August 2007 Table of Contents

A Mod, Mod World: Modern Multifamily Design A Mod, Mod World: Modern Multifamily Design

If Field of Dreams was remade for today's audience, the protagonist wouldn't be urged to build a baseball diamond but rather a structure equally as precise—and just as irresistible to its fans: a shimmering tower of glass and steel, with 90-degree angles, clean lines, and expansive views. Read more

Tipping Point: Subprime Fallout

Michael Sichenzia knows the tell-tale signs of mortgage fraud when he sees them.“Say you only make 50 grand a year,” the New York City native proposes in a rough-and-ready Brooklyn accent. “Well, what about your furniture and your jewelry? Let's list those as 75 grand in additional assets. Hey, look, the computer says you qualify!” It's just one of the hundreds of “creative and exotic” financing tricks used in the darker side of subprime lending that enables borrowers to qualify for loans that they otherwise should not get. Taken to the extreme, the techniques become mortgage fraud, Sichenzia says. He should know: He bilked borrowers, mortgage companies and investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in subprime-related real estate schemes. Twice. Read more

A Train Runs Through It: West Loop Development A Train Runs Through It: West Loop Development

Fifield Cos.' K Station development in Chicago's West Loop brings new meaning to the term “transitoriented site.” The incredibly complex transportation hub, which served as the original railroad terminal in Chicago called Kinzie Station, includes a subway tunnel and an adjacent rail line. But that's not all: Plans call for a high-speed rail line to run through the middle of the site and a bus depot to be built on the edge of the development. Read more

Sixth Sense: Meet Steven Fifield Sixth Sense: Meet Steven Fifield

On a cool, spring Chicago morning, Steven Fifield instinctively sits cross-legged and assumes a meditation pose on a grassy rooftop at Left Bank at K Station, his firm's newest high-rise apartment community. The impromptu gesture surprised the MFE photographer, but actually makes perfect sense to anyone who really knows the developer. Fifield, chairman and CEO of the Fifield Cos., has earned a national reputation for his perceptive abilities to take a step back and foresee the next great real estate deal. Read more

Hot and Cold: Real Estate Research Reports Hot and Cold: Real Estate Research Reports

Summer is at its height. Kids slip on waterslides in their blissfully green front lawns. The air is stiflingly thick with humidity. Last month, fireworks ravaged the sky. And just about that same time, the annual “State of the Nation's Housing” report by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies came across my desk. Read more

Slow Starts: Condo Permits Fall Stat to Watch Slow Starts: Condo Permits Fall

Multifamily permits and starts continued to wane in the first quarter of 2007, due primarily to the significant contraction in condo and townhome development, according to the quarterly “Performance Monitor” by Marcus & Millichap. The report noted that approximately 2.8 percent of the homes, condos, and townhomes available for sale throughout the nation are vacant, the highest level since 1956. This will undoubtedly continue to increase the rental supply and as a result, some downward pressure on rent growth in the apartment market is expected. Read more

Show Me the Money: Tax Credits in Louisiana

Louisiana is in the hot seat after reportedly miscalculating the price tag for the state's affordable and mixed-income housing. Read more

Natalie's Wish: Funding Cystinosis Research Natalie's Wish: Funding Cystinosis Research

If you walked into the Balboa Beach Club in Newport Beach, Calif., on June 1, you just might think you were at a multifamily industry conference. But heavy hitters such as Michael Hayde of Western National Group and Bill Gaboury, formerly of Shea Properties, weren't there to discuss business. They took part in the sixth annual Natalie's Wish fundraising dinner, which generated $2.1 million for the Cystinosis Research Foundation. Read more

News Bites: August News Bites: August

After cutting his chops on the Wave Tower and Pixel Tower, architect James Law is heading up his most ambitious Dubai project to date: the iPad Tower. The “cybertechtural” 26-floor apartment building for Omniyat Properties features 231 one-and two-bedroom apartments and lofts with windows wired for streaming video that displays virtual views of anywhere in the world. Read more

Crucial Save: Chicago's Affordable Housing Crisis

Chicago's Cook County, which has been losing much needed affordable housing units since 1990, is on pace to lose another 78,000 units by 2020. A group of 100 civic, government, real estate, and business leaders wants to make sure that grim outlook doesn't become a reality. Read more

In the Line of Fire: Protests at Stuy Town In the Line of Fire: Protests at Stuy Town

Even as its proposed $22.2 billion acquisition of Denver-based REIT Archstone-Smith Trust inches toward reality, multifamily newcomer Tishman Speyer is feeling the heat. The company has found itself in the midst of resident turmoil at the 110-building Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village—a New York City complex that the company purchased from MetLife last year. Read more

Bayou Build-out: New Orleans Mulitfamily Market Bayou Build-out: New Orleans Mulitfamily Market

The jazz funeral that many thought was imminent for the metro New Orleans apartment market is officially cancelled. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, apartment execs may have been prudent to have their black suit dry-cleaned, but once the water subsided and the clouds and water left, rebuilding got down to business. Read more

Busy Signal: Apartment Call Centers

When prospective renters come into the leasing office at Dunwoody Place in Sandy Springs, Ga., they're often disappointed they can't meet Joan. It's not that Lane Co. in Atlanta, which manages the property, fired Joan. And it's not because Joan has quit or taken a sick day. Read more

Life Line: Avenue in Charlotte, N.C. Life Line: Avenue in Charlotte, N.C.

Avenue, a 36-story multifamily housing project in the Fourth Ward of Charlotte, N.C., has to please the living and fit in with the dead. Developer Novare Group and general contractor R. J. Griffin & Co., both in Atlanta, partnered with Charlotte-based architects Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates to produce a modern-looking building that would complement an adjacent historic cemetery where many of Charlotte's famous leaders were buried. “The aesthetics of the building were important to the area because of the cemetery, which is really gorgeous,” says Kristen Kepner-Coleman, project architect. Read more

Archstone Boston Common Project of the Month Archstone Boston Common

Beantown's got a new neighbor. Archstone Boston Common—a 28-story apartment community—is the first high-rise residential development underway in downtown Boston in more than 20 years. The 420-unit project marks a major step in the redevelopment of the city's downtown. Archstone Boston Common is located near the city's theater and financial districts and is adjacent to the Liberty Tree Building, a registered historic landmark. Read more

Fair Fight: Rosslyn Ridge Arrives Fair Fight: Rosslyn Ridge Arrives

If you want to build affordable housing along Arlington County's Orange metro line, the math just doesn't add up. Development costs can run as high as $300,000 to $400,000 per unit on the suburban Virginia route, which takes commuters directly into the heart of the nation's capital. Read more

Getting Friendly: Web-savvy Marketing

When it comes to marketing, Phoenix-based multifamily owner, developer, and fee manager Mark-Taylor Residential doesn't mess around. Read more

Q & A with Casey Cummings

How can developers make apartments and condos kid-friendly? Read more

Modern Sensibilities: Kitchen   Bath Products Modern Sensibilities: Kitchen Bath Products

What do trendy urban lofts, high-rise condos, and garden-style suburban apartments have in common? Kitchens and bathrooms that feature contemporary designs and modern aesthetics. Read more

The Ventana Luxury Lofts The Ventana Luxury Lofts

In the early 1900s, downtown St. Louis was hot on the textile industry trail. Warehouses and massive brick buildings lined the city's downtown streets. Read more

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