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Foong on Finance: The Coming Apartment Shortage

There will be a shortage of apartments in 2013. That is the prediction of Trammell Crow Residential’s (TCR) 2009 Outlook for the U.S. Multifamily Market. Many have been projecting that given the current constriction of apartment supply, apartment demand will outstrip supply shortly. This study puts a date on it. The study’s introduction was co-signed by Charles R. Brindell Jr., TCR President and CEO, and J. Ronald Terwilliger, TCR chairman. (Terwilliger was, incidentally, just honored in June with the Housing Person of the Year by the National Housing Conference.) The authors noted that we will see “strong rent growth beginning…

‘Gimme Shelter’ with Daniel Gehman: Watts’ Up?!?

Wonderful change is afoot in one of LA’s most notorious neighborhoods. Jordan Downs, located in the heart of the community of Watts, in South Los Angeles, is targeted for redevelopment. The design team, led by the capable staff at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is in the midst of the community outreach for the project. Jordan Downs may be noted as one of the last public housing projects to be developed in the city of the angels back in the 1950s. Regrettably, it is probably better known for being in the middle of the neighborhood…

‘The Essential Kitchen’ with Kevin Henry: Exploring the Boundaries Between Space and Functionality

With space at a premium, imagine a kitchen without boundaries or barriers, an environment free from conventional thought and restrictions, a kitchen created to successfully achieving the delicate balance between form and function reflect the needs and lifestyle of the modern homeowner.  The new “kitchen matrix” allows for maximum usage of space with the focus on utilization and optimization of the interiors and exposed work areas, allowing the homeowner, apartment dweller or loft inhabitant to maximize the usage of the space at hand. Like the Roman God Janus, who could see the past and future at the same time, the…

Foong on Finance: CEO’s Observations

Last month, I attended a press briefing given by Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), which invests in real estate on behalf of institutional clients. Here is what PREI CEO Allen Smith said. The company has sold more than $1 billion in commercial real estate this year, and Smith said that a lack of liquidity has not been a problem with its buyers. Buyers in these transactions were able to do get financing, if they were willing to pay a price for it. We are talking about commercial real estate in general, and not only about multifamily. One encouraging sign in…

‘Gimme Shelter’ with Daniel Gehman: Doo Process

Some time ago I wrote about a new senior housing community that was being proposed in my neighborhood. Since this is a product type that my company also designs, I was quite interested in who was proposing just what, so I followed the process. I can’t recall exactly how it happened, but I ended up on the mailing list of the association that represents my neighborhood, and is called upon to review proposed projects for design consistency. (As a curious aside, when I first moved here about fifteen years ago, I attended a couple of meetings in an attempt to…

Foong on Finance: CEO’s Observations

Last month, I attended a press briefing given by Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), which invests in real estate on behalf of institutional clients.   Here is what PREI CEO Allen Smith said. The company has sold more than $1 billion in commercial real estate this year, and Smith said that a lack of liquidity has not been a problem with its buyers. Buyers in these transactions were able to do get financing, if they were willing to pay a price for it. We are talking about commercial real estate in general, and not only about multifamily. One encouraging sign…

‘Gimme Shelter’ with Daniel Gehman: Hot Enough For Ya?

Consider for a moment the above inquiry. It is merely a simple (if not terribly creative) tactical question, designed to engage a prospect in conversation. Think about it for a minute—even if you don’t use the phrase yourself, have you ever seen it fail to evoke the desired response? Me neither. There’s a similar phrase that’s been circulating through the design and building industry for the last few months; it may sound somewhat different, but, in reality, it’s pretty close to prodding about the weather. The question is “Are you staying busy?” What a layered and peculiar question that is!…

‘Editor’s Notebook’ with Diana Mosher

Delaware Apartment Association Expands Scope of Services Since the economic crisis began, the apartment industry has looked for a variety of ways to help renters stay in their apartments. But sometimes, despite these efforts, residents do lose their homes. The Delaware Apartment Association wants to help. As Kevin Wolfgang, President of the Delaware Apartment Association, points out, multifamily professionals are on the front lines of this hardship and they witness the devastating impact on families. “Renters want to know where they can turn for information and help. Through our own experiences as apartment operators and our involvement in task forces,”…

‘The Essential Kitchen’ with Kevin Henry: Just How Green is an All-Glass Kitchen

At a recent design show in Los Angeles this past June, I had the opportunity to see firsthand, the highly touted sustainable all-glass kitchen from a very high profile Italian manufacturer. At first glance, it appeared to be the “holy grail” of environmental kitchen design. The doors, drawers, box, counter top and toe kick were all made of glass and it was this overuse of glass that got me thinking, “Just how green is glass?” When we think of glass, the first thought that comes to mind is its ability to be recycled and reused over and over again, but…

‘Editor’s Notebook’ with Diana Mosher

Coney Island: Balancing Profit with Personality The Long Island beaches and the Jersey shore are both just a day trip away from my home, but my family sometimes enjoys staying within city limits for our beach outings. We like being able to get on the subway in our neighborhood and be at Rockaway Beach or Coney Island an hour later. Coney Island in particular (my new favorite) possesses a gritty urban vibe that I really like. As Sebastian Smith explains in his travel report at TheAge.com, “The decline of Coney Island began more than half a century ago as urban…