Meet the Winners of the 2011 Excellence Awards

The MHN Excellence Awards recognize outstanding people, companies and properties throughout the industry and the contributions they have made to the multi-housing sector in recent years.

By Erika Schnitzer, Managing Editor

The MHN Excellence Awards recognize outstanding people, companies and properties throughout the industry and the contributions they have made to the multi-housing sector in recent years.

Many of the names on this year’s list are familiar, but it is important to also point out new faces that have made a strong entrance into the market. The judges recognized that while it has been difficult for any company to stay afloat and prosper throughout these challenging economic times, it is just as rewarding to see new companies and developments come to fruition and thrive in this harsh climate.

This year’s panel of judges was comprised of Donald Davidoff, senior vice president of strategic systems, Archstone; Mercedes Farrando, Int’l Assoc. AIA, director of design services, Beacon Communities; Daniel Hilpert, managing director, Mortgage Equipcap LLC; Sanford Steinberg, AIA, CGP, principal, Steinberg Design Collaborative LLP; and Doug Walker, former senior vice president-transactions, UDR.

To determine this year’s winners, the judges spent two days at MHN’s office in New York, contemplating the submissions and their respective achievements. In the end, many of the winners went above and beyond the basics to realize success, often with innovative, though not necessarily costly, approaches that will prove to be tried-and-true in the years to come.

Executive of the Year

Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman

Company: CityView

Headquarters: Los Angeles

No. of Employees Managed: 40

No. of Years at Company: 10

Previous Positions Held: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1993-1997); president and COO for Univision (1997-2000)

No. of Units in Portfolio: 4,500

Active Regions: California, Texas, New York and Colorado

Throughout his career in politics and business, Henry Cisneros has been actively involved with creating housing and revitalizing the nation’s cities. As executive chairman of CityView, he devotes his efforts to improving the urban environment through the company’s investment funds. Prior to establishing CityView, he served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Bill Clinton. He is also a four-time mayor for the City of San Antonio.

Judges’ Comments:

He’s the only former HUD Secretary still working in housing. CityView has some interesting and innovative approaches to workforce housing.

He’s a huge proponent of smart housing.

Property Manager of the Year

Sheri Garner

Company: Fairfield Residential Company LLC

Apartment Community: Point at Perimeter

Location: Atlanta

No. of Units: 603

No. of Years at Community: 1

NOI at Community for 2010: $1,017,800

Year-over-Year Change in Occupancy 2009-2010: +3.6 percent

Year-over-Year Change in Rent per Sq. Ft. 2009-2010: +9 percent

Occupancy as of 3/31/2011: 94 percent

Percentage of Lease Renewals in 2010: 52 percent

Sherri Garner joined Fairfield and Point at Perimeter in Atlanta in late August 2009. From that August through December, the apartment community’s average physical occupancy increased to 93.4 percent, from 88.8 percent. The economic occupancy increased to 89.8 percent, from 81.9 percent. Under Garner’s leadership, the average economic occupancy improved by approximately 9.5 percent and the average monthly NOI increased by almost 17 percent. Garner was able to continue improving the value of the property in 2010 with an average physical occupancy of 96 percent and an average economic occupancy of 93 percent. She was able to reduce the physical to economic variance from over 6.5 percent to a 3 percent variance. Year ending 2010 NOI in 2010 was nearly triple that of 2009. Bad debt also decreased approximately 4 percent in 2010 from 2009. Market rents increased from $850 when Sheri first arrived, to $920 today. The community is currently leasing with no concessions. The overall resident retention ratio has increased by approximately 10 percent since Garner started to manage Point at Perimeter. The site’s average renewal rate is 61 percent.

Leasing Agent of the Year

Brian Parent Company: Fairfield Residential Company LLC

Apartment Community: The Fairways

Location: Derry, N.H.

No. of Units: 849

No. of Years at community: 6

NOI at Community for 2010: $4,812,300

Year-over-Year Change in Occupancy from 2009-2010: +1 percent

Year-over-Year Change in Rent per Sq. Ft. from 2009-2010: +2 percent

Current Occupancy as of 3/31/2011:
93 percent

Lease Terms Offered in 2010: Three, six, nine and 12 months

Brian Parent is consistently the top leasing consultant at The Fairways Apartments. For 2010, he had a closing ratio of 38 percent. His leasing efforts generated over $1,475,300 in future revenue; this is the fourth consecutive year that he has generated over $1 million in future revenue.

