Legacy launches phase II of Centennial Park West Atlanta-based Legacy Property Group LLC has begun construction on Centennial Park West, a $55 million mixed-use development in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park. The 10-story high-rise will feature 95 condominiums, three commercial studios, 4,600 sq. ft. of retail space and two levels of underground parking.

Due to its location in a mixed-use urban enterprise zone, the property will receive an ad-valorem tax abatement through 2008. And due to its enterprise zone status, 20% of the homes will be priced as low as $150,000. The remaining homes will be priced from $200,000 to more than $1 million. Construction of the condominiums - which range in size from approximately 800 sq. ft. for studios to 4,800 sq. ft. for multi-level penthouses - is expected to be completed by spring 2000.

Centennial Park West is the second phase of the Legacy at Centennial Olympic Park project, which began in 1998 with the development of an Embassy Suites hotel. The project will be connected to the hotel, allowing Centennial Park West residents access tohotel amenities.

Batson-Cook begins its Renaissance in Florida On behalf of Columbus, Ga.-based owner The Wynnton Group, Atlanta-based Batson-Cook has begun construction on The Renaissance of Sarasota, a $32 million mixed-use development in Sarasota, Fla. The 16-story, 259-unit high-rise will include 100 hotel suites, 40,000 sq. ft. of office space, 20,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space, 35,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 20,000 sq. ft. of institutional space. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2000.

Casden begins St. Tropez in Los Angeles Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Casden Properties has begun construction on the St. Tropez apartment community, a $90 million development featuring 624 units and seven buildings on approximately 12 acres. First occupancy is expected in February 2000.

The property will have a Mediterranean design, featuring tile roofs and extensive lagoon water features. Planned amenities include cabanas, a fitness center, a community clubhouse with satellite television and guard-gated security.

Los Angeles-based Van Tilburg, Soderberg and Danvard are architects for the project, while Mayer Management Inc., a Casden subsidiary, will serve as property manager.

Legacy launches phase II of Centennial Park West Atlanta-based Legacy Property Group LLC has begun construction on Centennial Park West, a $55 million mixed-use development in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park. The 10-story high-rise will feature 95 condominiums, three commercial studios, 4,600 sq. ft. of retail space and two levels of underground parking. Due to its location in a mixed-use urban enterprise zone, the property will receive an ad-valorem tax abatement through 2008. And due to its enterprise zone status, 20% of the homes will be priced as low as $150,000. The remaining homes will be priced from $200,000 to more than $1 million. Construction of the condominiums - which range in size from approximately 800 sq. ft. for studios to 4,800 sq. ft. for multi-level penthouses - is expected to be completed by spring 2000.

Centennial Park West is the second phase of the Legacy at Centennial Olympic Park project, which began in 1998 with the development of an Embassy Suites hotel. The project will be connected to the hotel, allowing Centennial Park West residents access to hotel amenities such as a pool, spa, health club, restaurant, a business center and room services.

Atlanta-based Stang and Newdow and New York-based May and Pinska are architects for the project, while Atlanta-based Morris & Raper Realtors Inc. has begun selling its condo units.

Batson-Cook begins its Renaissance in Florida On behalf of Columbus, Ga.-based owner The Wynnton Group, Atlanta-based Batson-Cook has begun construction on The Renaissance of Sarasota, a $32 million mixed-use development in Sarasota, Fla. The 16-story, 259-unit high-rise will include 100 hotel suites, 40,000 sq. ft. of office space, 20,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space, 35,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 20,000 sq. ft. of institutional space. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2000.

So much to do, so little time "Be careful what you wish for, because you may just get it." Those sounds rang true at recent housing shows last month, including the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) quarterly meetings, the National Apartment Association (NAA) 1999 Education Conference & Real Show of Real Estate Management, and Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) mid-year conference. The four organizations held meetings at the same time in the Windy City during the second week of June.

