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Home Automation Steps Beyond Tech-Savvy Renters by Delivering Critical Data to Multifamily Operators

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Technology is more than mere luxury these days— it has become the be-all and end-all of our human experience, and in relation to the multifamily housing industries, it is what residents not only want, but also expect. In order to build a trusting relationship with your residents and retain their future business, it is imperative to keep an active stride with the ever-evolving technological landscape, which is ultimately, a valuable approach in taking your apartment community to the next level. If you’re currently seeking the next “big thing,” home automation is the answer.

Already common in large-scale buildings, home automation is anticipated to continue growing over the next few years, becoming a major must-have item in both the housing and rental markets. These cutting-edge technologies hold many benefits for prospective renters and has the potential to become an efficient marketing tool for property owners and management companies as well.

Despite all of the exciting progress being made, one concern about technology remains—it always seems to be moving faster than the imagination and budget of apartment operators. However, when considering tactics of your retention strategy, one aspect seems to be a given: adhering to the needs of your residents once the lease has been signed.

Again, the difficulty lies in staying afloat with the rapidly changing needs of modern renters. In terms of reamenitization during what is being called “The Digital Age,” the bar is continually being raised. The days of set-it-and-forget-it amenity programming is now a thing of the past as annual redecorating and reamenitizing costs are on the rise.

With that in mind, today’s top brands have invested so much time, effort, and money into user experience because they know tech savvy home owners and apartment residents aren’t interested in products that make them work in any capacity. Although the elimination of that “work” can sometimes come with a hefty price tag, it’s ultimately unavoidable for apartment communities, who wish to succeed in attaining the business of next generation of renters.

It’s no stretch of the imagination to see why smart-home automation is so popular among these emerging demographics, either. Smart-home automation allows the renter to be in complete control of their apartment’s environment even when they are not at home, which for Millennials and Gen-Z, is quite often. Renters can seamlessly control temperature, lighting, security, and more from a single device such as a smart phone.

While the value for residents is quite clear, many operators are left scratching their heads in pondering which way they benefit from this unique technology—aside from marketing their brand-new assets. As these rising rental demographics drive tech innovation, forward-looking executives can create value with new technologies as well, and these very technologies were specifically designed to provide operators with competitive advantages in streamlining costs. For example, in the multifamily industry, a leak in one unit can easily spread to other units, exacerbating the problem and increasing overall repair costs. While someone in an occupied unit might spot the problem early, a small leak could go undetected for weeks or even months in an unoccupied apartment home until it becomes an insurmountable problem, making the damages, and in turn, the problem itself much more detrimental.

With the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim being nearly 7,000-dollars, it’s no wonder Multifamily Property Managers put this issue near the top of their concerns when recently surveyed.

“93 percent of water damage is preventable by simply detecting the leak early enough,” explained Sean Miller, President of PointCentral, a leader in smart home technology in the multifamily housing industry. “Just a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water in a day, damaging carpet, floors, furniture, electronics – you name it. The earlier the leak can be detected and fixed, the less the damage and the costs associated with it.”

Fortunately, there is a reliable, cost-effective solution for multifamily housing operators, through Property Automation. By installing small water leak sensors, you will be automatically alerted when as little as 0.0003 inches of water is detected. Since they are low cost, you can easily afford to place one of these sensors in those areas most susceptible to water leaks – under kitchen sinks, in bathrooms, and around water heaters.

The Future of Smart Home Technology will be discussed at the upcoming Multifamily Leadership Summit, taking place November 28 – 30, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Register to attend to learn what Smart Home Technology can do to help streamline multifamily housing operations far beyond the amenities that matter to renters.

09/21/2018 01:32 PM

American Landmark Acquires Multifamily Asset in America’s Fastest Growing City - Conroe, Texas

HOUSTON, TX - American Landmark, one of the fastest-growing multifamily owner-operators in the country, has acquired Hilltops Apartments, a new 208-unit multifamily asset located approximately 40 minutes north of downtown Houston in the city of Conroe, Texas. The company will invest approximately $800,000 in capital improvements.