Parent is also very interested in enhancing the skills and morale of others around him; he has not only trained the other leasing people on the team at The Fairways, but he has traveled to other properties in N.H. and Mass. to mentor others. He is always willing to travel to assist others that are short-staffed and has given his contact information to other employees in the region to call him if they need help.

Parent is dedicated to his profession and his industry and is completely committed to those who call his property home. This is evidenced by the fact that he takes closed-out work orders and calls the residents to ensure everything was resolved and completed to their satisfaction.

If a resident isn’t well and calls because he is concerned about being able to get rent to the office on time, Parent will go to the apartment so the resident can avoid paying the late fee.

Sixty-seven percent of the residents at The Fairways renewed their leases in 2010, and the property achieved a 3 percent occupancy increase.

Development Company of the Year

Douglaston Development

Headquarters: Queens, N.Y.

Key Executives: Jeffrey Levine, chairman; Steven Charno, president; Michael Kaye, CEO; Jonathan Fair, EVP

No. of Employees: 20

No. of Units Developed in Company’s History: 3,000

No. of Units Delivered Jan. 1, 2010-March 31, 2011: 1,281

Active Regions: New York, Arizona

Founded by Jeffrey E. Levine, Douglaston Development’s management team possesses expertise in site acquisition, zoning entitlements, site planning, building design and development, debt and equity financing, marketing, and sales and leasing. All of its construction work is done by Levine Builders, an in-house construction company. In recent years, Douglaston formed property management company Clinton Management in order to manage the organization’s rental and condominium projects. In the most challenging real estate recession in recent history, the firm brought over 1,300 units to market within the last three years.

In Williamsburg, Douglaston played an integral role in effectuating a large-scale rezoning of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront to accommodate high-density residential and mixed-use development. The Edge is over 65 percent sold, has sold over 150 units since the start of 2011, and Douglaston has increased pricing along the way.

In West Chelsea, Douglaston completed Ohm by taking advantage of the acquisition of High Line Transfer Corridor square footage created as part of the rezoning, as well as the HPD’s on-site inclusionary housing bonus. Since the 20 percent affordable component of the project had to meet the requirements of both the 80-20 program and the on-site inclusionary housing program, Douglaston worked with HFA and HPD to coordinate agency requirements that at times conflicted with one another.

Best Property Management Company

Bozzuto Management Co.

Headquarters: Greenbelt, Md.

Key Executives: Tom Bozzuto, CEO, The Bozzuto Group;
Julie Smith, president, Bozzuto Management Co.

No. of Employees: 986

No. of Multifamily Properties in Portfolio: 115

No. of Units in Management Portfolio: 33,278

Percentage of Units that Company Owns: 19.21%

Active Regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic

Asset Types: Class A (73%), Class B (22%), Class C (5%)

In 2010, Bozzuto Management grew total revenue by 8 percent, increased NOI by 21 percent and achieved a gross profit margin of 35 percent. The company opened six projects, totaling 1,331 units, and successfully completed seven lease-ups, totaling 1,659 units. It took over management responsibilities on nine properties, totaling 2,358 units and continued expansion into the Northeast with almost 40 percent of new assets in Northern New Jersey, Westchester County and New England. Bozzuto experienced a 5.3 percent revenue growth and 5 percent NOI growth portfolio-wide.

Resident recruitment and retention strategies include a Zipcar partnership; a bike share program; a Williams Sonoma partnership, a partnership with H. Bloom, a subscription-based flower service; a preferred employer program; and SmartRent, a program that sets aside $350 per month for any resident for use toward closing costs on a new Bozzuto Home.

Employee turnover is 6.37 percent per quarter, and 40 percent of new hires come from internal referrals. Bozzuto also hires 20 percent of its interns to fill full-time positions, and it offers a learning program that includes classes and workshops, annual retreats and tuition assistance.

Best Brokerage Firm

CB Richard Ellis

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Regions of Operations: Americas, EMEA, Asia/Pacific

No. of Multifamily Transactions 2010: 215

Volume of Multifamily Transactions 2010: $6.1 billion

Sample Transactions of 2010:

1.) CBRE arranged a joint venture partnership between Forest City Enterprises and Bernstein Management, which purchased a 50 percent interest in a multi-housing portfolio of three high-rise communities in Northern Va. and Suburban Md., valued at $250 million. CBRE hosted 44 tours and procured over $5 billion in offers from 30 different investors.

