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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LandSouth Construction Stops Work for Fall Prevention Stand-Down To Raise Awareness and Focus on Preventing Hazards on Job Sites

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  – LandSouth Construction, a general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, took part in the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down effort.

The program serves to raise awareness of fall hazards in construction. Work was halted on all their job sites to talk directly to workers about safety.

LandSouth Construction joined with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the second annual National Fall Safety Stand-Down to focus on preventing accidental injuries and catastrophic deaths.

“The Stand-Down focused on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention,” noted LandSouth’s Vice President of Operations Joe Passkiewicz. “The event was held last Monday on all our job sites. We stopped work to address this important aspect of construction work with all our employees, subcontractors and vendors.”

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 291 of the 828 construction fatalities recorded in 2013. Those deaths were preventable. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014.

"We all share a commitment to understand that safety is not a luxury — it is a necessity. Our goal is to work towards preventing these tragedies through innovative and collaborative efforts like the Stand-Down,” said Jeff Ryan, a superintendent for LandSouth in Jacksonville, Fla.

LandSouth Construction is currently working on projects throughout the Southeast including apartments and mixed use developments in Delray Beach, Oviedo, Sanford, Jacksonville and Orlando Fla., Collegedale, Tenn. Mount Pleasant, S.C and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla.

At the Integra Village jobsite in Orlando the safety meeting was held in a parking lot. The main safety topic, “You Are Responsible”, emphasized that everyone is responsible to ensure a safe work place.

Topics included Hard Hats, Personal fall arrest systems, specifically relating to man lifts, temporary safety, or guard, rails, personal protective equipment and housekeeping or clean up.

"The Stand-Down serves as an important opportunity for worksites to recognize the fall hazards that cause them, train employees and workers on how to avoid them so that these senseless tragedies can be prevented once and for all,” said Michael Hulon, a project superintendent in Orlando.

A  Certificate of Participation, signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, was posted at each LandSouth Construction job site following the Stand-Down.

A national program launched by OSHA Last year's Stand-Down reached more than one million workers. This year, OSHA's goal is for more than 20,000 Stand-Downs involving more than 3 million workers. If the goal is met, Stand-Down will have touched almost 4 out of 10 construction workers in the country.

"Construction workers are part of our team. They help build our communities. As an industry we must look to keep them safe by preventing these tragedies," noted LandSouth Construction President and CEO James Pyle. "This safety Stand-Down serves as an important opportunity for everyone to take the time to learn how to recognize and prevent fall hazards."

In its 16 year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes and made the prestigious National Multifamily Housing Council’s 2015 Top 25 ranking of the nation’s largest apartment contractors.

For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas  

LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and  Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

IHT Capital Advisors Opens Jacksonville Office

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – IHT Capital Advisors, a boutique real estate investment and asset management firm specializing in off-market multifamily housing, has opened their new corporate headquarters at 8130 Baymeadows Way, Suite 306 in Jacksonville, Fla.

“This is the culmination of our outstanding success as a one-stop shop for real estate investment Funds, individual and institutional investors since we opened in 2014. Our solid track record for clients looking for off-market multifamily properties created a need to expand our offices,” said Principal James Shearer.

IHT Capital Advisors has closed over $17 million in multifamily acquisitions in the Southeast since forming in the last four months and is actively working with investors throughout the country and apartment property owners in Florida, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.

“Our niche has made an impact since we bring a wealth of real estate experience and comprehensive services to investors that includes an extensive and full service operating platform containing expertise in acquisitions and dispositions, financing, property operations, accounting, legal, risk management and all other related support functions,” noted Principal Dan Summers.

IHT Capital Advisors provides seamless communication, confidentiality and absolute transparency.

“Our focus is on value-add off-market opportunities in emerging and secondary markets for our clients; this focus allows us to maximize returns on our clients investments. Our team has the experience and resources to identify properties requiring capital injection to achieve each asset’s fullest potential,” said Principal Christopher Walker.

The firm was built on three pillars that are the backbone of the company – Integrity, Honesty and Transparency (IHT). For more information visitwww.ihtcapital.com or call (904) 738- 8257.

About IHT Capital Advisors
IHT Capital Advisors is a Jacksonville, Fla. based privately held, vertically integrated boutique real estate investment and asset management firm specializing in off-market multifamily properties.  Deep experience and resources including best-in-class reporting, operations and risk management provides Funds, institutional and individual investors with a comprehensive, seamless approach to disciplined investing. IHT Capital Advisors directs its focus on off market properties. Within emerging markets, our team identifies opportunities based on location, demographics, access and exploring untapped potential. Company principals offer a combined 75 years of experience. Garnering impressive reputations as asset managers’, successfully acquiring, financing, developing, leasing, owning and managing income producing assets and putting capital to work on behalf of a diverse client base.  IHT Capital Advisors’ consistent, proven value-creation approach provides an unparalleled network to source asset management, investment intelligence and opportunities under one umbrella. For more information visit www.ihtcapital.com or call (904) 738-8257.

