Luxury Community Offers Discounts, Sees High Percentage of Closings

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorAsbury Park, N.J.—The Blu at Asbury Park, a five-story, 24-unit luxury community developed by Pyramid Property Partners, has closed several sales in the past few weeks. The project is approximately 45 percent sold.Sammy Boyd, sales agent at John Conover Agency, attributes the high number of sales to the pricing of the residences, its location and its design. He says that the luxury residences are being offered at a discounted rate due to the state of the economy.The homes have been on the market for about one year, although Boyd is confident that “if these were better…

The Apartment Channel TV Expands to National Markets

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorJacksonville, Fla.—RAD Media LLC, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based full-service advertising agency, has announced a national expansion of The Apartment Channel TV, taking it to the top 30 markets in the country.The Apartment Channel TV posts videos of apartment communities on cable On Demand channels as well as its Website, apt-tv.com. The 30- or 60-second videos feature the community’s grounds, amenities and model apartments, with added voice over, music and graphics.“The point is to give the apartment seeker a good tour of the property and give him a feel of what the apartment looks like. People don’t have…

Lodge-Style Condo/Hotel Designed for LEED Certification

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorGlenwood Springs, Colo.— The Roaring Fork Lodge, a condo/hotel project offering 40 residences and 106 guest rooms, applied for its final city approval today. The development is a joint venture between Magnolia Hotels, a Denver-based hotel development and management company, and Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based Roaring Fork Lodge LLC.“Our locations have all been urban so I am looking forward to developing in the mountains,” says Leigh Hitz, president, Magnolia Hotels. “There is not a niche project like this in the Glenwood Springs area,” she tells MHN, explaining that the target demographic is an out-of-state second-home buyer who…

Lincoln Property Company Expands Engagement with J Turner Research at 18 Properties

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorDallas—Lincoln Property Company, a Dallas-based diversified real estate services company, has entered into an expanded engagement with J Turner Research to measure customer satisfaction levels of current and prospective residents at 18 communities.“What we do is we send an anonymous survey of what the prospect says, so the manager and leasing staff are really getting constant feedback about the [prospects’] perceptions of the leasing agent, the physical marketability and the value perception,” Joseph Batdorf, president, J Turner Research, tells MHN.Previously, J Turner conducted only employee surveys for Lincoln Property. In addition, J Turner will now measure…

New York Building Scientist Details How to Promote Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings

In an effort to help the industry understand how to maximize the energy efficiency of existing buildings, Landmark West!, the Community Preservation Corporation, the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and Steven Winter Associates Inc. recently hosted an all-day continuing education seminar at Manhattan’s Hunter College.

HUD, Philadelphia Housing Authority Sign Agreement to Make More Accessible Housing Available

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorPhiladelphia—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) have signed an agreement that the PHA will certify 760 accessible housing units, or 5 percent of its housing stock, by 2013.In exchange, the PHA will continue to operate under HUD’s “Moving to Work” (MTW) program, which allows housing authorities to promote self-sufficiency among families receiving HUD assistance and increases housing choices among low-income households, for the next 10 years.“It’s a win-win for the people of Philadelphia,” says Jerry Brown, public affairs officer for HUD. “One of the concerns is that…

Tallest North American Residential Tower Tops Off in Windy City

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorChicago—Standing at 1,362 ft. and 92 stories, the tallest North American residential high-rise, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, was topped off in late September. The project will offer 486 condominiums and—located on floors 17 through 27—339 hotel condominiums. Both tower residents and hotel guests have access to the development’s services and amenities. The residential condominiums have their own lobby and elevator, separate from hotel guests.Closings for the condo hotel portion of the project began this spring and closings on the condominiums began in August. Seventy-five percent of the property has been sold. Construction is expected…

Winners of the 2008 Design Excellence Awards

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorDenver—The winners of the 2008 Design Excellence awards were announced in September at Multi-Housing World. Projects were chosen based on a number of criteria, including overall composition, functionality, aesthetics, special attributes and sustainable elements, if applicable.Click here to see all the 2008 finalists.The panel comprised of five industry professionals, including Darin Schoolmeester, AIA, LEED AP and principal at MVE & Partners in Irvine, Calif.; Susan Slotkis, Allied Member ASID, author of Foundations of Interior Design and adjunct assistant professor at F.I.T. in New York; and Bruce Englebaugh, AIA, partner at Minno & Wasko in Lambertville, N.J….

House Passes E-Verify Legislation, Immigration Screening Rules Continue To Be Concern

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorWashington, D.C.–The House of Representatives has passed a bill to extend the E-Verify system for five years. The program is a voluntary Internet-based system that compares information from I-9 forms against government records to determine an individual’s work status in the U.S.If the Senate does not pass the bill, currently called H.R. 6633, the system will expire on November 1. Currently, private employers may volunteer to use the system. However, two new bills that have been introduced would make it mandatory for all employers, federal or private, to screen potential employees for immigration status.With the enforcement…

FAA Keynote Speaker Tells Industry to ‘Celebrate Change’

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorChampionsGate, Fla.–The opening session at the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) Education Conference & Trade Show in ChampionsGate, Fla. addressed the theme of the show, “Celebrating Change.”The keynote speaker, Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE, discussed the importance of embracing change within the apartment industry. However, she asserted, to truly embrace such change, managers must look outside the industry itself. In the context of the housing downturn, for example, people are turning away from homeownership, creating a shift towards multifamily housing, she said. With that in mind, she encourages managers to avail themselves to think differently.McDargh noted three general…

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