Archive for March, 2012

NC Nonprofit Eyes REO-to-Rental Initiative

Multifamily Executive has a story about Raleigh-based Builders of Hope and it’s plans to convert foreclosed homes to affordable housing:

But at least one nonprofit is eyeing the program as a solution to our nation’s affordable housing problem. Builders of Hope, a Raleigh, N.C.-based developer, has secured a $100 million fund as part of its “Upcycle” program to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed or otherwise vacant houses into affordable rentals.

The company acts as a one-stop shop, acquiring assets, serving as its own General Contractor and ultimately managing the properties. Its vertical business model gives it a leg up in terms of bulk, scattered-site deals…

Since it’s creation in 2006, Builders of Hope has acquired about 500 units and 80 percent are multifamily housing. The company has acted as co-developer on low-income housing tax credit deals and, in its brief history, has received about $12 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding.

The organization, which bills itself as “social entrepreneurs,” hopes to acquire between 1,500 and 2,000 units this year—year one of a five-year agreement with its investors. If that $100 million is spent this year, it will be replenished next year, and so on—meaning the fund could end up totaling $500 million.


March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm Leave a comment

The $80 Bedbug Cocoon

From Hammacher Schlemer (who else?) The Traveler’s Bed Bug Thwarting Sleeping Cocoon:

This portable sleeping cocoon is made specially woven fabric that is impervious to bed bugs. The sleeping cocoon’s tightly wound polyester threads are spaced only 1-micron apart (a span that’s much smaller than bed bugs) to prevent 100% of bed bugs from penetrating the fabric. The durable polyester threads are impervious to bed bugs’ teeth yet the fabric remains soft, pliable, and breathable for optimal sleeping comfort in a hotel bed. The sleeping cocoon creates an enclosed sleeping environment from the shoulders to the feet, the hooded top protects your head and neck yet allows you to breathe naturally, and the entire unit folds to fit in the included tote for ease of travel. 81″ L x 36″ W. (1 lb.)

March 27, 2012 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Village at Robinhood (W-S) Auction Shouldn’t Hinder Apartment Development

PTAA member Chris Parr doesn’t foresee any problems due to the auction of the shopping center next to the 192-unit community due to be completed by June:

Developer Chris Parr said the auction will have no effect on the planned 192-unit apartment project he announced last year. Parr’s development is under construction and will be complete in June. Monthly rents will range from $739 to $869.

Parr said he continues to be extremely bullish on that section of Winston-Salem, adding that it has some of the best schools in Forsyth County.

Ironically, foot traffic to the shopping center is increasing, he said.

“The Harris Teeter is not going anywhere,” Parr said. “Business is picking up.”

March 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm Leave a comment

PTAA Announces 2011 Diamond Award Winners

On March 20, 2012 over 300 industry professionals attended PTAA’s 2011 Diamond Awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites hotel in Greensboro.  PTAA President Mindy McCorkle presided over a wonderful evening event dedicated to recognizing the best that the apartment industry has to offer in the Piedmont Triad.

Contrary to what many might think these awards are not a popularity contest.  Individual award nominees were required to:

  • Submit paperwork with details about their job or community. Including things like closing ratios for leasing professionals; community turnover ratio for service professionals; professional designations they hold and continuing education courses they’ve taken throughout the year; and just about any information relevant to how they do their jobs.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from their immediate supervisor.
  • Leasing professionals were shopped by a 3rd party company that specializes in evaluating leasing operations.
  • All other professional category nominees were interviewed by a panel of judges made up of professionals who were not working at properties in the running for the category
  • Each step of the process was scored and based on those scores the finalists were selected.

Nominees in the “Community” categories had to:

  • Submit paperwork with details like the size of their community, number of employees, total traffic, total gross and net lease sales, turnover ratio, etc.
  • Each community was also inspected by a judging panel made up of vendor partner members and owner/manager members who did not have a property nominated for the award in the category.
  • Each step of the process was scored and based on those scores the finalists were selected.