American Landmark, and its debt and equity partner Electra America, are selectively and decisively acquiring value-add properties in excellent locations across the Southeast and Southwest. The firm, which has already acquired 19 properties this year worth over $800 million, expects to complete a total of $1.3 billion in multifamily acquisitions by the close of 2018. This is their ninth acquisition in the Houston metro area; last month, the company acquired another Class ‘A’ multifamily community in Houston: Haven at Liberty Hills.

The firm plans to implement a variety of improvements on the property, including adding a washer/dryer in all units, installing USB ports/outlets, implementing valet trash service, and building a package delivery locker system for residents.

“Economic growth from Houston continues to spill over into the suburbs, and that’s turned Conroe into the fastest-growing city in the country, with over 7.8 percent population growth last year,” said Christine DeFilippis, Chief Investment Officer of American Landmark. “Demand for rental housing in Conroe is robust, and will remain so for the foreseeable future with more businesses moving into the area. Hilltop Apartments fits perfectly within our portfolio of properties offering luxurious amenities and resort-style, community living at an attainable price.”

Built in 2017, Hilltop Apartments is located at 2200 North Loop 336 West in Conroe. The property comprises one- and two-bedroom units averaging 881 square feet in three-story garden-style buildings. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool with expansive deck and grill, a business center with complimentary office services, carports and detached garages, a game and media room with a billiards table, a resident clubroom with cyber café, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a laundry facility. Hilltop Apartments is conveniently located close to I-45, the Conroe Regional Medical Center, Lake Conroe, two H-E-B grocery stores, and Sam Houston National Forest.  

The property was 92 percent leased up at the time of sale, with average in-place effective rents of $1,059 per unit or $1.20 per square foot.

American Landmark is a national multifamily owner-operator specializing in multifamily acquisition, repositioning and property management.  It owns and operates properties in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. 

09/21/2018 09:21 AM

American Realty Advisors Acquires Azure on the Park High-Rise Luxury Multifamily Community in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA - Walker & Dunlop announced that it closed the investment sale of Azure on the Park, a 25-story, 329-unit, LEED Gold Certified, Class A multifamily community. The property is located in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Walker & Dunlop Investment Sales team has closed over $2.4 billion in sales over the last 34 months. 

Delivered in 2016, the high-rise property overlooks Piedmont Park, a 189-acre center for culture and recreation in Midtown. This central location provides Azure's residents with unobstructed views of the Atlanta skyline – from Buckhead to downtown – as well as access to over 150 restaurants, world-class art exhibitions, high-end retail, and the transformative Atlanta Beltline trail. The city's diverse employer base of Fortune-500 corporations, world-class centers of education and healthcare, and innovative technology startups are also just steps away from the property. 

The Walker & Dunlop Investment Sales team, led by Kris Mikkelsen, Telly Fathaly, and Greg Engler, represented Atlantic Realty Partners and J.P. Morgan Asset Management in the sale of the asset to American Realty Advisors. Mr. Mikkelsen remarked, "Atlantic Realty Partners and J.P. Morgan set the standard in the Southeast by delivering a core quality product in an irreplaceable location. Azure represents a truly differentiated product that will stand the test of time in the most dynamic submarket in the Southeast."

Richard Aaronson with Atlantic Realty Partners commented, "This project represents the culmination of our team's work to create a world-class multifamily community in the heart of Atlanta's most sought-after submarket. We as well as our partners at J.P. Morgan were very confident in the team at Walker & Dunlop, and their ability to effectively present this unique opportunity to a high-quality set of institutional investors."

Situated in the heart of Midtown, Azure enjoys direct access to the area's booming employment market and Atlanta's continued transformation into a global hub of commerce, education, and the arts. Accentuating Azure's unparalleled location are the quality of both the interior and community amenities. Units feature 9-foot ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, luxury finishes, and state of the art technology. Amenities include a clear-edged, rooftop, saline pool overlooking Piedmont Park, as well as several other spectacular community spaces that feature the city views.

09/20/2018 07:55 AM

Ascend Partners and Civitas Senior Living Break Ground on Luxury Senior Living Community in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, TX - Ascend Partners in collaboration with Fort Worth-based senior living management company, Civitas Senior Living, have begun construction on their newest boutique project, The Grandview of Chisholm Trail.

