March 2007 Table of Contents

New Kids on the Block New Kids on the Block

They don't pay rent or condo fees, let alone have a line of credit. They're not the best at following community rules, and they'll likely leave your common areas looking like a hurricane hit. Do these residents sound like the last people you'd want living at your latest project? Guess again. Read more

Last Resort

Cynthia Lucas did everything she could to salvage the relationship. The senior vice president of WRH Realty Services in Jacksonville, Fla., advised her client, the owner of a large apartment building, that his planned cuts in office and maintenance staff would undermine service and quality at the property. She held weekly conference calls with the owner and her own staff. She put all of the issues on the table and hoped for a compromise. None came. Read more

Golden Opportunities Golden Opportunities

If a penny saved is a penny earned, then Berkshire Property Advisors has earned many pennies indeed. At every stage of a property investment and every level of the company, Berkshire searches for the “alpha,” the seemingly small factors in acquisitions, renovations, and management that add up to superior returns for the Boston-based firm, which currently owns nearly $1.5 billion worth of multifamily assets. Read more

Mouse Tales Mouse Tales

It's easy to mock the mouse. After all, when you visit Walt Disney World in Florida, you see Mickey's image everywhere: on drink coasters, t-shirts, and even a security guard's jacket. (Imagine a gold-embroidered outline of Mickey Mouse's head, including those unmistakable ears, paired with the word “Security.” Even for someone who generally respects authority, that emblem was tough to take seriously.) Read more

Speed Needs

As apartment executives know all too well, the technology landscape is changing rapidly—and constantly. Cable firms are rushing to deliver phone service, phone companies are starting to provide video programming, and American consumers are being bombarded with offers for new content and services for everything from their television to their cell phones. With so many possibilities, it's hard for a multifamily company to decide what it should do regarding technology at its properties. Read more

Stock Option Stock Option

Avalon Bay Communities recently became the fourth multifamily REIT company named to the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500, an index fund that includes a sample of 500 of the top companies in the country's leading industries. AIMCO, Archstone, and Equity Residential are the other apartment companies on the list. Read more

Rooms for Rent Rooms for Rent

Apartment vacancies rose at the end of 2006. Read more

Chicago Bound

Pinnacle, a Seattle-based property management firm, has opened a new Illinois office to help with its expansion efforts in the Chicago market. The company has been active in the market for many years, but now plans to dramatically grow its management portfolio from 2,000 units to more than 10,000 units. Read more

Meeting the Market Meeting the Market

In an effort to compete more effectively with the conduit market and to grow its lending portfolio to include smaller, riskier deals, Freddie Mac has reorganized its multifamily division. Read more

Peachy Keen Atlanta Peachy Keen

The winding, twisting road to overall apartment market improvement is typically marked with hiccups and false starts. But after overcoming some bumps along the way, Atlanta appears to be back on track. Read more

Exercising Room Exercising Room

When The Bascom Group bought the 170-unit Park Wilshire in Los Angeles several years ago, the eight-story apartment building lacked a fitness center. But, the Irvine, Calif.-based owner identified vacant space that could be turned into a fitness center—1,000 square feet in a basement that was a speakeasy in the 1920s. Read more

Banking on Success Banking on Success

Banking has long been the stock in trade of Charlotte, N.C. Two of the country's largest banks are headquartered there, not to mention a Federal Reserve branch and more than 218 branches of 20 other banks. When one of those branches pulled out of a multi-tenant office building on Tryon Street, the building's owners realized the 35-year-old edifice had lost its Class A status in the market. Read more

Smart Development Smart Development

There may be only two true certainties in life—death and taxes, of course—but according to Greg Vilkin, housing isn't far behind. Read more

Condo Oasis Condo Oasis

What's in a name? In Mezzo's case, it might be more than you think. Read more

Build or Buy?

Lane Co., an Atlanta-based third-party manager of more than 30,000 units, has always maintained a dedicated practice for public housing clients. “It may not be the most profitable stuff in the world, but we believe in doing it from a community-oriented perspective,” says Dan Haefner, Lane's chief information officer. Read more

Product Studio Product Studio

Try out some unconventional countertops. Read more

Hot Surfaces Hot Surfaces

Move over, granite. For years, this durable yet classy stone has been a must-have for high-end residential projects. But inventive developers are now moving beyond granite to find unique materials that set their projects apart from the competition. Read more

Historic Gas Co. Lofts Historic Gas Co. Lofts

The property, which encompasses three buildings, was formerly the headquarters of the Southern California Gas Co. Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the buildings were constructed at various dates from 1924 to 1960. Read more

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