Easy Money
Who says paying rent doesn't build equity? Not Kyle Williams, the winner of $20,000 in Oakland, Calif.-based PropertyBridge's 2008 Resident Sweepstakes. On Oct. 2, the Utah Valley University student's name was randomly selected from 150,000 entries across more than 1,000 properties in the electronic rent payment processor's sweepstakes. The award is more than enough to pay for William's annual share of the rent at his Alliance Residential apartment. "I can't believe I won, just by paying my rent," Williams says. "When I got the call, I didn't believe it was true. My mom actually called PropertyBridge to confirm that it was legitimate." Williams isn't the only one benefiting from the sweepstakes. Participating property management companies-including Alliance, Metric Property Management, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Lincoln Property Co., and Mark-Taylor Residential-saw electronic payment usage by residents soar by an average of 41 percent during the six-month contest. In addition to the $20,000 grand prize, PropertyBridge also awarded more than $5,000 to 18 residents that won monthly prizes during the promotion and contributed more than $50,000 in marketing and support for clients participating in the program.

Rent or Beer: Kyle Williams and his roommates celebrate William's $20,000 winnings in the 2008 PropertyBridge Resident Sweepstakes. Photo: PropertyBridge Livin' On a Prayer
After a quarter-century of providing incendiary lead guitar work and bitchin' backup vocals for multi-platinum rock super group Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora is finally more than just halfway there. On Sept. 10, the Philadelphia-based Falcone Group announced that Sambora had plopped down $3.58 million for a 52nd floor, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath condo at the development firm's Two Liberty Place. "I'm so excited to finally have a home in Philadelphia," Sambora says. "Choosing the Residences at Two Liberty Place was easy-it's the most upscale residential building the world has ever seen. The views are outrageous, and the level of personalized service is unbelievable. They treat you like, well, a rock star." At 848 feet, the 40-story Two Liberty Place is Philadelphia's tallest residential building and offers units ranging from an 1,150-square-foot one-bedroom unit to what the Falcone Group calls a 12,000-square-foot "mansion in the sky." At Sambora's record-setting Philadelphia price point of $1,377 per square foot, we can only wonder who might be able to afford the mansion in the sky. Heather Locklear, perhaps?

Rebuilding Reservations
As part of a five-year commitment to build or preserve 10,000 affordable homes and rentals on Native American land and in rural communities, Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners cut the ribbon Sept. 26 on the newly constructed Chuska Apartments bordering the Navajo Nation in Gallup, N.M. The six-building, 30-unit community features two- and three-bedroom apartments available to individuals earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. As one of the first green, affordable housing developments in New Mexico, the community boasts passive solar space heating, drought tolerant landscaping, energy-efficient windows, rooftop solar hot water heating, and rain water catchments for irrigation. Development costs for the property totaled $7.9 million, powered primarily by $6.3 million in low-income housing tax credit equity.

Editor's note: Send your offbeat multifamily news leads to cwood@hanleywood.com.