How Cape Girardeau casino will affect property values

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - With the Isle of Capri Casino starting to go up, owners in the downtown Cape Girardeau area, hope to see their property values go up.

But many know, only time will tell.

"We'll just have to wait and see," said Marla Mills, the Executive Director of Old Town Cape.

Wait and see, a game. Not like Blackjack, or Roulette, but one that Mills says could show a change in the property values of the space in downtown.

"I believe that they will go up over time for a lot of reasons, and the casino will be one piece of that," said Mills.

It's a pretty big piece according to Jane Clark, a real estate broker.  She has numerous properties downtown.

"We have had probably three times the calls and the showings since we knew for sure the casino was coming to Cape," said Clark.

"I can say for sure the number of people interested in downtown and what's going on, and wanting to be a part of that in property owner or a business has increased over the past six months specifically since the casino has gotten its award of the licence," said Mills.

Clark and Mills say not only has the interest in these properties started to go up, but they say the asking price has too.

"I know some properties for sale, the asking price has gone up on those, so if those sell for a higher price than they could have before, than that will be a true testament to that," said Mills.

Downtown property owner Jim Riley says now is the time to invest in properties like this, in the heart in Downtown Cape Girardeau, before the casino comes a year and eight months from now.

Riley said he thinks the casino will bring more foot traffic to the downtown shops, restaurants, and businesses.

"I just think the activity that is going to be generated is going to be something that business owners especially will be interested in," said Clark.

But Mills says it's important that business owners don't bank on something that is still just a speculation.

"Although I think the casino is a big piece of it, I think it is just a piece," said Mills.

It's a piece that some say might be the needed piece to raise the value of downtown Cape Girardeau.

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