When you read the newspapers and the real estate trade publications, you could easily come to the conclusion that there is no money to be made in the Midwest and the Rust Belt.

The big apartment players are all looking to the coasts and the Southeast and Southwest for opportunities. Some of them are selling what little they held in places like Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.

Speaking as a native of one of the rustiest old steel towns in the nation, Youngstown, Ohio, I say that’s their loss. Markets in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions may not yield a lot of grand slam home runs, but they do offer good steady returns to smart, patient players.

I invite you to read about some success stories from that region. Our coverage begins on page 50. And look for more coverage in future issues.

AFT finds a new home

As editor of APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY magazine, I have tried hard to make sure our coverage has practical value to the full range of apartment firms in all regions, not just the big guys.

It’s been nearly 10 years since we started APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY, and recently, I decided I have taken our products as far as I could as an entrepreneur. To grow our franchise and better serve our customers, I needed to find a new home for this magazine, and our annual conference, Apartment Finance Today’s Developer Conference.

After careful consideration, I decided that Hanley Wood, LLC, had the capacity, resources and talent to help my staff and me provide more services to the multifamily housing industry.

Based in Washington, D.C., Hanley Wood has a 30-year track record of serving the information needs of the housing industry. APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY magazine and Apartment Finance Today’s Developer Conference are joining the ranks of such titles as BUILDER and MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE magazines, and such events as the Builder 100, which brings together the CEOs of most of the nation’s top home building firms. (AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine and AHF Live: The Tax Credit Developers’ Summit are also now part of Hanley Wood.)

Hanley Wood is the premier media company serving housing and construction. Through five operating divisions, the company produces award-winning magazines and Web sites, marquee trade shows and events, rich data, and custom marketing solutions. The $240 million company is owned by JPMorgan Partners, LLC, a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Hanley Wood publishes 26 award-winning residential and commercial construction titles.

I will remain editor-in-chief of both magazines and chair of both conferences, and our editors, conference staff, and sales people will remain with me in our San Francisco office.

We will continue to focus on financial decisions and options in the pages of APARTMENT FINANCE TODAY, but we will work with the editors of MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE to do more in-depth reporting and provide new information services to meet all your information needs.

With Hanley Wood’s resources and expertise behind us, my staff and I promise to work harder than ever to help you deliver more housing and improve your bottom line.

We are working on editorial plans for 2007 as I write this, as well as ideas for new conferences and/or training programs and new print products. Please contact me with your ideas at ashashaty@hanleywood.com.