While many thought the simultaneous meetings would be a nice change of pace that would allow attendees to do everything at once, those same conventioneers were out of breath most of the week thanks to the newfound "convenience" of having all major shows in the same city at the same time. Luckily, it was a quick taxi ride between the Hyatt Regency, the Four Seasons Hotel and Navy Pier. And between the shows, some of the best and brightest industry insiders and analysts discussed the trends.

NAA's Utility Update panel featured Larry Kessler, CEO of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based InteliCable Group Inc., and Barry Fleishman, a trial attorney and expert on utility issues with Washington, D.C.-based Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky. With 40 states acting on electricity deregulation legislation and the other 10 already deregulated, the two discussed deregulation's impact on the residential real estate market.

Fleishman said it is difficult to predict when, or even if, the benefits of deregulation will hit the residential real estate market. "It's unclear so far," he said. "In California, less than 1% [of consumers] have switched [providers]. In Massachusetts, the price was set so low by the state that there was no incentive to switch. And after all was said and done, there was only a 2% decrease in cost."

He added that players in multifamily real estate need to be on the look-out for joint marketing of electricity by traditional and non-traditional providers such as AMWAY and Herndon, S.C.-based Columbia Natural Gas. Also, developers should be aware of telecommuters and other on-line residents. New apartments must come equipped with more and strategically placed electric outlets and phone lines to accommodate all the computers and gizmos renters now view as standard.

Keeping up with the changes can be tricky, but Kessler suggested some Internet sites that can help developers keep up with the ever-changing world of utility deregulation: www.electricitychoice.com; www.eia.doe.gov; www.utilityconnection.com; www.energyonline.com; and www.epri.com. Kessler also warned that developers and property owners must conduct due diligence on electric deals. He also forecasted that, "In time, I think you will see REITs become [electricity] aggregators amongst themselves."

In keeping with the utility theme, NMHC vice president of environment Eileen Lee and NMHC chief economist Jack Goodman presented findings about water submetering from a study conducted in 32 properties last year. The study revealed tenants with water submetering used 18% to 39% less water than unmetered tenants. A complete copy of the report is available at www.nmhc.org.

Finally, the award for "Statement of the Week" goes to NMHC vice president Jim Arbury, who won over his audience when he opened his update on forced access issues by saying, "Forced access. It sounds like a crime... it is!"

So much to do, so little time "Be careful what you wish for, because you may just get it." Those sounds rang true at housing shows last month, including the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) quarterly meetings, the National Apartment Association (NAA) 1999 Education Conference & Real Show of Real Estate Management, and Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) mid-year conference. The four organizations held meetings at the same time in the Windy City during the second week of June.

While many thought the simultaneous meetings would be a nice change of pace that would allow attendees to do everything at once, those same conventioneers were out of breath most of the week thanks to the newfound "convenience" of having all major shows in the same city at the same time. Luckily, it was a quick taxi ride between the Hyatt Regency, the Four Seasons Hotel and Navy Pier. And between the shows, some of the best and brightest industry insiders and analysts discussed the trends.

NAA's Utility Update panel featured Larry Kessler, CEO of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based InteliCable Group Inc., and Barry Fleishman, an attorney and expert on utility issues with Washington, D.C.-based Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky. With 40 states acting on electricity deregulation legislation and the other 10 already deregulated, the two discussed deregulation's impact on the residential real estate market.

Fleishman said it is difficult to predict when, or if, the benefits of deregulation will hit the residential real estate market. "It's unclear so far," he said. "In California, less than 1% [of consumers] have switched [providers]. In Massachusetts, the price was set so low by the state that there was no incentive to switch. And after all was said and done, there was only a 2% decrease in cost."

Keeping up with the changes can be tricky, but Kessler suggested some Internet sites that can help developers keep up with the ever-changing world of utility deregulation: www.electricitychoice.com; www.eia.doe.gov; www.utilityconnection.com; www.energyonline.com; and www.epri.com. Kessler warned that developers and property owners must conduct due diligence on electric deals. He also forecasted that, "In time, I think you will see REITs become [electricity] aggregators amongst themselves."