Factory Built West Coast Gen Yers may soon be living small. Seattle-based Unico Properties has developed a green, prototype modular apartment, called inhabit, aimed at young professionals earning 80 percent to 150 percent of the area median income. The units—just 15 feet wide and 45 feet long—can be placed adjacent to one another and stacked up to five high to create buildings with up to 100 apartments. The developer plans to build these modular communities in Seattle and Portland the next two years. —R.Z.A.
First Flip Pundits who predicted that the privatization of REIT Archstone-Smith Trust would amount to a property flip play may have been right. Prior to closing their $15.2 billion acquisition of the Englewood, Colo.—based firm, the New York-based partnership of Tishman Speyer Properties and Lehman Bros. Holdings lined up a joint venture with Irvine, Calif.-based Irvine Co. to take a 90 percent ownership stake in Archstone's Orange County and San Diego portfolios. Irvine Co. will pay a reported $1.4 billion for its stake in the 18 communities. In other Archstone-related news, U.S. Sens. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) have asked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to clarify how the $8.9 billion in property loans they purchased as part of the privatization deal fit into the government-sponsored mortgage companies' affordability mandate. —C.W.
Auction Block Going once, going twice, sold for $288,000—not a bad deal for a condo in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. Within an hour, the developer of Parkside at Alexandria auctioned its 30 remaining two- and three-bedroom condos at the 378-unit community in Alexandria, Va. Final prices were $288,000 to $362,000—among the lowest area prices in 10 years. “In light of current market conditions, it's time to let buyers determine the value of these remaining homes,” said Jon Gollinger of Accelerated Marketing Partners, which helped auction the units. —R.Z.A.
Power to the People Written correspondence will soon be a thing of the past at seven public housing communities in Harlem, N.Y. The nonprofit Abyssinian Development Corp. is training residents on how to submit work order requests, vandalism reports, community concerns, and more via specialized software programs. The computers are sponsored by OneEconomy and donated by the nonprofit PerScholas. —R.Z.A.