First Coast Apartment Association honors members with Circle of Excellence Awards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.   – The First Coast Apartment Association (FCAA) presented their 20th Annual Circle of Excellence Awards on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the historic Florida Theatre in Downtown Jacksonville.

The association recognized the outstanding accomplishments of its members in dozens of categories during the awards gala. The FCAA serves the apartment industry in Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Flagler, and Nassau Counties and highlighted the highest level of service and commitment to the multifamily industry.

Prestigious Circle of Excellence trophies, from Best Groundskeeper to Leasing Specialist to Property Management Company, were awarded to individuals and companies who embody the strength of the area’s apartment industry.

Visit www.fcaaonline.com online or call (904) 292-1345 for more information.

FCAA 2014 CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

Haley Miller
Leasing Rookie of the Year

Erry Pena
Maintenance Rookie of the Year

Sean Stalvey
Conventional Leasing Specialist of the Year

Aeleia Carvary
Affordable Leasing Specialist of the Year

Stacey Pferrer
Conventional Assistant Manager of the Year

Jennifer White
Affordable Assistant Manager of the Year

Mark Mussler
Conventional Community Manager of the Year

Veronica McCall
Affordable Community Manager of the Year

Jean Behrens
Housekeeper of the Year

Edmund Chukwuana
Conventional Groundskeeper of the Year

Jose Garcia
Affordable Groundskeeper of the Year

Victor Mejia
Conventional Maintenance Tech of the Year

Albert Sperry
Affordable Maintenance Tech of the Year

Tony LoCricchio
Conventional Maintenance Supervisor of the Year

John Flores
Affordable Maintenance Supervisor of the Year

Lee Caudill
Regional Maintenance Director of the Year

Tracy Williams
Regional Property Manager of the Year

Tammy Dockins
Corporate Employee of the Year

Steve Thomas
Associate of the Year
________________________________________

Camri Green
Affordable Community of the Year

Paradise Island Apartments
Conventional Community of the Year

Atlantic Crossing at Deerwood Park North
Luxury Community of the Year

Avesta Mandarin
Best Rehab/Renovation of the Year

Holly Cove
Affordable Service Team of the Year

Arium St. Johns
Conventional Service Team of the Year

ASAP Towing & Storage
Associate Company of the Year

Landmark Apartment Trust
Best Use of Social Media

Cabana Club Apartments
Best Marketing Concept

Thomas Chase
Affordable Curb Appeal

Arium St. Johns
Conventional Curb Appeal

Perimeter Realty
Volunteer Spirit

WRH Realty Services, Inc.
Property Management Company of the Year

Merchandising for Lifestyle Can Be Great Marketing Tool for Resident Appeal, Retention

You’re ready to put your apartment community on the market or re-launch your leasing campaign. Now take a long, hard look. Is it ready to meet the public? Does it even know what to say to the public?

Ideally, according to Rita Williams of award-winning Merchandising Plus an apartment model should communicate “a stylish person with impeccable taste lives here." 

Statistics reveal that 90 percent of prospective residents can’t envision what an apartment home would be like to live in unless it’s decorated, so you’re limiting yourself to the small 10 percent who might be the ones who see your apartment. 

Williams has created model apartment homes, clubhouses, leasing and amenity centers around the country for mass appeal developers and niche owners looking for a sensational, positive factor when prospective residents visit their community.

“The clubhouse becomes an extension of the apartment homes with fabulous functional amenity areas for an active or relaxing lifestyle for all. Game, media, Cyber Cafe, entertainment kitchens, Bars, business center, fitness, Yoga retreat, pools, spas, fire pits with outdoor kitchen and bars. The list goes on and on with a true resort lifestyle created for a marvelous everyday adventure for all that would inhabit these spectacular new communities” Williams said.

To broaden the potential demographic, you have to make it a no brainer. And it’s not just sticking furniture in. It’s really showing that this could be their very stylish, luxurious life in this new apartment.

“Our design focus is geared to the resident’s lifestyle, taste and personal desire," said Williams, while "staging is about putting enough furniture in a space so that potential residents can envision themselves living in the home and how their own furniture will fit in."

One of the first things prospective residents like to see in a community is the model units, clubhouse and how other amenities will enrich their daily lives.

"The model and clubhouse interior design and features create and maintain the positive first impression of a community.  When they walk in and say "wow" and it always easier to convince them to sign a lease," said Mark Ogier, executive vice president at ContraVest, an award-winning vertically integrated multifamily real estate company based in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

They look at models to picture themselves living in the apartment or to figure out how their lifestyle, not just furniture, will fit in a unit at the property. 

