Relieved at the low level of damage sustained by commercial properties in the November fires, real estate professionals in Southernhave turned their attention to fund-raising for the 3,400 households that suffered losses in California's worst-ever brush fires.
The wildfires, which raged north toCounty and south to San Diego County, consumed 800,000 acres of land, destroyed 3,400 homes and killed at least 20 people.
A November survey from Wachovia Securities reported that 296 commercialwith Wachovia mortgages were located in the fire zones, or the two-mile-wide buffer zones surrounding the burn sites. The collateral balance of those properties totaled $1.5 billion. “While there was a lot of potential for buildings to be affected, we did not see any impact,” says Wachovia real estate analyst Davis Cable.
A space planner and his family were forced to evacuate their home, with little time to grab anything but the laptops. A fund-raiser held in November, organized by the local chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) garnered $2,000 for the family. Others who offered help were members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which created both a fund to rebuild housing, and offered freeservices and consulting to newly homeless families.