March 2006 Table of Contents

Going With the Flow Going With the Flow

Sometimes too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. "This is as difficult an investment climate as I've ever seen," says David Schwartz, managing member of real estate investment firm Waterton Associates in Chicago. Read more

Centers of Attention Centers of Attention

Some are strictly educational, while others are all business. Some offer exercise classes or after-school crafts; others promise wine cellars and cyber cafés. Despite the differences between these community centers and the multifamily properties they serve, one thing is the same: This newest evolution of the old clubhouse has become an essential part of apartment and condo projects, regardless of resident profile. Read more

Public Victory Public Victory

After eight years of leading a big-city public housing agency, Carl Greene knows what it's like to walk down the long, dark halls of a public housing project. He knows how far living conditions can deteriorate and how unbelievably long it can take to get a window or a toilet fixed. Most of all, he knows how children in public housing can long for something as simple as a yard where they can play outside with their friends. Read more

Price War Price War

Imagine, for a minute, that you're a small apartment REIT. You own and operate about 13,000 apartments in 38 communities, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic. For the nine months ended in September 2005 (the most recent figures available), you generated nearly $98 million in total rental revenues and $7.6 million in net income. Read more

Power play Power play

It's getting dangerous in the telecommunications arena as telecom companies try to preserve their existing markets and scramble for possession of voice, video and data market share in apartments. For some combatants, it's a chance to score new goals. For others, it's like playing sudden-death overtime. Read more

High Stakes High Stakes

It looks like Ivana Trump may have failed in her valiant attempt to outdo The Donald. Last summer she announced plans to build the tallest condominium tower in Las Vegas, which was expected to soar 20 stories higher than her ex-husband's latest Vegas development. Now the yet-to-be-built property is up for sale–its ultimate fate unknown. Read more

Officer Training: Future Leaders Officer Training: Future Leaders

Everyone frets about hiring and retaining leasing consultants. With industry turnover rates as high as 70 percent in that position, who wouldn't worry? But smart apartment executives also know to spend time and money at the middle of their organizational charts, where their next generation of leaders is often found. Read more

Creative thinking Creative thinking

Excitement filled the offices of Village Green last summer. The company, an apartment owner and operator based in Farmington Hills, Mich., had placed a two-bedroom apartment for rent on eBay, and it seemed like everyone in the office was constantly online to see what the unit was bringing. For employees and hopeful bidders, there was yet another element of drama: Village Green had placed no reserve, or minimum price, on the eBay-listed unit, which meant that someone could rent it for almost anything. Read more

Responsibility Matters Responsibility Matters

As a young accountant in Minneapolis, Jon Segner and his colleagues quickly got some straight talk on career development from the partner-in-charge at KPMG Peat Marwick. "He told us we have two choices: We can sit back and let other people make choices about where our careers are going to go, or we could actively participate in the process and steer our own careers. It was up to us." Read more

Growing Faith Growing Faith

Becoming homeless just may be the best thing that ever happened to the 40-year-old Palo Alto Jewish Community Center. After losing its 20-year lease in 2000, the center's leaders gathered their resources and community support to put together a $200 million plan to build a 135,000-square-foot regional Jewish center along with new rental, senior, and for-sale housing and office space in expensive Palo Alto, Calif. Read more

Striking It Rich? Striking It Rich?

Call it the post-Katrina effect. When Camden Property Trust recently decided to adjust its Houston portfolio by selling a few of its older properties, it encountered a level of interest it hadn't seen in years. "Instead of seven or eight offers, you're getting 14 or 15 offers," says Ric Campo, chairman and CEO of the Houston-based apartment REIT, who says the company moved quicker than planned on the dispositions in response to the market. "It's definitely a good time to sell, so we sped it up as a result of that." Read more

Closing the Loop Closing the Loop

From integrated customer service hotlines to online databases, the Internet is helping many apartment companies bring greater accountability to their customer service initiatives. Read more

Counter Intelligence Counter Intelligence

When it comes to countertop materials, the one-size-fits-all concept does not apply to multifamily builders and renovators faced with a host of choices. Installation cost is a prime concern, of course, but maintenance and customer preferences also factor into the decision. The trick is to straddle the various concerns and come up with a product that makes sense for all parties. Read more

Grand Lowry Lofts Grand Lowry Lofts

In its former life, the Grand Lowry Lofts in Denver housed military officers and a former U.S. president. The structure still possesses a hint of its military past, with its all-brick exteriors and ornamental cement wall engravings. Read more

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