September 2006 Table of Contents

Eye on Gen Y Eye on Gen Y

They're smart, demanding, and restless. Masters of multitasking and technology, they're simultaneously glued to their computers, iPods, and cell phones. They travel in small packs and are willing to swap personal living space for a hip place in the city near coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Who are they? Your next generation of renters. Read more

Valuable Pursuit Valuable Pursuit

The apartment community was named JFK Manor, after America's murdered president. But in Richmond, Calif., the public housing complex had earned an entirely different moniker to go with those initials: Just For Killers. In fact, things were so bad at the drug-infested, 324-unit complex where gunfire kept residents awake at night that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had labeled it as the worst public housing community in Northern California. At one point, the agency had nearly given up any hope for turning the project around, and foreclosing on the community seemed a real, if unpalatable, possibility in a tight and notoriously unaffordable rental market. Read more

Deal Masters Deal Masters

With no traffic, it doesn't take long to get from the steep hills, cable cars, and ubiquitous fog of San Francisco to Palo Alto to visit Essex Property Trust. When you arrive, the pace at the office seems low-key, and ties are in short supply. So, in some respects, you could call Essex a California company. Read more

Wise Words Wise Words

We often measure the worth of a multifamily firm by the financial value of its properties, but that calculation overlooks a key factor in any company's success: people. "'All of your real assets go home at night,'" says Lane Co. CEO Bill Donges, quoting a favorite business expert. Read more

Buying Frenzy Buying Frenzy

Owners of apartment properties surely must feel loved: Buyers just can't get enough of their buildings these days, despite rising prices and falling cap rates. Read more

No Return? No Return?

More than a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, questions and confusion still reign in rebuilding plans for the city. A key sticking point: a HUD redevelopment program intended to remake public housing in the Big Easy. Read more

Good Bet Good Bet

Gambling brings a lot of people to Las Vegas, but Atherton-Newport, an Irvine, Calif.-based real estate firm, came to town last August sure that it couldn't lose with its purchase and remodeling of the Villas at Desert Pointe. Read more

Search and Find Search and Find

From Kevin Doyle's perspective, online opportunities are among the most important in the multifamily business these days. So it makes sense that in May, he was named senior vice president and general manager of, a Chicago-based firm that provides Internet-based apartment searches and relocation services. Doyle, who has a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame, says recent college grads would do well to consider a career in the industry, which offers "huge growth opportunities both financially and professionally." Read more

History Renewed History Renewed

It's the kind of response a developer dreams of: The Weldon, a 17-unit condominium complex under construction in Wilmington, N.C., saw its pre-sells snapped up fast and for about $100,000 more per unit than expected. Read more

Cash Is King Cash Is King

With interest rates rising and cap rates stable, the well-funded institutional owners and public apartment firms have returned to the buying arena as leverage buyers find themselves financially pressured and pushed to the side. Read more

Drowning in Data Drowning in Data

Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. prides itself on meeting its clients' needs. That's especially true when it comes to supplying timely portfolio information on the properties it manages for third-party investor clients. In fact, Lincoln will often give institutional owners access to its property management software systems, so those investors can slice and dice real-time data on their own properties any time they'd like. Read more

Top Choice Top Choice

Anyone who has attended the International Builders' Show knows that the number of innovative building materials on the market is almost limitless. So how do multifamily builders, developers, and designers go about picking something new? Choosing building materials is often a high-stakes decision that involves any number of factors. Read more

El Cortez El Cortez

For years after its 1927 opening, the El Cortez apartment hotel dominated San Diego's downtown cityscape, rising more than 300 feet atop the 175-foot-high Cortez Hill. The building also stood out for its unusual three-tiered shape, reminiscent of a traditional wedding cake. That impression was only strengthened by architects Albert R. Walker and Percy Eisen, who gave El Cortez classical and ornate features: sculptural ribbons, stone foliage, columns, and crests. Read more

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