July 2007 Table of Contents

Power of Size Power of Size

Is bigger really better? CAS Riverstone sure seems to think so. The third-party management firm's unit count jumped from 62,000 to 91,250 between '05 and '06 thanks to an aggressive acquisition plan. By year's end, that number could soar to 225,000 units. Read more

Go Getter Ben Pisklak, Gables Residential Go Getter

Doug Chesnut first met Ben Pisklak over breakfast in Houston. Chesnut hadn't officially settled into his position as senior vice president of investments at Gables Residential when he decided to meet Pisklak, the young development associate who was manning the firm's Houston office. What Chesnut expected to be a casual introduction quickly—and unexpectedly—turned to shop talk. Read more

Breaking Through John Hogan, Viscaya Development Group Breaking Through

The multifamily real estate industry can be a pretty hard nut to crack. Whether business is booming or bottoming out, it's always competitive and fast-paced. You have to pull your weight and then some to keep up, and you need a plan of action for your properties and developments. Read more

The Matchmaker Karen Kossow, Kettler Management The Matchmaker

“You'll never reach the bar, because you're always raising it higher.” This is what the Myers-Briggs personality test told Karen Kossow in 2003 when she joined McLean, Va.-based Kettler Management (formerly KSI Services). She wasn't surprised; the assessment was dead-on. Read more

Know How Derek Kahn, Lane Co. Know How

Most people in their early thirties are consumed by their own finances, bank accounts, and budgets. At 31 years old, Derek Kahn was consumed by the finances of the entire Lane Co. in Atlanta. An A-to-Z multifamily operation, Lane is a complicated company with an extensive set of subsidiaries from development to investment to management, and Kahn was in charge of the cash. Read more

The New Order

Real estate is not easy. It's multidimensional, fast-paced, chaotic, and—especially in the multifamily arena—extraordinarily competitive. Each year yields fresh goals for national and regional operations, and a new batch of young, driven execs rises to the occasion to develop them. While their talents are different and their roles vary, these five multifamily executives have one thing in common: They're all 40 or under and wouldn't dream of thinking inside the box. Read more

First Impressions First Impressions

Lesson No. 1: Good people make all the difference. As I learn more about the multifamily housing industry, I'm making a mental list of the rules by which executives operate. This first one hit me full force last month during my search for a new apartment. Read more

Strong Start Stat to Watch Strong Start

The national apartment market posted another strong performance in the first quarter of 2007, according to the quarterly “Performance Monitor” by Marcus & Millichap. Vacancy inched up slightly, but sustained effective rent growth provided healthy year-over-year revenue gains for property owners. Read more

Breaking the Rules Breaking the Rules

In fiscal year 2006, HUD received 10,328 housing discrimination complaints, a record high and 65 percent more than the 6,270 complaints filed in 1996. The increase has both positive and negative implications for the agency's ongoing fight against discrimination in America. Read more

Eying the Storms

Here's to hoping you don't get a visit this year from Wendy. That's the moniker reserved for the 21st named tropical storm or hurricane of the 2007 season, which experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say has a 75 percent chance of being above normal in terms of activity. In total, scientists at the Camp Springs, Md.-based NOAA Climate Prediction Center are projecting 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes. Of those, three to five could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher, with winds of at least 111 mph. Read more

Direct Reports

J. Frank Miller III, one of the multifamily industry's top executives, died unexpectedly last month due to heart disease at age 55. Miller had served as chairman and CEO of JPI Cos. since he founded the Dallas-based development firm in 1989. Under Miller's leadership, the company has become one of the largest rental developers and managers in the country. With an $8 billion portfolio under management at current market value, the firm landed the No. 29 spot on the 2006 MFE Top 50 list of the largest multifamily managers and the No. 22 spot on the builders list. Read more

Private Parties Private Parties

Archstone-Smith chairman and CEO R. Scot Sellers says his company has always been committed to maximizing value for its shareholders. Never was that more accurate than on May 29, when the Denver-based REIT announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to be acquired for $60.75 per share by a partnership sponsored by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Bros. Read more