Nominees for the Vendor Partner awards were all nominated and voted on by members from the management community. Finalists were the top vote getters in their respective categories, and the winner is the top vote-getter in each category.

As you can see all of the nominees were subjected to rigorous judging and as a result each category was highly competitive, with some winners being separated from the other finalists by a mere point or two.  All of the finalists should take great pride in their accomplishments for 2011!

Without further ado, here are the finalists and winners of PTAA’s 2o11 Diamond Awards (a link to our Diamond Awards photo album follows the list of award winners):

Leasing Professional of the Year
Winner: Dena Bostic, Westborough Apartments
Randy Alexander, Highbrook Apartments
Vanida Chithtamath, Cedar Trace Group
Dainese Keever, Wallburg Landing

Service Tech of the Year
Winner: Antonio Rivas, Legacy at Twin Oaks
Jose Aguilar, Abernathy Park
Steve Clement, Highbrook Apartments

Assistant Manager of the Year
Winner: Michelle Chesson, Westborough Apartments
Virginia Cummings, Cedar Trace Group
Caroline Powell, Beechwood Apartments
Connie Vinson, Legacy at Friendly Manor

Service Supervisor of the Year
Winner: Dale Turner, Legacy at Friendly Manor
Sheldon de Silva, Hawthorne Residential
Mike Nazzal, CityView at South Side
Goran Petric, Enclave at Deep River Plantation

Manager of the Year
Winner: Meredith Stanley, Bell Brassfield
Kristi Kennedy, Highbrook Apartments
Carrie Langley, Westborough Apartments
Emily Robbins, Abbotts Creek Apartments

Regional Manager of the Year
Winner: Lisa Bisher, Signature Property Group
Emily Goodman, CORE Realty Holdings Management
Tammy Oglesby, Blue Ridge Companies

Community of the Year 1-5
Winner: Legacy at Twin Oaks, Blue Ridge Companies
Gardens at Anthony House, Signature Property Group
Plantation at Horse Pen Creek, Hawthorne Residential

Community of the Year 6-16
Winner: Westborough Apartments, Burkely Communities
Highbrook Apartments, Daymark Realty Advisors
Enclave at Deep River Plantation, Daymark Realty Advisors
Legacy at Friendly Manor, Blue Ridge Companies

Winner: LeDeara Crest Estates, Winn Residential
Colonial, Phillips Management
The Enclave at Deep River Plantation, Daymark Realty Advisors
Legacy at Friendly Manor, Blue Ridge Companies

President’s Choice
PTAA’s Own Ambassadors Committee

Owner Member Volunteer (designated by 2011 PTAA President)
Cooper Brantley

Vendor Partner Volunteer (designated by 2011 PTAA President)
Angie Crenshaw

Advertising & Promo
Winner: Apartment Finder
Apartment Guide
FastSigns – High Point
For Rent Media Solutions

Exterior Contractor
Winner: CRC the Disaster Response Experts
Cox Landscape Management
SERVPRO Fire & Water – Cleanup & Restoration
Turner Asphalt

Interior Contractor
Winner: Hernandez Carpet Cleaning
McNeely Pest Control
Sherwin Williams/Duron/MAB Paints

Professional Services
Winner: Brownlee Law Firm
Duke Energy
Law Offices of James Surane
Pinnacle Corporate Services

Winner: HD Supply
Appliance Warehouse
Murray Supply Company
Primo Water 

Click here to check out PTAA’s album of pictures from Diamond Awards.

March 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

Recent Apartment Development Announcements in the Piedmont Triad

New apartment construction announcements continued over the last few weeks:

Keystone Group Planning 264 Apartments in Greensboro
Scott Wallace, president of Keystone, said the Wendover at Meadowood project will go up on 13 acres of land on the 900 block of Meadowood Street, near its intersection with West Wendover Avenue, and is slated for completion by the end of this year.

The complex is one of two apartment developments that Keystone is building in the Triad as part of a larger strategy to capitalize on increasing demand for rental units at a time when banks are more willing to finance multifamily projects.

