, in and of itself, is made for residents where I-70 is really geared toward cross-the-state traffic.

“Route 364 has a much different traffic pattern. People recognize that and accommodate their living arrangement around that.”

In a previous job, Roche worked for an international bank and with clients in a number of states who were looking at growth areas. The best growth, she said, was in markets where there were good roads and transportation.

“Those people wanted amenities, they wanted schools, they wanted a nightlife, they wanted arts and culture, and they wanted easy access to their shopping.

“If you just take a quick snapshot of Wentzville, Lake Saint Louis and that Route 364 corridor and Hwy. N, its check, check, check,” Roche said.

A ‘beautiful, little oasis’

Payne and other developers have been, and continue to be, drawn to the city of Wentzville.

Doug Forbeck, the city’s community development director, said the city may not have a lot of residential growth potential in the I-64 and Route 364 areas because parts of those areas are outside city limits. The city also has a growth boundary agreement with Lake Saint Louis near Duello and Prospect roads that limits annexations of unincorporated land there. But Forbeck said more single-family housing permits are issued in Wentzville than in any other municipality in St. Charles County.

“We’re looking at 650 to 700 homes [being added] to the city on a yearly basis, which generates about 1,900 new residents to the community,” Forbeck said.

That pattern is holding true so far this year. Forbeck said that the city had issued 576 housing permits as of Oct. 23 – 512 permits for single-family units and 64 multi-family permits.

“There’s also a lot of roadway construction activity that will feed into the growth of the community,” he said, particularly along Hwy. 61, where new interchanges are planned.

Roche said the Wentzville area may see its population double with land still available, businesses moving in and highway work continuing.

At first glance, Payne seems to have a lock on the area, but Roche said that competition among homebuilders remains high in the area.

“It is really about who can get to the landowner first or who the landowners contact first,” she said.

Roche said homebuilders still remember what happened during the recession, starting in 2007, and that “nobody wants to put too much land in their land bank and not be prepared.”

“But I do see everybody recognizing that there is this little microcosm of a submarket called Wentzville that reaches its tentacles into other submarkets like O’Fallon and Lake Saint Louis and together they are creating a beautiful, little oasis just right outside the city of St. Louis,” she said. “I think we’re going to be here a while.”



Payne Family Homes plans huge commercial development in O'Fallon, Mo.


Streets of Caledonia

Payne Family Homes plans a $400 million commercial development along Highway 40 in O'Fallon, Mo. (Site plan via engineering firm Cochran)

For residential developer Payne Family Homes, the project marks its first foray into commercial development. The company is launching a commercial real estate division to lead the project.

“Payne has built beautiful neighborhoods for 10 years now, full of people who want convenient access to work, grocery, shopping, and other amenities,” Ken Kruse, Payne’s president, said in a statement. “Bringing commercial into our portfolio makes sense as commercial and homes go hand-in-hand.”

The $400 million development, tentatively branded as “the Streets of Caledonia,” calls for 25 acres of retail development and 80 acres of office, medical and hospitality space, as well as senior housing. Planned is an anchor grocery store, retail centers, a convenience store, a pharmacy, an urgent care center, an independent living facility and high-end multifamily housing.

The project would be just east of O’Fallon’s planned 55-acre O’Day Park, which the city expects to begin construction on next month. Plans for the park include trails, a ropes course and a bird-watcher’s garden.

Payne plans to break ground next year on the commercial development and build it out over about five years.

The property slated for development is largely owned by THF 40 DD Development LLC, an entity affiliated with developers Stan Kroenke and Michael Staenberg, whose long business relationship developing suburban shopping centers dissolved amid disagreements and lawsuits.

Kroenke is the owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

Payne is listing 25 acres of retail space with commercial real estate broker NAI DESCO, and 60 acres of mixed use space along the highway is listed with Gershman Commercial.


Payne Family Homes behind $400 million mixed-use project in St. Charles

St. Louis Business Journal | Wednesday, October 12, 2017, Brian Feldt

Payne Family Homes has 260 acres in St. Charles County under contract with plans to develop a $400 million mixed-use project, the largest the company has undertaken in its 10-year history. 

The land, which sits on the southwest portion of the Interstate 64 and Winghaven Boulevard intersection in O’Fallon, is owned by THF 40 DD Development LLC, a business entity tied to estranged developers Stan Kroenkeand Michael Staenberg.

The property sat undeveloped for years as Kroenke and Staenberg litigated a high-profile business dispute that reached a settlement earlier this year.