Naturally, developers, owners and managers look to designers and merchandisers to create model units in the most attractive way possible. 
“It’s important to keep up-to-date on the new colors, materials, lighting, furniture, and accessories so that we can create spaces that residents can imagine moving into,” Williams said.

While it seems like an easy enough job to do, designing a model is a bit more complicated than running to the closest Bed, Bath and Beyond and picking things that might look good in the unit.

“One of the first things we do is look at the demographics, size and layout. As they lease, we often move the model to another floor plan that isn’t leasing as quickly,” Williams said. “The introduction to the leasing center, common gathering areas and amenities  We visit models and clubhouses with the developer and look at the unit mix to decide which is the best to merchandise,” noted Williams.

Depending on what’s going on in the area, Merchandising Plus capitalizes on location and the community amenities to reinforce the overall property marketing plan.

 For a new development, she does everything from clubhouses, leasing centers to pools, to corridors to site furnishing as well as models and has consulted on the exterior so that the property has a consistent design.

“We work to present a certain standard of living and lifestyle and make sure the interior design tells this story and maintains the standard,” Ogier said.

There’s an old but true saying in the marketing business: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In the real estate industry, and particularly multifamily housing, this is especially the case, which is why builders, apartment owners and developers desire decorated model apartment homes and amenity centers.

“Our main goal is to help the developer, owner or manager close the deal, to get the lease and have people re-sign leases,” Williams said.

As professionals like Williams and her team reject stripped-down, beige-heavy stylings that are as boring as they are forgettable, they’re replacing them with designs that complement architecture, price point and present a lifestyle that appeals to prospective tenants.

In addition to models, common areas can set the tone for an entire community.
While the rental market is booming so is the demand for a wider range of amenities. Identifying what residents are looking for in a more desirable lifestyle, starting with overall appearance, helps Merchandising Plus position a community ahead of competitors.

“In designing new environments as well as pre-existing common areas it is important to analyze the target market and decide what their needs and wants are prior to plan implementation,” she said, “Together with the client, we create and execute common areas that welcome residents and visitors and act as the corner stone of the entire community that can maximize leasing potential.

mbpr Group is a Jacksonville, Fla. based brand development and marketing communications firm that specializes in public relations, social media and internet marketing for the real estate industry.

Friday, May 1, 2015

U.S. REITs report strong leasing in first quarter

Growing occupancy and rental rates helped U.S. retail REITs post healthy operating metrics in the first quarter. Particularly at open-air power and neighborhood centers, efforts to refill empty anchor boxes with more productive new tenants paid off.

At Brixmor Property Group’s open-air centers, total rent spreads were 13.7 percent. The quarter’s average base rent of $15.45 per square foot for new leases is 27 percent higher than the company's portfolio average of $12.19 per square foot.  Same property NOI increased 3.4 percent during the quarter. “Our small-shop occupancy gains and strong rent growth this quarter reflect our ongoing progress in repositioning our properties with best-in-class anchors, and the corresponding impact on our leasing productivity," said CEO Michael Carroll.

DDR said first-quarter same-store NOI was up 2.6 percent. The firm generated new leasing spreads of 26.9 percent and renewal leasing spreads of 6.7 percent. The annualized base rent per occupied square foot was $14.02 at March 31, 2015 as compared to $13.44 at March 31, 2014, an increase of 4.3 percent.

And Weingarten Realty said the average rental rate increase on new leases and renewals signed during the quarter was 8.9 percent, with rental rates on just new leases up 9.2 percent. “Same Property NOI was up 4.2 percent,” said Johnny Hendrix, executive vice president and COO. “Average base rent across the entire portfolio increased by 4 percent to $16.45 per square foot and tenant fallouts were down 24 percent from the prior year.”

Malls, too, found success in the first quarter by replacing departing tenants with more productive ones. Simon reported first-quarter same-store NOI growth of 3.5 percent. “We had a strong start to 2015,” said Chairman and CEO David Simon, on the firm’s earnings call. “Leasing activity remains strong and healthy.” He said the company’s malls and factory outlet centers recorded leasing spreads of $11.19 per square foot, an increase of 18.9 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Simon said he expects the REIT to achieve 4 percent same-store NOI growth for 2015 as a whole.

General Growth Properties said same-store NOI grew 3.3 percent in the first quarter. Lease spreads were 8.7 percent for new leases. Meanwhile tenant sales per square foot increased 4.3 percent to $590, thanks in part to tenant fallout, said CEO Sandeep Mathrani. “We got 650,000 square feet back in the first quarter from bankruptcies,” he said on the firm’s earnings call. “We've already leased almost half of that to date.”

