October 2005 Table of Contents

Risky Business Risky Business

Cost overruns. Construction defects. Con-versions gone bad. While there are tremendous profits to be made in the center ring of the condo circus, the dangers lurk everywhere. Read more

New Dynamic New Dynamic

Need to know how to price your apartments? Forget instinct. Think data. Read more

Corporate Decisions Corporate Decisions

The photographs have been as haunting as the stories. For days, newspapers and cable television channels have covered little but the growing tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which struck Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in late August. The storm– and the resulting floods– destroyed apartments, houses, businesses, and most of all, people's lives. The damage: $125 billion and counting, as of mid-September. Read more

Caught in a Conundrum Caught in a Conundrum

It's become something of a running joke by now: Economic prognosticators keep forecasting higher interest rates, yet the market refuses to yield. Each time interest rates on 10-year Treasury notes go up, they come right back down again, postponing the correction that so many view as inevitable. Even Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has called the situation a "conundrum," which is just another way of saying that long-term interest rates surely ought to be higher than they actually are. Read more

Storm Central Storm Central

By now, everyone has seen the photographs and the television footage. People being airlifted from roofs as water encroaches upon the top story of their home. New Orleans residents leaving the Big Easy by foot with all of their belongings–or the ones they could grab–in knapsacks. Newly homeless people desperate for food, water, and shelter. Yet these people were the lucky ones: They survived Hurricane Katrina, a storm that may go down as the deadliest and costliest natural disaster in American history. Read more

Houston Transformed Houston Transformed

Evacuees from New Orleans and nearby Gulf Coast cities poured into Texas after Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Houston, located 350 miles west of New Orleans, suddenly no longer ruled as the country's apartment vacancy king. The negative impact of three years of overbuilding was erased virtually overnight. Read more

Up Close and Personal Up Close and Personal

Nordstrom. Diners Club. The Ritz-Carlton. When you're paying top dollar, you expect excellent service–and these companies know how to deliver it. No wonder apartment executives such as Julie Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Co., and Todd Pope, president of Simpson Property Group, found the luxury hotel chain a source of inspiration for customer service programs at their own companies. Read more

Speedy Recovery Speedy Recovery

Harbor Group International means business. The value-added real estate investor finalized its renovation plan for Lynnfield Place Apartments just 60 days after purchasing the property. "The sooner we put a plan in motion, the sooner we can see results that bear out on our investment objectives," says Alan Dworetzky, the company's director of construction and development. Read more

Spa Life Spa Life

Amid the whirring of treadmills and clanking of weight machines in the health club at The Metropolitan at Pentagon Row is a quiet room whose creamy beige walls, soft lighting, and flickering candles invite a single resident at a time to relax and forget the day's workout–and work. Read more

New Post New Post

To Curtis Walker, there's no better place to work than the multifamily industry. "We provide housing for all types of families, and along the way, we create jobs that range from landscaping to regional management," says the new Post Properties executive. "What could be more satisfying than creating houses and jobs?" Walker joined the Atlanta-based apartment powerhouse in July, accepting a position as executive vice president and Southeast regional investment director at Post. Formerly a senior vice president at Fairfield Residential, Walker has a bachelor's from the University of North Texas, where he also pursued graduate studies. Read more

From Steel to Stellar From Steel to Stellar

Throughout Pennsylvania, developer O'Neill Properties of King of Prussia, Pa., is taking the old and making it older. Case in point: Malvern, Pa., where an abandoned steel factory will become a 600-unit project called Worthington. It will include 500,000 square feet of retail and entertainment and 700,000 square feet of office space. Read more

New Venture New Venture

When GE Commercial Real Estate and Greystar Real Estate Partners announced a new joint venture in June targeting $500 million in multifamily acquisitions and developments nationwide, it was the culmination of months of work for the two firms. Of course, the lawyers had worked hard to ensure the two partners' interests were aligned. But beyond codified agreements and triplicate contracts, GE managing director Greg Bates and Greystar CEO Bob Faith racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles, noshed lots of late-night meals, and hit more than a few golf balls making sure they were a good fit for each other. Read more

EZ Pay EZ Pay

It's really quite simple: Come the first of the month, rent checks are slid under the building manager's door, then neatly entered into the books. Right? Yeah, maybe if it was still 1956. Read more

More Than Hot Air More Than Hot Air

Today's HVAC systems can do much more than maintain consistent temperatures. They can clean the air, generate electricity, and produce water, depending on the unit. Read more

Pontalba Buildings Pontalba Buildings

For more than 150 years, the Pontalba Buildings have occupied the heart of the French Quarter on Jackson Square, intriguing passers-by and residents alike with their unique blend of Creole, Parisian, and Greek Revival architecture. The combination speaks to the melting-pot feel of New Orleans' oldest neighborhood, which saw the merging of colonial French, Spanish, and British empires so long ago. Read more

Ideal Balance Ideal Balance

When the idealists of the '60s become business leaders, they often forget their roots. While Tom Bozzuto built a healthy, large firm that manages 14,000 apartments and owns 60 percent of those (with more than 4,000 in the pipeline), at heart, the young leader who wanted to go to Calcutta in 1968 still runs the company. Read more

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