February 2005 Table of Contents

Who's Got The Next Round?

The sluggish performance of the stock market and other investment vehicles, combined with historically low interest rates, has fed a real estate frenzy around the country. And, given apartment properties' relatively stable performance over time, the multifamily sector suddenly finds itself hosting a very crowded party of people who want to be part of the scene. Read more

Follow the Leaders Follow the Leaders

In light of tighter corporate regulation, high-level executive departures—such as Michael Eisner of the Walt Disney Co.—and too many high-profile business scandals, many public multifamily companies are reevaluating and strengthening succession plans, going far deeper into the company hierarchy than in the past. It's a change for the apartment industry, which has typically focused more on property-level on-site turnover and retention issues, but it's a change that promises dividends. Read more

Mind Reader Mind Reader

In a culture obsessed with youthfulness, both real and perceived, Michael Grust stands apart. As the rest of us lament our latest grey hairs and quietly voice our worries of growing old, the 49-year-old Grust spends his days catering to the elderly—the demographic group many of us fear joining. Read more

Climate Change Climate Change

Nearly two years ago, when Freddie Mac's accounting issues unexpectedly became front-page news, virtually no one in the housing industry wanted to say two words on the topic—unless it was “no comment.” (I know—I called them.) After all, housing appeared to be the economy's only support, and Freddie and Fannie Mae provided then, as they do today, the financial foundation for the housing industry, offering a reliable source of liquidity for the marketplace. Read more

Desperate for Shelter Desperate for Shelter

In a situation underscoring the nation's homeless crisis, two children were found living in a storage shed in Charles County, Md., in November. “It certainly parallels all our findings that working families with children are finding it harder and harder to find housing that they can afford,” says Conrad Egan, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference. Read more

No Answer No Answer

Two years ago, you could call the corporate office for Bostic Construction and get someone on the phone within a ring or two. Now, when you call the Greensboro, N.C.-based multifamily building firm, you get so tangled in the company's voice mail system that it's hard to tell where you are in the touch-tone hierarchy—and whether you're any closer to reaching a real person. Read more

Building Up the Fort Building Up the Fort

Fort Lauderdale's days of catering to retirees and college students on spring break are long gone. Squeeze—if you can—into one of the clubs or restaurants that line entertainment districts along Las Olas Boulevard, Wilton Drive, and Hollywood Boulevard and you'll be rubbing elbows with a vibrant group of young professionals who live, work, and play in Fort Lauderdale and nearby cities in Broward County. Read more

Staying Home Staying Home

When Nelson Leenhouts appeard on the August 2001 cover of MULTI-FAMILY EXECUTIVE, he and his twin brother Nelson were just a few months into a planned transition that would lead to their departure from the company they'd founded in 1967. Read more

Watch Your Step Watch Your Step

Given the condo craze sweeping Florida, Southern California, and Washington, D.C., it would seem that condominium management would be a natural extension for apartment property management firms. Not so fast, say property management execs with condo experience. Read more

Energy Surge Energy Surge

When Newton, Mass., developer Chris Yule bought a failing townhouse property south of Boston, he set what many might consider an unusual goal: to make the property more energy-efficient, even though the property's tenants paid for their own electricity. Why bother with such upgrades? Yule believed the investment would attract higher-quality tenants and result in higher rents. He was right. Today, he estimates the return on his investment at 200 percent to 300 percent. Read more

Top Job Top Job

Constance B. Moore has been on the fast track for years, serving as managing director of Security Capital Group and most recently president and COO of BRE Properties, a publicly traded REIT. But last month, in a long-awaited promotion, Moore cracked the proverbial glass ceiling and became the CEO for BRE, a San Francisco-based company that owns more than 26,000 apartments. Read more

Tale of Two Façades Tale of Two Façades

The Eugene Coleman Community House in San Francisco is much like a slick chameleon: It adapts to its surroundings. One side of this 85-unit affordable senior housing community has a downtown, commercial look with a metal panel aluminum skin, while the opposite façade offers a soft residential feel complete with bay windows, rails, and planters. Read more

Odd Couple Odd Couple

Meeting the housing needs of low- to moderate-income seniors in Marin County, Calif., one of the nation's most expensive housing markets, is an undisputed challenge. Read more

Tech for Hire Tech for Hire

What if your property management office could make like a convenience store and stay open 24/7? As impractical and costly as it might seem, following the lead of 7-Eleven, particularly when it comes to handling hot-button issues like maintenance requests, might help you retain residents, lure new ones, and boost your portfolio's bottom line. Read more

Q & A Hot Product Of The Month Q & A

Anna McQuiston Holtzclaw answers: More people in mid-level properties now expect products that recently came only in luxury units. How has that affected what you install in your multifamily buildings? Read more

Under Lock and Key Under Lock and Key

Biometrics, formerly available only in spy movies, has moved into multifamily housing. Residents of one Archstone-Smith property in New York must have their palm print accepted by an electronic reader to get into the fitness center. But that's unusual for the Englewood, Colo.-based company—and most other apartment firms. Residents typically use a key fob—a magnetic strip attached to a key chain—and access cards, says Heather Campbell, vice president, corporate communications. Read more

The Dakota The Dakota

Imagine all the people...” John Lennon's immortal lyric was written in 1971, just a few short years prior to his late-1970s residency in The Dakota (along with wife Yoko Ono and son Sean). The site is also most famously—and somewhat ignominiously—known as the location of the former Beatle's gunning down outside its imposing front entrance in 1980. Strawberry Fields Memorial—just across Central Park West—honors the musical icon. Read more

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