June 2005 Table of Contents

Star Attractions Star Attractions

Every summer, the movie theater becomes a battleground, as action flicks and romantic comedies duel for box-office dollars in the crowded summertime movie market. It's not much different at an apartment property, where the prime leasing season brings a gaggle of renters looking to move. And in a relatively weak rental market saturated with new apartment buildings, you need to use every advantage you have to attract people to your property—and turn them into residents. Read more

Meet the New Neighbors Meet the New Neighbors

For SCI Real Estate Investments of Los Angeles, there have been two earthshaking events in its business. The first, which happened more than a decade ago, resulted in the firm's founding: SCI started out acquiring and reselling distressed properties after a devastating earthquake shook Southern California in 1994. Read more

Walk This Way Walk This Way

Laurie Lyons doesn't have an office, but she isn't complaining. “I am not a comfortable CEO sitting behind a desk in a high-rise,” says the recently promoted Lyons, who just moved up from president to CEO of BH Management Services. In the process, she good-naturedly handed over the president's office to her successor. “I am most comfortable when I have my walking shoes on and I am in the field, in the trenches. I love it.” Read more

Powerful Connections Powerful Connections

It's 6:15 a.m. Pacific time when I dial Jeff Stack's number, inwardly wincing at the early hour. After all, it's three hours later in my Washington office, and I'm still slugging back my morning coffee. (Just ask my staff.) But Stack, managing director of the Sares•Regis Group, a multifamily owner, manager, and developer in Irvine, Calif., has been up for hours. Each morning, he awakens at 4:15 a.m. to give his youngest daughter the first of three shots she must receive each day to keep her alive. Read more

Credit Concern Credit Concern

It's no secret that the mad rush to homeownership pulled residents away from apartments at the same time as the shaky economy and lack of new jobs has kept new renters from filling those empty spots. But it has also left apartment firms trying to raise occupancy levels facing another challenge: The people still in the apartment market don't necessarily possess the financial resources of the ones who left. Read more

The Real O.C. The Real O.C.

Those lucky enough to hold Orange County multifamily real estate know that times are good. Investors and renters want what Orange County owners have: rising rents, high returns, and equity that's growing at a rapid pace. Read more

Moving Targets Moving Targets

Want to reduce your turnover rate? Be prepared to employ a mix of personal charm and corporate strategy. At Mark-Taylor Residential, an apartment company based in Scottdale, Ariz., residents enjoy a move-in gift, free upgrades based on their tenure in the apartment, and the use of a full-service concierge for everything from concert tickets to travel arrangements—but only as long as they live at a Mark-Taylor property. Read more

Clear Vision Clear Vision

Patty Rouse just turned 79 years old. But this spunky, bright-eyed lady certainly doesn't act her age. Each weekday, Rouse, the co-founder of The Enterprise Foundation, reports to work by 10 a.m. and never leaves before 6 p.m.—well, except for the one time she left early for her grandson's hockey game, she admits in her characteristic no-nonsense manner. Read more

Window Shopping Window Shopping

If you ask most apartment owners around the country how things are going, you'll probably get a sigh. Sure, rents are slowly pushing upward in many markets, but concessions remain. “In most markets there's some upward rent pressure,” says Chris Wheeler, CEO of Gables Residential, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based REIT that operates in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Washington, and California. “But to suggest it's a strong, robust rebound would be wrong. There's just no further downward pressure.” Read more

Phone Home Phone Home

Everyone deserves a second chance—even a dormant office building. And the Home Telephone Co. building at 333 Grant St. near San Francisco's Union Square got just that. Transformed from foreclosure to for-sale, this grande dame is the city's first office-to-residential conversion. The transformation sets a high standard for similar projects in a town where housing is at a premium and architectural details are sacrosanct. Read more

Condo Converter Condo Converter

Western National Realty Advisors, a member of Western National Group, has named Aleksandra Lyons as director, land acquisitions, for the company's development division. Western National, which manages more than 23,000 multifamily units, is in the middle of an expansion plan that would double the size of its current owned portfolio to 26,000 units. Read more

All In One All In One

Building a place to live just isn't enough. Nowadays, you have to build a place for people to live, eat, shop, and work, all in one spot, according to Ram Real Estate in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Read more

Deal of a Decade Deal of a Decade

Developers hurdled many obstacles before they reached the February 2005 opening of the 57-unit Oak Creek Senior Villas on nearly two acres of once-blighted property in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The development team endured approval and construction setbacks and had trouble securing the money needed to bring affordable senior housing to the site. But when the doors finally opened after five years of dreaming, three years of planning, and 18 months of building, everyone from the county to local housing and financial officials said it was worth the decade-long headache to at last bring lower-cost apartments to an area handcuffed by slow-growth laws and filled with senior citizens on fixed incomes. Read more

Meet ZigBee Meet ZigBee

Imagine being able to gauge exactly when an apartment's refrigerator is about to fail or when a property's flowerbeds need watering. Maybe you'd like to control the thermostats in different units, running the heat or air conditioning only when residents are home. For those willing to dedicate the time and dollars, building sensors and controls that handle such on-site operations have long been available. Until recently, though, they were too costly and complicated for most multifamily companies to consider. Read more


Greg Lamb answers: What type of landscaping or hardscaping do you expect to do this year? Read more

Bathing Beauties Bathing Beauties

Gone are the days when bathrooms could be taken for granted as plain-Jane necessities. Apartment developers led the way with upgraded kitchens, and that trend toward higher-style fixtures and finishes has definitely trickled down the hall to the bath. Read more

Lake Shore Drive Apartments Lake Shore Drive Apartments

The 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, twin 26-story towers located in Chicago, are seen as legendary fixtures in the world of high-rise residential living and of modern architecture. Built in 1951 and designed by revolutionary architect Mies van der Rohe, the Lake Shore Apartments set a high standard for skyscraper construction. Read more

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