The Grandview of Chisholm Trail is a 70,000 square-foot community offering 67 assisted living and 16 memory care apartments with premium accommodations, resort-style amenities, and world class-care. Founder and Civitas Senior Living CEO Wayne Powell says, "Our passion is people, and our mission is to inspire active, healthy, and happy lives." Anand Patel of Ascend Partners adds, "Residents will enjoy luxury living consistent with what you would find in resorts, with state-of-the-art finishes."

The Grandview of Chisholm Trail brings the finest in amenities to Southwest Fort Worth, featuring an active environment and ease of living conveniences. Residents will enjoy getting pampered in the elegant salon and relish the locally grown flavors cooked and served in our dining rooms or chef's private room. 

"Partnering with Civitas Senior Living offers a unique opportunity to combine the comprehensive passions of their proven programs with our innovative design and dedication to creating a better senior living environment," Patel says. Plans for the Civitas-Ascend partnership include the addition of other future senior living communities, both locally and beyond.

Citing the expansive growth in the Chisholm Trail corridor, Ascend Partners and Civitas hold a deep commitment to being part of the continued development of the area. "The Chisholm Trail corridor is an exciting and bustling area. We're thrilled to add the Grandview to that mix," says Patel. "Being a Fort Worth-based company, we're grateful for the opportunity to provide The Grandview's passionate experience in our own backyard, providing premier senior living to the families and residents of Southwest Fort Worth," Powell adds.

Contributing to the design, development, and completion of the project are the following partners: Sage Development Group, Arrive Architecture Group, Senior by Design, and Ridgemont Contractors. The Grandview of Chisholm Trail is scheduled to welcome residents in November 2019.

09/20/2018 07:52 AM

TGM Acquires Sixth Chicagoland Apartment Community with Addition of 347-Unit TGM NorthShore

NORTHBROOK, IL - TGM announced the acquisition of TGM NorthShore, a 347-unit mid-rise apartment community in Northbrook, IL.

The property was constructed in 2016 and offers one and two-bedroom luxury apartments. Among the distinctive attributes of TGM NorthShore are its market leading amenities and prime location with convenient access to shopping, entertainment and major employment centers that today's renters demand.

The property offers unrivaled amenities that include: doorman/concierge, virtual-reality golf simulator, two landscaped courtyards featuring a heated pool with multiple outdoor grills, community room with billiards table and shuffle board, catering kitchen, private dining room, dog park, heated parking garage with electric vehicle charging stations, media center with stadium seating, athletic club with yoga room and spin bikes, business center and conference room.   

TGM NorthShore is conveniently located 22 miles north of downtown Chicago in the prestigious North Shore suburbs surrounded by the deeply rooted and affluent communities of Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoeand Winnetka.   The property is located at Skokie Boulevard and Dundee Road with easy access to the Edens Expressway (I-94) and a few miles from the Braeside Metra station. TGM NorthShore is located in the North Suburban and O'Hare office markets which contain approximately 35.5 million square feet of high-quality office space occupied by a diverse group of companies including: Abbott, Medline, Barilla, Walgreens, Siemens, Grainger, Mondelez, and Allstate. In addition to its accessibility to a plethora of major employment concentrations, TGM NorthShore's prime location offers residents with unique walkable access to over 100,000 square feet of retail amenities including Mariano's, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Roti, PNC Bank, Fuddruckers, Zengler Cleaners, Kriser's Natural Pet Store, and Noodles & Company.

"We are pleased to expand our footprint in Chicagoland with the acquisition of TGM NorthShore. TGM NorthShore raises the bar for luxury living with state-of-the-art amenities and interior apartment finishes surrounded by shopping, fine dining, parks, recreation, entertainment and the area's largest employers," said Zach Goldman, Managing Principal and Director of Operations for TGM. 

TGM NorthShore is managed by TGMs' property management company, TGM Communities.  Also owned and managed by TGM in the Chicagoland area is TGM Park Meadows (Schaumburg), TGM Willowbrook (Willowbrook), TGM Springbrook (Aurora), TGM McDowell Place (Naperville) and TGM Danada (Wheaton).