2.) Several CBRE business lines worked together in 2010 to sell and recapitalize portions of Aqua at Lakeshore East, an 82-story Class A, mixed-use development in downtown Chicago. The staged funding of the vertical subdivision included procurement of two separate joint venture equity partnerships and placement of permanent debt financing.

3.) CBRE represented Hartz Mountain Industries in two acquisitions to satisfy a 1031 exchange requirement: the 412-unit 225 Huguenot St. (pictured) in New Rochelle, N.Y. and the 277-unit Town & Country portfolio in Bergen Couny, N.J. By working in tandem with CBRE Debt & Equity Finance, the CBRE team was able to source attractive long-term, fixed-rate financing with Freddie Mac.

4.) CBRE transacted Mass Court, a 371-unit high rise in Washington, D.C.’s East End. CBRE represented the owner in the disposition of the community, and assisted both the buyer and seller with financing for the deal. CBRE’s marketing efforts resulted in signed confidentiality agreements from 195 companies, approximately 65 tours and 40 offers to purchase.

Multi-Housing Community of the Year

Pacific Beacon

Location: San Diego

Year Property was Built: 2009

Owner: Clark Realty Capital; U.S. Department of the Navy

Management: Clark Realty Management

No. of Units: 1,199

Occupancy: 97 percent

Rent Range: $1,085-$1,400

Unit Mix: Mostly two-bedrooms with two baths

2010 NOI: $14,910,127

Sq. Footage of Buildings: 892,966 sq. ft. of residential living space

Concessions: Three rent discounts, including 1.) 10 percent rent discount applied monthly for residents who rent two suites; 2.) 5 percent rent discount applied monthly for residents who are geographical bachelors;
3.) $150 rent discount applied monthly while a resident is deployed.

Type of Community: Military

Pacific Beacon is the nation’s first luxury rental community serving junior enlisted unaccompanied sailors. Through a “ship-to-shore” initiative, Clark Realty and the Navy partnered to give sailors a home that was worlds away from the cramped on-ship living quarters and traditional military barracks. Pacific Beacon’s four 18-story towers feature 941 dual master-suites priced well below qualified Sailors’ Basic Allowance for Housing.

CRM’s resident programs and relations inspire camaraderie and consistently rank as one of the top reasons sailors love living at Pacific Beacon. The tailored lifestyle program includes on-site continuing education courses and a 24-hour concierge service.

Transaction of the Year

Beech Street Capital Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.

In the last quarter of 2010, Beech Street Capital, LLC was approached by Meridian Capital Group with the opportunity to arrange financing, for two large Brooklyn properties on behalf of a prominent sponsor, totaling over $80 million. The borrower’s objective was to pay off its maturing loans and to secure an early rate lock to take advantage of low interest rates at the time. In the few short months since it opened its doors in late 2009, CEO Grace Huebscher had already assembled an all-star team of industry veterans with the expertise, strategic relationships and dedication to service that would enable the firm to respond to client needs with exceptional speed and creativity. In this case, Beech Street collaborated with Meridian and Freddie Mac to successfully rate lock and close both loans within 30 days. The fixed-rate loans carry terms of 10 years, five of which are interest-only. In the process, Beech proved to the sponsor—as it proved repeatedly to other borrowers in the course of its first year—that it could easily handle a deal of this size and satisfy even the tightest time requirements. As a result, Beech Street closed more than $1 billion in its first year (a record for agency originations by a new lender) and is on course to more than double that mark in its second year. Initially, Beech Street focused on the New York City metropolitan area and the Mid-Atlantic region; however, it is rapidly expanding its reach with offices in Boston, Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Chicago, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, and Portland. Beech Street is a Fannie Mae DUS® lender, a Freddie Mac Program Plus® Seller Servicer, and an FHA Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) lender.

