Putting the Freeze On
I’ve got to get to Minneapolis. It's one of the few big metros that I’ve never been to in the United States, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. Until now. My buddy and colleague and fellow Multifamily Executive and Apartment Finance Today senior editor Jerry Ascierto told me last week that the city of Minneapolis just launched a “Hall of Shame” landlord website similar to ones that have gotten a lot of attention in Allentown, Pa., and Sacramento, Calif. The website points to property owners who have had their rental licenses revoked, properties condemned, ore have otherwise been banned from holding a rental license for five years. The website also posts lists of condemned, vacant, and demolished buildings. All in all probably an OK thing for Minneapolis multifamily shops that are on the up and up, but you know what they say about the slippery slope? Oh yeah, you betcha.

Go Go Godzilla
During a recent interview, an investment company that will remain nameless told me about a property that they were doing due diligence on as part of a value-add acquisition consideration. It seems the residents there ended up taking a rodent problem into their own hands by introducing a new roommate: pythons. Well, the snakes were all too happy to feast on the offerings and soon became an infestation problem of their own. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to hear about a 5-foot monitor lizard caught recently at a Riverside, Calif., condo community. An animal control officer managed to bag the 45-pound monster lizard, which is under the care of a reptile expert at a local shelter until a more suitable home can be located. No word on whether there was any damage to the power lines. 

Milking out the Marketing
Here’s a new twist on media outreach: I recently (as in, January) got a press release announcing the awarding of the “Best Apartment in the World” award, which highlighted the Portico condo community in Barbados. Excusing that the units in question were technically for-sale condos, and not for-rent apartments (I’m looking at you, NYC), I nevertheless read on to hear about the cedar wood front doors, patios opening onto the Caribbean Sea, black quartz stone countertops, Jacuzzis, leather couches, extravagant chandeliers, roof terrace splash pools. I also discovered that the award in question was bestowed back in 2009. Yup, it was a press release announcing that something had happened over a year ago. There was even a note that this was the first outreach to the media, and the press release also mentioned an International Property Award for “Best Architecture in Americas” that the property landed back in 2008. Well, I’m jumping all over this media-first opportunity to let you know that units are still available for sale at Portico, which was named the best apartment in the world more than a year ago. Prices start at $4.5 million for 1-bedroom units.

Editor’s note
: Send your offbeat multifamily news leads to cwood@hanleywood.com