Mirroring Growth Minneapolis Mirroring Growth

“On the road to recovery” summarizes the current Twin Cities rental market. After several years of stagnant rents and above-market equilibrium vacancy rates, the market is again moving in the right direction. The first quarter vacancy rate this year was 4.4 percent, down from 5.6 percent a year ago. Two years ago, vacancies had climbed to roughly 7.5 percent, considered high for this smaller market. Annualized rent growth for the first quarter of 2007 was 2.4 percent. Read more

Resident Files Little Black Boxes

Jack Callison, president of U.S. operations at Archstone-Smith, remembers exactly how the industry reacted when the Englewood, Colo.-based REIT announced in 1999 that it was moving to electronic apartment pricing. “Everyone scoffed at us,” Callison recalls. “No one thought you could possibly automate pricing.” Read more

Magic Numbers

Like any good regional manager, Laramar Communities' Paul Hyams thinks about pushing rents every single day. He meets with property managers every two weeks to set rents, and he expects that those managers shop at least two competitive properties every month. At the 1,432-unit Fillmore Center in San Francisco, Hyams is seeing near 100 percent occupancy and consequently has an eyebrow raised, wondering if Laramar's rents there might be too low. Read more

In Living Color: Packard Lofts In Living Color: Packard Lofts

What's an architect's worst nightmare? The sight of a historic building's original façade buried beneath layers of shoddy cover-ups surely ranks high on the list. Read more

Quick Step: Q & A with Phil Pitney Quick Step: Q & A with Phil Pitney

As a vice president at Fairfield Residential in Bethesda, Md., Phil Pitney was used to the East Coast pace. This spring, that pace quickened a bit more for Pitney, who was named president of Lane Strategic Investment, a division of Atlanta-based Lane Co. that is expected to swell its acquisitions activity starting on the East Coast and in the Southwest. Pitney holds a degree in economics and business from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Read more

History Revisited History Revisited

The Parc Rittenhouse building has been renovated so often since its 1925 construction that Philadelphia-based developer Allan Domb and architect Jim Garrison didn't know what they would find when they made plans to turn it into 266 condominiums. The historic building, which was once the Penn Athletic Club where Olympic champion Jack Kelly trained, also served as a government building, offices, and apartments before becoming a Sheraton hotel in the popular Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Read more

Shade at Desert Ridge Project of the Month Shade at Desert Ridge

Shade at Desert Ridge was conceptualized as a “horizontal mixed-use community,” a desert-inspired enclave of mostly three-story walk-up flats and town-homes, plus one four-story elevator-served building. The 342-unit development's master planner and architect, Southern California-based TCA, designed the community with New Urbanism tendencies in mind. Think pedestrian-friendly streets, walkability, and connectivity. Read more

Integration Nation Integration Nation

When new residents move into Gateway Village, a 545-unit military housing complex in San Diego that's managed by Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co., they can connect to the Internet right away, using wireless access points located throughout the community. As part of its management contract with the U.S. Navy, Lincoln, an owner and fee-based manager that oversees more than 112,000 units nationally, provides the Internet access for free to the families stationed there in service of our country. Read more

Condo-Hotel Projects

How amenities and services offered at condo-hotel projects vary from those offered at traditional multifamily communities. Read more

Deck Doctor Deck Doctor

Tis the season to enjoy the great outdoors, and multifamily dwellers across the country are soaking in the rays from their decks and balconies. But just how safe are these outdoor amenities? Read more

The River Lofts at Tobacco Row The River Lofts at Tobacco Row

During the early 18th century, the capital city of Richmond, Va., became the place to be for many tobacco farmers. Richmond's close proximity to the James River and the Kanawha Canal made it a haven for cigarette growers and shippers. The area's popularity among this contingent sprouted a “Tobacco Row”—a collection of cigarette factories and warehouses that stretched along the river. Many of these facilities were multilevel brick buildings, constructed that way to protect the contents in the structure from potential fire loss. Read more

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