Best Marketing Program

The Bozzuto Group for the Fitzgerald

Program Implemented: June 2009-present

Occupancy as of 3/31/2011: 98 percent

Change in Rent per Sq. Ft. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010: $1.94-$1.96 (now at $2.07)

Change in Leasing/Sales Traffic from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010: 860 traffic, 285 leases from 6/24-12/31, 0 percent to 56 percent occupancy from 6/24-12/31

Leasing Rate: 25 units/month

Platforms Program Comprised: Website, Print Brochures, Craigslist, ILSs, Newspapers/Print Media, Social Networking, Signage and Billboards, Text Messages, Guerilla Marketing, Public Relations, Digital Brochures

Program: The Fitzgerald was inspired by Baltimore’s F. Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda. The Fitzgerald was built for the way creative minds live today, and this idea was carried through all elements of its marketing campaign. The result was a community that exceeded its goal of stabilizing in less than one year (11 months). The campaign is smart, cool and fun—spearheaded by the slogan: “Art in Itself.” Campaign elements include a cohesive approach to marketing, from custom, hand-drawn illustrations to journal-style brochures that encourage prospects to interact and envision their lives at The Fitzgerald, and a comprehensive social media campaign. A blow-out grand opening event involved seven local restaurants and 10 local artists that drew more than 700 people to the community for the opening celebration. As a result, The Fitzgerald is the fastest-leasing apartment community in the history of Baltimore (according to Delta Associates), averaging a 25 unit/month absorption pace and a 33.2 percent closing ratio. The community signed 100 leases in the first 90 days.

Best Renovation

Hollywood Tower

Location: Los Angeles

Date of Original Construction: 1928

Rents Before Renovation: $1.68 per sq. ft.

Rents After Renovation: $2.61 per sq. ft.

Total Cost of Renovation: $2.5 million

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $71

No. of Units: 52

Owner, Developer, Financier, Builder, Marketing: Alliance Residential Co.

Architect: David Forbes Hibbert Architects

Interior Designer: Ryan Young Interiors

Landscaping: Landscape Development

In March 2007, Alliance purchased the rundown Hollywood Tower in a joint venture with BlackRock’s Diamond Property Fund. The listing, condition and age of the building required enhanced attention to preserving the building’s unique details. This meant significant research regarding the original design, architecture, amenities and finishes. During renovation, exterior details were replicated and replaced using historical photographs. Alliance also installed architectural lighting to highlight the original details of the building, and refurbished the original oversized neon Hollywood Tower sign and neon pole sign at the front courtyard.

Using photographs of the original decks, Alliance implemented a major overhaul, incorporating more than 100 vintage furnishings locally refinished in vibrant colors and a citrus-plan landscaping palette.

For the interior, a major renovation of all finishes in the common areas was completed, with a focus on protecting surviving original details and restoring others. The build-out included retro-patterned marble flooring, antiqued mirrors, the application of gold leaf to restore the original gold leaf at the column capitals, and the replacement of light fixtures and door hardware with vintage-style bronze fixtures in a “living finish” that will develop a patina over time.

Best New Development/Garden

Ralston Courtyards

Location: Ventura, Calif.

Completed: December 2010

Occupancy: 97 percent

Project Cost: $14,442,000

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $121

No. of Floors: 2

No. of Units: 108

Monthly Rents: $1,445-$1,802

Owner, Developer, Financier, Builder, Interior Designer, Marketing, Leasing: The Towbes Group

Architect: CSA Architects

Landscaping: Arcadia Studios

Photographer: Jim Bartsch

The project provides workforce housing for Gen X and Gen Y. Due to the site’s infill nature, the project was designed to be compatible with the local neighborhood fabric, which is mostly two stories. It achieves 30 du/ac with only two-story forms, creating a quiet retreat in an urban downtown setting. Tuck-under parking was used to screen vehicles and make more efficient use of land area.

The project was designed in two different, yet complimentary, architectural styles, appearing as two distinct projects and allowing the community to be more in scale with the surrounding neighborhood. The eastern buildings hearken back to the craftsman era, while the western buildings use a coastal town vernacular with braced hip roofs and wood deck rails. On both sides of the project, the buildings are focused around multi-functional, urban courtyards. Separating vehicular from pedestrian circulation allows the residents to walk freely to the project’s common areas and interact freely with their neighbors. Bold colors accent walls throughout the units, creating a clean, yet warm, feeling.

Best New Development/Low Rise

Citrus Square

Location: Sarasota, Fla.

Completed: Jan. 2010

Occupancy: 80 percent sold

Project Cost: $8.5 million

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $178

No. of Floors: 3

No. of Units: 20

Unit Cost: $185,000-$400,000

Owner/Investor: L’Orange Inc.

