The Final Frontier

After cutting his chops on the Wave Tower and Pixel Tower, architect James Law is heading up his most ambitious Dubai project to date: the iPad Tower. The “cybertechtural” 26-floor apartment building for Omniyat Properties features 231 one-and two-bedroom apartments and lofts with windows wired for streaming video that displays virtual views of anywhere in the world. Additional software will change the color of the walls when residents get an email or telephone call, while smart furniture will conform to a resident's body or take the shape of a bed or couch as needed in real time. The iPad Tower is scheduled for completion in 2010. —C.W.

Perfect Spot Convenience comes first at Spinnaker Bay, a 315-unit luxury apartment community overlooking the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Md. Outside of each unit, residents will find a handy shelf where they can place grocery bags, purses, and other items while they find their keys to unlock the front door. The property is managed by Bozzuto Management Co. —R.Z.A.

Vet Support Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is building the first of five pilot veterans-housing developments planned for U.S. communities with the highest concentrations of homeless veterans. The St. Leo Campus in Chicago includes a 141-unit complex of studio apartments for struggling vets, 14 rental units for physically disabled vets (opening in the fall), and an outpatient clinic. Catholic Charities will manage components of the campus. —R.Z.A.

Clearing the Way Multifamily developers building to 2006 International Building Code (IBC) and 2003 International Code Council (ICC) standards won't have to fret over accessibility requirements, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced June 7. Kim Kendrick, HUD's assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, made the safe harbor announcement to rounds of applause at a multifamily subcommittee meeting held in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Spring Board of Directors Meeting. “This latest endorsement is a result of HUD and NAHB's ongoing commitment to providing accessible housing,” NAHB president Brian Catalde said in a statement. “By building to these codes, multifamily builders are assured that they are providing accessible housing while complying with HUD's Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines.” —C.W.


Q. Where are the next big opportunities for student housing development?

A: “To date, many developers have strictly targeted the large state universities. The most neglected segment with the greatest potential, however, is the ‘mid-major' or smaller state universities with enrollments of 5,000 to 15,000 students. In these markets, land is generally less costly and there is usually less overall competition.” —P.J. Cusmano, director, Integra Realty Resources

A: “Conventional apartment communities immediately adjacent to campus that can be converted; small under-served colleges in the 5,000- to 10,000-student population range; and joint ventures on university land.” —Kevin R. Larimer, senior investment advisor, Hendricks & Partners

A: “Austin recently passed an ordinance granting increased building heights in the West Campus area adjacent to the University of Texas. As a result, high-density construction boomed and student housing transactions have been setting record sale prices.” —Patton Jones, national student housing sales director, Apartment Realty Advisors