Stiles breaks ground on Sunrise Harbor in Florida Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Stiles Corp. has begun construction on Sunrise Harbor, a $55 million, mixed-use complex featuring 355 luxury rental units.

When completed in summer 2000, the development will feature twin, 16-story apartment towers overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway near Ft. Lauderdale beach.

The project will be comprised of a five-story building, 17 hotel suites, 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space and a marina with 22 yacht slips. Stiles Corp. President Douglas Eagon said the development responds to increased demand from "an affluent market segment that prefers renting and expects the highest quality in residences and amenities."

Apartment vacancy rate drops in third quarter 1998 The U.S. Commerce Department has reported the nation's rental apartment vacancy rate dropped from 9.9% in the third quarter of 1998 to 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 1998. "Further declines in the rental apartment vacancy rate should occur as a result of the expected extension of the record period of peacetime growth in the economy," says Robert Sheehan, consulting economist with the Washington, D.C.-based National Apartment Association.

Conrad Properties Corp. building The Clayton in St. Louis Conrad Properties Corp. is developing The Clayton at Park's Edge, the first apartments to be built in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton in 20 years. The 23-story, $24.4 million project will have 121 luxury apartments on floors 11-23, 98 extended-stay hotel residences on floors 3-10, and a restaurant on floor two. The building also will contain a 4,000 sq. ft. health club and rooftop terrace.

St. Louis-based McCarthy started construction in February and expects to complete the building in the first quarter of 2000.

Magellan plans condo tower in Chicago's River North area Chicago-based Magellan Development Corp. is planning 630 North State Parkway - its third luxury condominium tower in three years in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Magellan also developed 21 West Chestnut Place and Park Newberry at Delaware Place on Chicago's Near North Side.

The new 28-story, $42 million development on State Street will contain 183 residences, a two-story restaurant, six levels of parking and 183 storage spaces. The planned tower's units will range from 546 sq. ft. to 1,987 sq. ft. and will be priced from $118,000 to $435,000. Each unit will feature expansive windows, large balconies and high-speed Internet access. Groundbreaking is set for this summer, with occupancy projected for fall 2000.

Rockrose beats 12 developers, opens tower in Manhattan Rockrose Development Corp. has opened Tribecca Pointe rental tower in Manhattan's Battery Park City neighborhood. The $65 million, 42-story luxury rental tower has 340 units and features panoramic views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The building has a double-height lobby with a two-story glass wall overlooking the Hudson River; a top-floor solarium; a tenant entertainment room; and nearby underground parking.

Rockrose also beat out 12 other developers to secure rights to create a similar building just two blocks south of Tribecca Pointe.

ERA Mount Vernon marketing a 'City on the High Seas' ERA Mount Vernon of Sarasota, Fla. is now offering condominiums aboard Freedomship, a 17,000-unit luxury cruise ship. When completed, the Freedomship will be 4,320-ft. long, 725-ft. wide, 340-ft tall. Freedomship will spend 25% of its time in motion, with the remaining 75% offshore to allow residents to tour exotic locations. Condominiums will cost from $138,000 to $4 million for luxury dwellings, at approximately $400 per sq. ft.

ERA Mount Vernon principal Don Herman said reaction to the project has been positive, and construction of the Freedomship will begin when 1,400 units have been sold. "We have spoken to several local brokers in the Sarasota area who were extremely interested," he says.

Chicago-based Apartments.com (www.apartments.com) has been named exclusive apartment listing provider for USAToday.com, a general-interest news site on the Internet. Apartment hunters can visit USAToday.com and search the Apartments.com database, which includes apartment ads and current classified listings aggregated from newspapers around the country.

Visitors to Apartments.com's Website increased by 35% in January 1999 over November 1998, according to I/Pro, an Internet audience measurement service. An internal audit showed traffic to Apartments.com in January 1999 was up nearly 700% compared to January 1998. USAToday.com receives 21 million visitors each month, according to I/PRO.