December 2006 Table of Contents

Smooth Sailing Ahead Smooth Sailing Ahead

When the apartment industry was mired in a serious recession in the early 2000s, many people called it a "perfect storm"–and it's easy to see why. A poor economy and low interest rates pulled people out of apartments, while a flood of new construction saturated demand for rentals. Read more

Eye of the Storm Eye of the Storm

If only FEMA prepared for a disaster as well as The Mitchell Co. While confusion and inactivity plagued the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, this diversified Gulf Coast multifamily company mobilized almost immediately to help its properties and communities. Read more

Higher Calling Higher Calling

In today's PowerPoint world, the architect's presentation proved to be surprisingly low-tech. Instead of logging onto a laptop, he turned to a sheaf of transparencies, carefully placing each one on the slide projector. They deserved the care. With their faded black backgrounds and black-and-white drawings, the thin plastic sheets looked delicate and well-used. Read more

Immigrant Economy Immigrant Economy

Just a few months ago, it looked like immigration might be the defining issue in the 2006 elections. But it seems that the politics of immigration have proved too complicated for simple sloganeering, muting the potential impact. Read more

Building Boom Building Boom

At $4.4 billion, AvalonBay Communities' development pipeline is the highest it's ever been in company history. Of that total, $1.4 billion is under construction and $2.98 billion is in the planning stages. How did the Alexandria, Va.-based apartment REIT make this happen? By buying in good times and bad, just like the smart long-term investor that the company is. Read more

Armed and Fabulous Armed and Fabulous

In the little town of Bethlehem sits a newly redeveloped 4.5-acre mixed-use property with a 65-year history inescapable from the Pennsylvania steel town's industrial roots. The building formerly served as the Johnson Machinery Shop for the Bethlehem Steel Co., once the second-largest steel manufacturer in the world. And for a handful of the property's residents, this project qualifies as a piece of personal history: Their relatives worked at the building when it was an armament factory during World War II and for two decades later as a warehouse and steel foundry. Read more

Training Day Training Day

Christine Burnett was a business software trainer at Pinnacle, an American Management Services company, when she was asked to be part of a 20-person team tasked with creating a comprehensive, corporate-wide training program. The group spent two months talking, planning, debating, and developing the program implemented this fall. Burnett's reward? A promotion to national training director for Pinnacle, where she trains employees on housing diversity, business software, customer service, company policies, and nearly everything in between. Burnett has an associate degree from Highline Community College in Seattle. Read more

Tax-Free Living Tax-Free Living

Imagine marketing condominiums with the promise of nearly tax-free living–no property tax and almost no state and local income tax. Sounds like an undeniably sweet deal for the developer and buyers alike, no? Read more

Product Studio: What Lies Beneath

Floors offer more benefits than meet the eye Read more

What Lies Beneath What Lies Beneath

Sure, you need to floor residents with sparkling hardwoods and plush carpeting. But in the mad dash to find the best-looking product, don't forget that what's underneath the pretty floor is just as critical to the success of an apartment or condo community. Read more

Lawton Foundry Lawton Foundry

After nearly a century as an iron castings plant in Wisconsin, the C.A. Lawton Co. General Machine and Foundry Shop faced demolition in the early 1990s. And then, just three weeks before the wrecking ball was scheduled for duty, came a reprieve. Read more

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