Developer: Citrus Square Inc.

Financier: Whitney Bank

Builder: Pierce Contracting Inc.

Architect, Interior Designer: Jonathan Parks Architect

Landscaping: LandEscapes

Marketing: Wilde Productions

Broker/Sales: Michael Saunders & Co.

Photographer: Camille Pyatte

Phase I of this mixed-use project represents the first effort to realize the new Downtown Sarasota Master Plan by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., showcasing a vibrant, walkable community.

The 35,000-square-foot, three-story building houses residences, boutiques and restaurants. The street facades are enlivened through the use of large windows, French doors with balconies, and stone moldings. Staggered facades create the illusion of multiple buildings, while retail spaces with wooden storefronts under multi-colored canvas awnings complement the sidewalk experience.

Best New Development/High-Rise

The Austonian

Location: Austin, Texas

Completed: June 2010

Occupancy: 50 percent sold

Project Cost: $175 million

No. of Floors: 56

No. of Units: 166

Unit cost: From $500,000

Owner/Investor, Financier:
Grupo Villar Mir

Developer: Benchmark Development

Builder: Balfour Beatty Construction

Architect: Ziegler Cooper Architects

Interior Designer: Gary Lee
Partners/Lindsay Maki

Landscaping: TBG Partners

Marketing: Momark Development

Broker: Moreland Properties

Photographer: Thomas McConnell

The 638-foot tall, 56-story, 166-unit Austonian is 20 stories taller than any other in Austin. Occupying just one-third of a city block in the heart of downtown Austin, the 850,000-square-foot tower was designed as a symmetrical form. The elliptical exterior features floor-to-ceiling window walls and is crowned by an illuminated lantern element.

Site-related factors considered in the design process include the size of the footprint of the building; the location along a corridor with specific setback requirements intended to preserve views of the Texas State Capitol and the need to preserve a historic building. Furthermore, the building needed to connect to the street level, link interior spaces to the outdoors and integrate with City of Austin plans for Congress Ave. and Second St.

The historic façade of what once was the largest building on Second St. is situated along the south side of The Austonian. The Brown-Dumas Blacksmith Shop, which existed at the site for an estimated 100 years until it was blown over in a windstorm in 2006, is integrated into the building. The storefront was reconstructed using materials from the original building, and a reproduction of the original lettering is painted on the facade.

Ziegler Cooper gave the Austonian a 10-story podium that extends the property line. The podium serves two restaurants at ground level and conceals parking floors.


Broadstone Enso

Location: Portland, Ore.

Completed: June 2010

Occupancy: 98 percent

Project Cost: $40,000 per unit

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $186.52

No. of Floors: 6

No. of Units: 152

Monthly Rents: $1,225-$2,900

Owner, Developer, Financier, Builder, Marketing, Broker: Alliance Residential Co.

Architect: Myhre Group

Interior Designer: Lyndon West

Broadstone Enso is located in the center of Portland’s Pearl District. Formerly home to warehouses, industrial buildings and railroad yards, the area has undergone an urban renewal within the last few decades, transforming it into a hip locale for art galleries and businesses.

Enso takes inspiration from the smart growth and sustainability mantras that make the Pearl District popular. The project is situated on a former industrial site, which was transformed to an urban infill site. The overall development was designed in keeping with the industrial character of the neighborhood, and the six-story project is now a fusion of Eastern and Northwestern sensitivities across 166,00 square feet of modern architecture.

Due to the project’s location along the light rail system and near the 405 freeway, the building is designed to be energy-efficient and acoustically sound. To achieve this, Alliance incorporated upgraded windows along the perimeter of the building.

Sitting atop an underground parking garage, the building exterior features numerous bump-outs and balconies accentuated by the integration of metal, wood and concrete finishes. Alliance also recycled existing posts and beams from the prior building
(a printing press) and had them milled and incorporated in the common area; for example, the milled wood was used to construct benches in the courtyard and to create the wall siding in the lobby, resident lounge and building exterior.