CBL & Associates Properties reported a 0.6 percent increase in same-center NOI for the first quarter. Average gross rent per square foot increased 10.6 percent over the prior gross rent per square foot. “First quarter highlights include an impressive 7 percent increase in same-center sales and the continuation of double-digit lease spreads,” said President and CEO Stephen Lebovitz, in a prepared statement. “Same-center NOI and occupancy were impacted by the lost income from bankruptcy-related store closures; however, continued healthy demand from higher quality retailers will result in a stronger tenant mix.”

At PREIT’s malls, same-center NOI grew 6 percent in the first quarter due in part to an increase of 3.9 percent in average same-store gross rent.

Meanwhile, factory outlet REIT Tanger said same-center NOI grew 4 percent during the quarter, thanks partly to a 24.1 percent increase in average base rental rates. In the first quarter of 2014, Tanger’s blended average rental rates were up 23.9 percent. Average tenant sales at Tanger’s outlet centers increased 3 percent to $395 per square foot for the 12 months ended March 31.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

LandSouth Construction to Build $28.5 Million Mixed Use Community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 30, 2015) – LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use developments, will be building Oyster Park Apartments, a $28.5 million modern, urban, mixed use multifamily community in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Construction is scheduled to begin next month with completion slated for October, 2016.

Dewberry Capital, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the developer of the community that will feature 269 residences in seven buildings with a multi-level private parking garage. The architects are McMillan, Pazdan, Smith of Greenville S.C.

“Just across the river from historic Charleston, Oyster Park will truly offer an upscale, urban lifestyle including apartment homes above store fronts and within walk to shopping, restaurants and other retail,” said LandSouth’s Vice President of Operations Joe Passkiewicz.

LandSouth Construction is currently working on projects throughout the Southeast including apartments and mixed use developments in Delray Beach, Oviedo, Sanford, Jacksonville and Orlando Fla., Collegedale, Tenn. and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla.

In its 16 year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes and made the prestigious National Multifamily Housing Council’s 2015 Top 25 ranking of the nation’s largest apartment contractors.

“Oyster Park Apartments will provide the booming area with a convenient and luxurious living option along with the increased flexibility rental housing can provide. Residents will appreciate the community's proximity to venues, restaurants and retail shops in Mt. Pleasant addition to nearby downtown Charleston,” said James Pyle, CEO and president of LandSouth Construction.

Oyster Park Apartments is nestled on 5.261 acres. The community will boast of a remarkable array of model layouts for studio, one bedroom and two bedroom living ranging from 589 square feet to 1,023 square feet. Apartment homes will feature sleek upscale finishes including quartz counter tops.

Other features and amenities include elevators, pool and community area, fitness center, Bocce Ball, a 3,150 square foot clubhouse, and several grand oaks throughout the property.

In building Oyster Park Apartments, LandSouth is using its unique integrated construction approach where each service component works together to provide a seamless delivery system.

These components have been designed and refined to be complementary and each is performance enhanced with proven procedures, tested systems and the very latest technology.

By emphasizing results and exceptional service, LandSouth Construction has created a construction process to provide the best possible value for clients.

For more information visit www.landsouth.com or call 904.273.6004.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas  
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and  Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

PEER: New Rating System for Sustainable Power Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) officially launched PEER, its rating system designed to measure and improve sustainable power system performance.

Modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building rating system, PEER, or Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, evaluates power generation, transmission and distribution systems through the lens of the customer, focusing on efficiency, quality, reliability, resiliency and the environment. GBCI will serve as the independent, third party, global certification and credentialing body for PEER.

"Buildings don’t exist in a vacuum, so integration with other industries, such as energy and power, is crucial if we are to create a more sustainable built environment. PEER will be a transformative tool for power systems regulation, design and operation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & founding chair, USGBC, and CEO, GBCI. “It is a great complement to the array of rating systems already administered by GBCI, in particular LEED, the most widely used green building rating system in the world."

The convergence of policies and technologies driving transformation in green buildings and the power sector provides USGBC with an unprecedented opportunity to launch Energy Innovation at USGBC, the evolution of a leadership initiative conceived by the Robert F. Galvin Foundation to leverage emerging technologies. With a focus on performance and better consumer understanding, Energy Innovation at USGBC provides a collaborative space for industry leaders looking to transform the power sector. Through PEER, Energy Innovation at USGBC provides a core set of principles for making the electricity delivered to buildings more environmentally sustainable, economically efficient and socially equitable.

"Through LEED, USGBC has created a common language, standard and platform for advancing knowledge, technology and innovation in green building. It now aims to do the same in the power sector with PEER,” said John Kelly, program lead of the PEER rating system, “and we anticipate similar transformative results."

PEER helps project teams deliver best-in-class electricity supply performance that reduces cost, increases productivity, mitigates risks and leverages customer resources. For more information, visit peer.usgbc.org.