September 2007 Table of Contents

Faux Real: Imitation Building Products

George Washington would surely be impressed with today's selection of imposter building products and materials. After all, he perfected the art of imitation way back in the 1700s when he redesigned his home, the famous Mount Vernon estate just outside of Washington, D.C. The nation's first president replaced his mansion's original plain wooden siding with bevel-edged pine blocks that had been coated with a mixture of paint and sand to imitate cut ashlar stone a technique that was fairly common in Colonial times. Read more

High Societies: Tough Multifamily Markets

When Essex Property Trust, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based REIT, went public in 1994, it brought a distinct operating philosophy to the multifamily universe: to acquire, develop, and own apartment communities in high-barrier, supply-constricted markets. At the time, Avalon Properties (now AvalonBay Communities) engaged in similar tactics in tight Northeast markets. The companies were alone in their practices. Read more

Developer Fuel: "Emerging Developer" Fund Developer Fuel: "Emerging Developer" Fund

Victor MacFarlane knows what it takes to become a successful real estate developer. It takes cash—and lots of it. Read more

Urban Groundbreakers: Meet Victor MacFarlane Urban Groundbreakers: Meet Victor MacFarlane

MacFarlane Partners celebrates 20 years of changing the face of the inner city and re-urbanizing America, one block at a time. Read more

Howdy, Partner: Form Wise Partnerships Howdy, Partner: Form Wise Partnerships

I hated my chemistry lab partner in college. He was always late to class, had never read the assignments, and fell asleep when we—correction, when I—was working on our final report. But I was stuck with him, thanks to a random drawing. By the end of the semester, I had decided that if I ever became a chemist, I would work alone. Read more

Beyond Borders: Free Trade

One of the many tough issues facing policymakers these days is trade. Using the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a model, the White House has been pursuing free trade agreements with additional countries and regions. But opposition to such agreements, both inside Congress and outside the Beltway, is strong enough that they may not be ratified. With the monthly trade deficit still posting near-record levels, net U.S. indebtedness at an all-time high, and concern rising over the outsourcing of both low-skill and high-skill jobs, the free trade consensus that has dominated policy in the last two decades has begun to erode. Read more

Trend Breakers: Midwest Drives Rents Stat to Watch Trend Breakers: Midwest Drives Rents

Multifamily firms that continue flocking to coastal markets to court Gen Y and empty-nest retiree renters could be missing out on better action in the nation's heartland. According to “Lifestyle Renting on the Rise,” a report released June 29 by CB Richard Ellis' Torto Wheaton Research division, national rental growths since 2004 have been driven primarily by a rising propensity to rent across the Midwest and among middle-aged households. Read more

Dog Days: Fair Housing Lawsuits

In July, HUD levied two separate charges against landlords who allegedly violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing to accommodate residents with assistance animals. Mahmoud Hussein of Windsor Locks, Conn., and Bouquet Builders of Rochester, Minn., will both answer to a HUD administrative law judge for denying residency to applicants whose doctors prescribed therapy dogs for their disabilities. Read more

New Jersey's Finest: N.J. Workforce Housing

Residents in West New York's six affordable housing developments will be sleeping easier since the addition of live-in police officers at the complexes. Read more

News Bites: September

Green Competition, Universal Site, Urban Explosion. Read more

Thinking Big: Kushner Sells Apartments Thinking Big: Kushner Sells Apartments

Kushner Cos. is gearing up for the big leagues. The private real estate firm recently sold nearly 17,500 New Jersey apartment units for roughly $2 billion and is already reinvesting the money in a few choice properties in the Big Apple. The firm's most notable purchase: 666 Fifth Avenue, an office building in midtown Manhattan with a $1.8 billion price tag. Read more

Rental Central: Providence Multifamily Market Providence Rhode Island Rental Central: Providence Multifamily Market

With limited additions to rental supply and favorable regional economic trends, apartment fundamentals in the Providence metropolitan region have been strong in 2007. Additional apartment demand has been spurred by positive economic trends in the area, including solid job growth and encouraging demographic shifts. Despite a slight decline in single-family home prices this year, apartment owners are expected to get a boost from the area's high-priced housing market, as a lack of affordable alternatives stimulates the local renter pool. Read more

Old Icon: New Life: Montgomery Ward Old Icon: New Life: Montgomery Ward

As soon as the Montgomery Ward building opened in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1928, it dominated the city's retail scene and became an iconic feature of its skyline. For decades, shoppers browsed the eight-story building for fashions and furnishings, while the site's mail-order warehouse shipped purchases across the country. Read more

Planting Seeds: Gardens As Amenities Planting Seeds: Gardens As Amenities

Apartment owners and managers are adding wheelbarrows and shears to their amenity toolbox. According to the American Community Gardening Association, there are at least 18,000 community gardens throughout the United States and Canada. And more and more of them are in apartment communities. Read more

Extended Stay: Q&A with Don Dreusike

One never knows when a short-term arrangement will yield a long-term payoff. In Don Dreusike's case, his consulting gig with Urban Housing Group's Mission Bay project in early 2007 led to the creation of a new position there—vice president of construction—and Dreusike was just the man for the job. His primary focus will be building a construction team to support projects throughout California, where his Marcus & Millichap-owned firm is based. Dreusike, who holds a bachelor's in architecture from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, previously was president of DWD Associates. Read more

Local Leads: City Park Aventura in Aventura, Fla.

There is no place like home when it comes to designing a successful mixed-use housing project, according to Yizak Toledano, founder and CEO of Aventura, Fla.-based Sky Development. Toledano's latest project is in his own backyard: City Park Aventura, a 7.4-acre project of 53 townhomes and 51 condominiums and penthouses along with retail, offices, and a 16-story hotel. Read more

Dorado Seniors Apartments Project of the Month Dorado Seniors Apartments

Dorado Seniors Apartments in Buena Park, Calif., looks more like a luxury resort than a senior housing community. But what makes the project even more appealing is that the Dorado provides attractive, affordable housing for seniors in one of the nation's most expensive housing markets, Orange County. Read more

Record Breakers: Giant Multifamily Deals Record Breakers: Giant Multifamily Deals

Even in the shadow of the Sears Tower—the tallest skyscraper in the United States—Chicago's Presidential Towers command an attention all their own. Built in 1986, the four 50-story towers sit on two city blocks in the West Loop and feature a five-story parking garage with 1,159 parking spaces, a three-story atrium with more than 100,000 square feet of commercial retail space, and 2,346 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. When the Chicago-based Pritzker Realty Group (operated by the Pritzker family) put the properties on the block earlier this year, the bids flooded in. Read more

Signal Strength: WiFi in Apartments Signal Strength: WiFi in Apartments

When the Morgan Group started installing WiFi access points in the common areas of its club houses and pools four years ago, it was slightly ahead of its residents in providing the amenity. Read more

Q & A with Victoria Teschner

Cool Question of the Month Read more

Hot Product of the Month: Paint SCENTsations Hot Product of the Month: Paint SCENTsations

Want to give your apartments a clean, fresh scent? Forget potpourri and try Paint SCENTsations. Read more

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