Mention "garden apartments," and an image of three-story buildings surrounded by a sea of blacktop parking lots jumps to mind. But garden-style rental living doesn't need to resemble yesterday's stereotypes. Today's architects are incorporating new styles and designs to make garden apartments more updated and appealing to would-be residents.
In an industry where bigger traditionally means better, the largest multifamily owners of property reported little growth in number of units owned. In fact, out of the five largest owners, three had a decrease. The largest, New York-based CharterMac, benefited from investments outside the United States to increase its portfolio.
Security. It tops residents' wish lists of amenities. But it's the last thing owners and managers want leasing agents to talk about when selling a community. Promising security could lead to liability if something happens on site. "When you talk about security, [owners] have a tendency to freak out," says Michael Elmore, product manager for Ameristar Fence Products based in Tulsa, Okla. "Everybody is scared of liability."
Giving a tour of Realty Management Services Inc.'s corporate headquarters, Beth Ross proudly points out the tell-tale signs of expansion – crooked hallways formed from adding office space over the years and the separate entrance into the human resources department, even though it is on the same floor. It's as if each imperfection marks a stepping stone for this vibrant property management company, which Ross started in 1988 with three employees operating out of her basement.
This past winter, the Mid-Atlantic states were blasted with snow and rain. And, as any developer knows, weather can be your worst enemy when it comes to building on time. As a result, new construction starts and openings were pushed back. But in the student housing industry – particularly on-campus housing – delays are not an option, says Michael H. Godwin, president of Ambling Cos. Inc., a vertically integrated multifamily company based in Valdosta, Ga., for which student housing makes up more than half of its business.