GMH Capital Partners Receives Four Excellence in Management and Maintenance Awards

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorSan Pablo, Calif.—GMH Capital Partners’s Bella Vista at Hilltop in Richmond recently received the 2008 Greater Excellence in Management and Maintenance (GEMM) Award in four categories from the California Apartment Association (CAA) Contra Costa Region.GMH won “Management Company of the Year” and “Resident Relations Program of the Year.” In addition, “Community Manager of the Year” was awarded to Diana Silva and Dennis McKoy was named “Maintenance Technician of the Year.”GMH also won a GEMM award in 2007 when Bella Vista, which the company bought in May 2005, was named “Repositioned Property of the Year.”“I think some of the biggest accomplishments were reducing bad debt, improving occupancy and working with local businesses,” says Rand Ginsburg, senior vice president of asset services at GMH Capital Partners. Occupancy increased from approximately 80 percent to 97 percent since the renovations, he adds.The $8 rehabilitation of the 1,008-unit Bella Vista—which had issues of deferred maintenance and property theft—included renovations of the clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pools, tennis courts, business center and leasing office. In addition, GMH Capital Partners upgraded the community’s lighting fixtures to Energy Star, replaced approximately one-third of the windows with double-pane energy-efficient glass, installed a roof system that attracted less heat, retrofitted water-saving devices on toilets and faucets, and repaired the property’s irrigation system to prevent leaks.For its initiative in changing the light fixtures and bulbs, GMH received the largest rebate check ever issued by PG&E, Ginsburg tells MHN. “Not only did the owner see savings but every resident receives $68 a year in direct metered utilities.”Once the capital program was complete, Ginsburg says that GMH’s goals were to build a cohesive management and maintenance team that would service the residents and provide a home in which they would want to live, in addition to increasing NOI and building a green community.Ginsburg attributes the “Resident Relations Program of the Year” award to the number of events the property has hosted for its residents, from Santa coming to Bella Vista to an educational session with the city’s police department on apartment safety.The 42-building garden-style development offers one- and two-bedroom units, with monthly rents ranging from approximately $1,170 to $1,500.