Mission Walk

Location: San Francisco

Completed: 2009

Occupancy: 99 percent sold

Project Cost: $60 million

No. of Floors: 5

No. of Units: 131

Unit Cost: $160,000-$300,000

Owner/Investor: Mission Walk Home Owners Association

Developer: Bridge Housing

Financiers: Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency

Builder: Roberts Obayashi

Architects: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Full Circle Architecture

Interior Designer: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Landscaping: Cliff Lowe Associates

Marketing, Broker/Leasing: Home Bricks

Photographer: Bruce Damonte

The project is the first for-sale workforce housing in the emerging Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco.

The exterior design is based on the San Francisco row building rhythm, with a contemporary architectural expression  reminiscent of the historic back street commercial buildings and Mission Creek houseboats. The outer façade plane is a compositional mixture of exterior cladding tied together by a regulating gridwork that corresponds to the structure’s floor plates and bearing walls. In contrast to the more muted exterior façade plane colors, a recessed layer of townhouses and balconies are distinguished by vibrant accent walls.

Inside corridors are daylit by breaks in the exterior massing. Each building’s entrance lobby is a two-story volume with a grand staircase that leads to the second floor courtyard. A large wall graphic in each lobby features a historic map of the site, as well as historic photography.


Tassafaronga Village

Location: Oakland, Calif.

Completed: May 2010

Occupancy: 100 percent

Project Cost: $75.2 million

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $232

No. of Units: 157

Monthly Rents: Up to $1,119

Owner, Developer: Oakland Housing Authority

Financiers: Citibank, HOPWA, State of California

Builder: Cahill Contractors

Architect: David Baker + Partners

Interior Designer: Marie Fisher Interior Design

Landscaping: PGA Design

Broker/Leasing: The John Stewart Co.

Photographer: Brian Rose

Tassafaronga Village achieved the first LEED Gold Neighborhood Development certification in California, and all 157 residences are LEED for Homes Platinum certified.

The development is located on the border between single-family residential and industrial uses. The goal of the revitalization was to remediate the site and the former housing into energy-efficient units for low- and very-low income households and to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that would soften the industrial border and create safer, convenient linkages to neighborhood amenities.

The placement of the apartment building on the most industrial edge of the site demarcates a residential edge. The configuration of the townhouse buildings in rows and clusters beyond and around the apartment building created pocket areas for residents to claim, increasing the sense of home. These pocket areas within the site encourage foot traffic on central paths and sidewalks. Townhouse entrances also line the side of a large public park.

The intention was to knit separate housing seamlessly into the community, using classic New Urbanist strategies to ultimately repair the deteriorated street grid. The aesthetic challenge was to create buildings that are modern yet typologically compatible with the surrounding buildings without mimicking existing types.

Adaptive Reuse

Pacific Cannery Lofts

Location: Oakland, Calif.

Completed: May 2009

Occupancy: 100 percent sold

Project Cost: $61 million

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $250

No. of Units: 163

Unit Cost: $350,000

Owner, Developer: Holliday Development

Financier: Citibank

Builder: Cannon Constructors

Architect: David Baker + Partners

Interior Designer: Urban Designs

Landscaping: Miller Company Landscape

Marketing: Pacific Marketing Association

Photographer: Brian Rose

Pacific Cannery Lofts revives a long-dormant industrial building—a 1909 cannery. The 163 units maximize the historic bones of the industrial building, with 19-foot ceilings, exposed concrete beams and patios repurposed from former loading docks.

Three grand courtyards have been carved out of the historic building mass, bringing in light and air. Homes open onto these shared garden courts, which feature custom outdoor furniture, and are linked by a gallery colonnade.

At-grade townhouses in the Warehouse Lofts buildings (the adaptive reuse of the cannery) face a free-standing bar of new two-story live-work townhomes across the Grove, a public garden mews that serves as a pedestrian thoroughfare.

A challenge was creating a viable active edge in a difficult neighborhood and balancing security and openness. These challenges were met in part by creating townhouses with two entries: one from the street edge and the other from inside the building. Additionally, a gate made from heavy clear glass and steel allows views into the courtyard without compromising safety.


Magnolia Court

Location: Manteca, Calif.

Completed: December 2010

Occupancy: 100 percent

Project Cost: $412,510,513

Hard Construction Cost per Sq. Ft.: $226

No. of Floors: 2

No. of Units: 52

Monthly Rents: $321-$690

Owner, Developer, Builder, Marketing:
Affirmed Housing Group

Financier: US Bank

Architect, Interior Designer: Studio E Architects

Landscaping: DeLorenzo Inc.