09/19/2018 08:53 AM

Kaplan Residential Breaks Ground on High-Profile 336-Unit Generation Atlanta Development

ATLANTA, GA - Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined nearly 100 dignitaries and guests to celebrate noted developer, Kaplan Residential (Kaplan) for the groundbreaking of Generation Atlanta, the first development in Atlanta to utilize a light gauge steel panelized system called Prescient. Slated to open in 2020, Generation Atlanta will be located at 377 Centennial Olympic Park Dr., minutes away from some of the city's most notable landmarks, including the World of Coca-Cola, National Center for Civil & Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as more than 400 restaurants and thousands of offices.

Generation Atlanta will be the first building in the city to utilize the Prescient structural system. The technology will reduce construction costs by 20 to 25 percent, compared to using concrete, enabling the development to comply with the City of Atlanta's initiative to provide more affordable housing. 

"We're thrilled to be launching Generation Atlanta in such a vibrant area like Downtown," said Nathan Kaplan, partner at Kaplan Residential. "This development couldn't have come at a better time as the city is gearing up for major renovations to some of its most beloved landmarks like the Georgia Aquarium, State Farm Arena (formerly Philips Arena) and Centennial Olympic Park."

The 17-story high-rise sits on 1.5-acres and will offer first-class amenities including duckpin bowling, shuffleboard, a pool deck with trellis area and firepit, fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, yoga studio, rooftop lounge with outdoor theatre as well as an indoor sky deck with a multi-screen theatre. The 336-unit development will offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floorplans, ranging in size from 616 square-foot studios up to 1,270 square-foot two-bedrooms. 

"We've been bullish on Atlanta for more than 30 years," said Morris Kaplan, chairman and CEO at Kaplan Residential. "I had the privilege to work with Mayor Andrew Young for our first Downtown projects, and now the next generation of Kaplans, my son, Nathan, is spearheading Generation Atlanta with Mayor Bottoms."

Kaplan is proud to partner with Niles Bolton Associates, CBG Building Co., Parse Capital, Focus Design Interiors, Citizens Bank and Santander on this project.

09/19/2018 08:46 AM

Campus Apartments Opens Four New Student Housing Developments Totaling 1,643 Beds

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Campus Apartments, one of the nation’s largest providers of on- and off-campus student housing, has opened four new developments totaling 1,643 beds in Knoxville, Tennessee; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All four properties are pedestrian-to-campus and offer residents modern, fully-furnished apartments and market-leading community amenities.

TENN is located on Cumberland Ave., steps from the University of Tennessee’s campus and at the heart of its most prominent retail and nightlife corridor. The 603-bed mixed-use property consists of three-, four-, and five-bedroom floor plans; its best-in-class amenity package includes a two-story clubhouse featuring a fitness center, study lounge, and putting green, and a spacious internal courtyard with a resort-style swimming pool, fire pits, and grill stations.

In Ann Arbor, Campus Apartments opened two off-campus communities, The Yard and Six11, each of which serve the University of Michigan. The Yard, a 590-bed mixed-use community, offers residents the combination of a Main St. location – pedestrian to campus and the most vibrant retail/nightlife strip in Ann Arbor – and the most comprehensive amenity package in the market. Six11, a 350-bed high-rise, is located directly across the street from Central Campus; residents enjoy a 1:1 bed/bath ratio, ground-floor retail, and penthouse-level amenities featuring jaw-dropping views of Ann Arbor.

While Campus Apartments has owned and managed student housing in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia for 60 years, The Simon at Founders Row is its first ground-up development in the area. The mid-rise community is located steps from The University of Pennsylvania’s campus and offers residents spacious, fully-furnished units and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

“We’re excited to be providing students with high-quality housing in Knoxville, Ann Arbor, and our hometown, Philadelphia,” said Daniel Bernstein, President and Chief Investment Officer at Campus Apartments. “We pride ourselves on offering students a place where they can excel – a place to live, study, socialize, and even exercise, just steps away from campus. We’ve been thrilled with the initial response to these four new developments, and we look forward to continuing to surpass our residents’ expectations.”

09/18/2018 08:52 AM