Equity Residential acquires riverfront apartment in Boston In a $72.35 million transaction, Equity Residential Properties Trust, a Chicago-based REIT, has purchased Emerson Place, a mixed-use development in Boston's Charles River Park complex. The sellers were the general partners of Charles River Park "A" Co. Charles River Park Management Co. L.P. will continue managing Emerson Place for Equity Residential.

Emerson Place contains 462 apartment units, 31 medical offices and a 360-space parking garage. Charles River Park is located on the Charles River between Government Center and Beacon Hill, near Boston's downtown financial district.

Multifamily associations urge improvements in SBREFA The National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) Joint Legislative Program is lobbying for improvements in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), which was designed to clarify and reduce federal regulations applicable to small businesses. The group wants more government agencies involved in the federal rulemaking process and a quicker initiation of the act's objectives. According to the NMHC/NAA, the majority of U.S. firms that specialize in multifamily operations qualify as small businesses, making less than $5 million over a three-year period.

The 1996 act calls for federal "compliance guides" to provide detailed information concerning small business issues. The NMHC/NAA has suggested the compliance guides be published on the Internet or CD-ROM, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did with its user-friendly, interactive CD-ROM "Asbestos Advisor." For information, call (202) 974-2333 or visit the NMHC website at www.nmhc.org.

Signature hops on Stroh Ranch development in Colorado Denver-based Signature Properties LLC has broken ground on Ironstone at Stroh Ranch, a $51 million apartment project in Parker, Colo. The AAA luxury 576-unit community will be the first multifamily development in the affluent Denver suburb. The complex is slated for completion by fall of 1998.

Ironstone will feature a concierge and guest services designed to rival those of five-star resorts. A 7,000 sq. ft. clubhouse and recreational center will contain a health club and pool, while a computer-equipped business center will offer Internet access, free resident e-mail, fax services and conference rooms.

Renaissance is born at Hollywood Beach tower groundbreaking Developer Deckelbaum Properties has broken ground on Tower One of Renaissance on the Ocean, a 208-unit oceanfront condominium project in North Hollywood Beach, Fla. The two-tower, $85 million development will feature 104 units in each tower, ranging in size from 1,500 sq. ft. to over 4,000 sq. ft. Pre-construction prices start below $250,000 for two-bedroom units, while four-bedroom units pass the $1 million mark.

The eight-acre site is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and a 1,500-acre nature preserve. Deckelbaum Properties hopes to break ground on the second tower this summer and finish work on Tower One by fall of 1999.

National Water & Power reaches 100,000 apartment units mark After signing service contracts with Irvine Apartment Communities and Sares-Regis Group, Irvine, Calif.-based National Water & Power Inc. has passed the 100,000-apartment unit mark. NW&P installs and operates a network of utility meters that read electricity, water and gas consumption. The company provides utility billing, submetering and consumption analysis to apartment owners and third-party managers in 20 states. Meters are read remotely each day using NW&P's proprietary billing system. In two years of operation, NW&P has contracted with such REITs as Equity Residential Properties Trust and Mid-America Apartment Communities, and such privately owned multifamily firms and third-party management companies as Lincoln Property Management and Pinnacle Management.