Plant 64 Mixed Use Project Moving Forward (Winston-Salem)
After announcing their project seven months ago, the developers behind the approximately $55 million Plant 64 project in downtown Winston-Salem are moving forward with the mixed-use development and plan to hire a general contractor within the next 60 days.

New Atlantic Contracting of Winston-Salem,Whiting-Turner    of Baltimore, Branch & Associates of Roanoke, Va., and KBS Construction Co. of Richmond, Va., are the four contractors being considered for the Plant 64 mixed-use development, which involves renovating five historic R.J. Reynolds buildings into a mix of 243 apartment units, about 10,000 square feet of retail space and 355 parking spaces.

Samet Plans 205 Unit Community Next to BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem)
Samet Corp. has plans to develop 205 apartments next to the $48.7 million BB&T Ballpark that it built two years ago in downtown Winston-Salem.

The nearly 200,000-square-foot multifamily community would become the first residential component within a long-planned urban mixed-use development adjacent to the ballpark. Brookstown Development Partners developed BB&T Ballpark and owns 20 acres of adjacent property, but there has been little movement on the rest of the planned development in recent years.

Goler Targets Biotech Workers With New Project (Winston-Salem)
The planned apartments are a key component of redevelopment of the Goler neighborhood and seek to capitalize on demand from hundreds of employees who will work at the newly opened Wake Forest Biotech Place in the Piedmont Triad Research Park. Thus far, Goler has developed 170 of 300 planned homes in Winston-Salem including the $18 million, 82-unit Gallery Lofts apartment project on East Sixth Street.

Michael Suggs, chairman of the Goler Community Development Corp., said his organization is still in the early planning stages, but that the development could have 50 or more units.

March 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Energy Choices Now Roadshow at Proximity in April

The North Carolina Energy Association’s “Energy Choices Now” Roadshow is coming to the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro on April 5, 2012 from 4-6 p.m.   Here’s a blurb about the event from the NCEA’s website:

Energy costs keep rising. But we can have power over our monthly electric bills. Clean energy policies passed over the last seven years have brought costs down, created jobs and fueled our economy. By furthering access to renewable energy and energy saving solutions, we can have even more stability and control over rising prices. It’s time North Carolina’s outdated policies and regulations kept pace with the overwhelming demand for clean energy resources. Learn how you can take charge when NCSEA’s “Energy Choices Now” Roadshow comes to a city near you.

March 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm Leave a comment

Confusion Continues on ADA Requirements for Pool Lifts – AANC Schedules April 13th Training

This is an issue that should be of great interest to all apartment industry professionals.  From an email alert sent by the Apartment Association of North Carolina:

Dear North Carolina Apartment Industry Professionals:

Confusion Continues on ADA Requirements for Pool Lifts/AANC Schedules April 13th Training

We have been closely monitoring all the information coming down from federal and state authorities in recent months concerning the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act on apartment pools in North Carolina. Of particular interest is whether or not either Pool Lifts or Ramps are required as an accessibility feature in enabling disabled individuals to gain access into pools – either in new construction or in existing properties. There was a March 15, 2012 deadline for compliance, but as is often the case with complex laws and rules, it was not clear what the directives were/are. At the end of last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release announcing the implementation of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  As part of its release, the DOJ stated the following:

“Requirements for existing swimming pools will be extended for 60 days.  The department will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements.”

This means that the compliance date for any apartment communities impacted by the new ADA standards is now May 15.  Further, that date could be extended by an additional six months depending on the outcome of the proposed rulemaking.

The AANC has contacted nationally-respected Accessibility expert Dominic Marinelli of United Spinal on the subject of Pool Accessibility. The New York-based Marinelli related:

  • The Building Code doesn’t care if a pool is or isn’t open to the “general” public – compliance is still mandated for new construction;
  • A “Hold” on the Rule-Making for the Federal Law has been placed for 60 days – once resolved and lifted, this will address existing properties and Rehab triggering;
  • Mr. Marinelli has agreed to conduct a free “GoTo” training for our members on this and related subjects on Friday, April 13th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. We will be devising an agenda for this training and will disseminate details to you. Please reserve this time.

March 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

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