Rocky Mountain Fever Property management titan Riverstone Residential Group made a big move into the Mountain States on Aug. 8 with the acquisition of Denver-based Omni Apartment Communities. The addition of Omni's 60 multifamily properties will give Riverstone 14,000 units across Colorado and is “an excellent match from a portfolio and a cultural standpoint,” says Riverstone CEO Christy Freeland. With the acquisition, Riverstone will manage 132,000 multifamily units and 380,000 residents at some 700 properties across the country. —C.W.
Paying Respects Hawaiians are embracing Chicago-based Fifield Cos. with a warm aloha after the multifamily developer altered its design plans for the 300-unit Allure Waikiki luxury condo tower to preserve two “iwi” native burial grounds unearthed during construction. Working with the Oahu Island Burial Council, Fifield will incorporate one iwi into a park with native Hawaiian plants and a waterfall, while the other will be encased in the parking garage, where preservation efforts included redesigning the pillar support matrix. Paulette Kaleikini, whose family once lived at the site, told the Honolulu Star Bulletin that Fifield is “the first developer I know of that did something like that,” adding that she hopes other real estate companies follow Fifield's respectful ways. —C.W.
Cool Stuff Some like it hot, and others like it cool. In a recent Apartments.com survey, more than 36 percent of respondents indicated that air conditioning is the one amenity they can't live without, followed by parking with 22 percent of the vote and in-unit washers and dryers at 14 percent. Offering residents what they want is essential: More than 59 percent of respondents chose not to rent at a particular property because their most desired amenity was not available. —R.Z.A.
TOP 5 MOST DESIRED AMENITIES
Air conditioning - 81%
Parking - 81%
In-unit washer and dryer - 54%
High-speed internet - 47%
Dishwasher - 46%
Affordable Hoops An archaic law has come back to haunt condo sellers in Los Angeles. Since April, homeowners selling a condo have had to pay a $150 fee to the city under a 33-year-old affordable housing ordinance that gives the city the right of first refusal to buy condos built after 1974 if a developer doesn't make a “reasonable effort” to rent or sell 15 percent of units in a new community as affordable to low- and moderate-income families. The City of Los Angeles has always waived its right to purchase the units, but the cash-strapped city voted earlier this year to charge condo sellers $150 for the waivers. (During escrow, the seller's agent must file a form asking the city to waive its right to purchase the unit.) —R.Z.A.
In Memoriam Former NAHB chief economist Michael Sumichrast died last month of respiratory failure. He was 86. Sumichrast was the top NAHB economist from 1965 until his retirement in 1986.