It's not every day that a legislative change in a country on the other side of the globe has an impact on domestic real estate. But that's exactly what happened on May 18, 2006, when the government of South Korea raised the ceiling on investment in U.S. residential property from $300,000 to $1 million. As luck would have it, 100 of the 238 apartments at The Mercury, a $120 million adaptive reuse project in the Koreatown section of downtown Los Angeles, were scheduled to go on sale just two days later.
Sam Switzenbaum has a pretty good idea about who makes the decisions when it comes to choosing an apartment or condo, so he keeps gender in mind when picking the style of cabinets that go into his buildings. "First of all, women make a significant percentage of the decisions when it comes to housing, which is not to say that men don't have good taste," says Switzenbaum, CEO of Philadelphia's Switzenbaum & Associates, who has been involved in all phases of commercial and residential development and property management for more than 40 years. "The most important rooms for women are kitchens and baths–it's just that simple. So cabinets are one of the most important elements in the whole condominium or rental unit."
Anyone who has attended the International Builders' Show knows that the number of innovative building materials on the market is almost limitless. So how do multifamily builders, developers, and designers go about picking something new? Choosing building materials is often a high-stakes decision that involves any number of factors.
Windows and doors rank right up there on any list of big-ticket items when it comes to multifamily projects, whether they're newly constructed apartment buildings or renovated projects. The up-front costs are bound to take up a big chunk of any budget. And then there are the very real sound, energy, and maintenance issues that kick in down the line, especially when it comes to windows.