Richard SchecHter may trace his multifamily roots back to 1927, but he isn’t one to say he’s seen it all before. The chairman, CEO, and managing principal of Wellington, Fla.-based Bainbridge Cos. emphasizes creativity and continuity in how his team approaches acquisition and development opportunities. This year alone, those efforts will bring Bainbridge—which has about 10,000 units under management in Washington, D.C., Florida, and North Carolina—into new management markets on the East Coast as well as see the groundbreaking on two complexes totaling 420 units in the second half of 2010.
“Creativity is immensely important in any business,” says Schechter, a third-generation multifamily developer. “It is extremely important that everyone is light on their feet and thinking ahead at all times.”
Flexibility takes some doing with Bainbridge’s vertical operations model. The company boasts development, acquisition, operations, brokerage, and distressed asset expertise—a multifaceted approach that Schechter says is invaluable.
By year’s end, the firm will open its first New York office and continue expansion across the East Coast before heading West. “The key players at Bainbridge have market knowledge from Boston to Florida to California to Oregon,” Schechter says. “I see us moving to the West Coast at some point.”
That’s not to say the future of Bainbridge is proscribed. While Schechter is a cautious optimist, he points to the frontiers of Internet apartment marketing and social media as nuances that should force creative evolution at even the most traditional of apartment firms. “Demographics in the apartment business over the next decade are terrific,” Schechter says. “But I don’t think we are returning in the very near future to a bull market.”