Broker: Solari Enterprises

Photographer: APGS Applied Photography

Parking is pushed to the rear of the property, where it is convenient to the residents but shielded from the street. The street-facing edge is freed up to support porches and terraces that invite a community feeling. Between the parking and the street are the buildings, which are arranged around three courtyards that are linked side by side. The landscape uses  colorful and lush plantings on the inside and drought-tolerant plantings on the outside.

Though the project was constructed with light wood framing, vinyl windows, cement board siding and plaster, it adds design touches not normally associated with such technology. The siding, for instance, was placed to create a woven tapestry, alluding to damask fabrics. Inside the courtyards, the typical steel picket railing system is expanded to become a lath wall capable of supporting a wall of vines. Warm tones were placed on the plaster surfaces of the buildings to create the geode illusion.

Meet the Finalists

Property Management Company  Of the Year

Morgan Properties

Headquarters: King of Prussia, Pa.

Regional Office Locations: Flanders, N.J.; Marlton, N.J.; King of Prussia, Pa.; Laurel, Md.

Key Executives: Mitchell L. Morgan, president and CEO; Pat O’Grady, CFO; Karen McAlonen, senior vice president of operations

No. of Units in Management Portfolio: 30,626

Multi-Housing Community Of the Year

The Fitzgerald

Location: Baltimore

Year Built: 2010

Owner: The Bozzuto Group

Management: Bozzuto Management Co.

No. of Units: 275

Occupancy: 98 percent

NOI: 7.36 percent

Marketing Program of the Year

Jamestown Properties for  be@schermerhorn

Program Implemented: May 2010-present

Change in Occupancy as a Result of the Program: 208 of 246 units sold (May-December 2010)

Occupancy as of 3/31/2011: 215

Platforms Program Comprised: Website, Print Brochures, Social Networking, Print Media, Signage and Billboards, On-site Experimental Marketing, Event Production, Strategic Partnerships and PR

Best Renovation

Avalon Burbank

Location: Burbank, Calif.

Date of Original  Construction: 1988

Total Cost of  Renovation: $23.4 million

No. of Units: 400

Owner/Investor, Developer, Financier, Builder, Landscaping, Marketing: AvalonBay Communities Inc.

Architect: ARK Architects Inc.

Photographer: Michael Arden

Best New Development: High-Rise

The Ohm

Location: New York

No. of Units: 369

Owner/Investor, Developer: Douglaston Development

Financier: Wells Fargo

Builder: Levine Builders

Architects: Stephen B Jacobs Group, American Leisure, Andi Pepper Interior Design

Interior Designer: Andi Pepper Interior Design

Landscaping: Abel Bainnson Butz LLP

Marketing: The Roc Co.

Broker/Sales/Leasing: Nancy Packes Inc.

Photographer: Alex Severin


Mill District City Apartments

Location: Minneapolis

No. of Units: 175

Owner/Investor: Holtzman Interests, Avgeris & Associates

Developer, Interior Designer, Marketing, Broker/Leasing: Village Green

Financier: US Bank

Builder: Frana

Architect, Landscaping, Photographer: BKV Group

The Fitzgerald Apartments

Location: Baltimore

No. of Units: 275

Owner/Investor: The Bozzuto Group, Gould Property Co.

Developer: Bozzuto Development Co.

Financiers: Bank of America, RBS Citizens, Bozzuto Group, Gould Property Co., Michael McCrary

Builder, Marketing, Broker/Leasing, Photographer: The Bozzuto Group

Architects: RD Jones + Associates, Design Collective, Ziger Snead, DW Green Associates

Interior Designer: RD Jones + Associates

Landscaping: Mahan Rykiel Group

Adaptive Reuse

Carriage House

Location: New York

No. of Units: 24

Owner/Investor: 159 West 24th Street LLC

Developer: Broad Mill Development Group

Financier: MidFirst Bank

Builder: Focal Point Design & Construction

Architect: Studio MSA

Interior Designer: Gustavo Martinez

Marketing: Warburg Realty


Ten Fifty B

Location: San Diego

No. of Units: 229

Owner/Investor, Developer, Builder, Marketing: Affirmed Housing Group

Financiers: US Bank, Boston Capital

Architect, Interior Designer: Martinez & Cutri Architects

DeLorenzo Inc.

Broker: Solari Enterprises

Photographer: Costea Photography

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