Furry Neighbors Trying to boost occupancy? Consider putting out the welcome mat for Fido and Fluffy. Nearly 84 percent of respondents to an Apartments.com pet survey own a pet—and more than one-third also said it was difficult to find a pet-friendly unit. According to Apartments.com, the most popular states for pet searches include Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, New Hampshire, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Ohio, and Minnesota. —R.Z.A.
Call for Entries! Think you've got the hottest apartment or condo property in town? Does your new technology initiative take the industry by storm? Enter the 2007 MFE awards contest today at www.mfeawards.com. The entry form/fees are due by May 15, 2007. All binders are due by June 29, 2007. —R.Z.A.
High Marks Multifamily and commercial property consulting group CEL & Associates has tapped Denver-based Simpson Property Group, Austin, Texas-based CWS Apartment Homes, Charlotte, N.C.-based Crosland, and Cincinnati's HILLS Property management as the recipients of CEL's 2006 corporate “A-List” award winners for customer service in multifamily property management. Based on rigorous tenant satisfaction surveys, the awards are bestowed on “best in industry” firms for their ability to perform at a higher standard in providing quality customer service throughout their portfolio. Most recently, seven properties operated by Atlanta-based Lane Management received community level awards. —C.W.
Adobe Acrobatics As part of a 2.5 acre acquisition and redevelopment plan in Tempe that is likely to include condos, additional retail space, and possibly a hotel, Phoenix-based developer 3W companies will build around a historic adobe structure constructed in 1871 by Charles Trumbull Hayden. Dubbed “La Casa Vieja” by Hayden, the building will be integrated into the design of the forthcoming development. Previous owner Michael Monti, who has operated a steakhouse in the building since the early 1990s, will lease the space from 3W and continue providing gastronomical fulfillment to Tempe residents. —C.W.
Homeland Security The Redlands Police department in Redlands, Calif., is ready to assist multifamily executives who are looking to take a bite out of crime. The squad held a “Crime Free Multi-Housing Workshop” for property owners and managers on April 11 to address control and prevention of illegal activity on rental properties. Topics included applicant screening, evictions, gangs, narcotics, and dealing with the Fair Housing and Mediation Board. The police department hopes that proactive outreach and partnership will help on-site personnel increase safety and improve operations. —C.W.
Zealous Offer A rolling stone gathers no moss, and neither does Sam Zell's money. Just a few months after selling Equity Office Properties Trust, the chairman and founder of Equity Residential purchased the Tribune Co., which includes the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, and the Los Angeles Times. —R.Z.A.
Executive Feedback Q & A How do you anticipate your portfolio will evolve in the next several years?
A: “We have gone from 5,000 to 12,000 units in the last five years and made a conscious decision to migrate from B properties to A properties. [We] look for properties where revenues are low, where we can ... get a return on investment. We want to have a long-term, high concentration of A properties that is narrow and deep rather than wide and thin.”—Larry Connor, founder and CEO, The Connor Group
A: “We are going back to the urban infill in markets like Boston, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Nashville, and Charlotte. Our portfolio is a mix of value-add and ground-up. Of our 10,000 units, we are split 50/50 between apartments and for-sale condominiums.”—Michael Lerner, founder and CEO, MCZ Development
A: “Our portfolio is Colorado-specific, and that should be the case for at least the next few years. Future acquisitions are expected to fall into several categories: urban infill, value-add acquisitions, and potentially ... Colorado resort communities.”—Jared Miller, director of marketing, RedPeak Properties