All the latest and greatest news about
The Habitat Company.

Q2 2012

1225 Old Town Opens their Doors

1225 Old Town apartments renting rapidly

1225 Old Town, the new 16-story, 250-unit apartment tower at 1225 N Wells St in Old Town, is ahead of its construction schedule and anticipates welcoming new residents beginning in July.

According to David Bach, an associate with Hines Interests, online leasing began May 1st, the rental office across the street opened May 15th, and the development was already 28% pre-leased heading into last weekend.
Bach was my host in the above video walk-through last week, from the exterior to the 11th floor amenities level. The amenities will include an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, a fire pit, stainless steel grills, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a private movie theater, a demonstration kitchen, and a cyber-café and social lounge.
Residents may have the best amenity of all on the ground level - a new Plum Market grocery scheduled to open next spring.

LRO Case Study

The Habitat Company Continues to Reap Benefits One Year into Automated Revenue Management Strategy

ATLANTA - May 31, 2012 - The Rainmaker Group, the leading provider of revenue management and profit optimization solutions to the multifamily housing and gaming/hospitality industries, announces continued successes for The Habitat Company after implementing Rainmaker LRO™ software across their market rate portfolio in May 2011. Habitat is a leader in property management and development experience and has been delivering asset management services in Chicago and other markets for 40 years.

This is the first revenue management system the company has retained and it was important to find one that could strategically align with Habitat's goals and pricing objectives. Focused on improving operations to drive revenue, Habitat sought a revenue management provider with proven results, one that could deliver automated, optimized services as well as one with a similar company culture and philosophy.

"We compared all the revenue management software on the market. We chose Rainmaker LRO because of its reputation and proven track record," said Sheila Byrne, senior vice president of property management for Chicago-based Habitat. "The business philosophy of The Rainmaker Group and Habitat were a great match. We were closely following market conditions and demand; however, LRO's sophisticated technology and optimization algorithms allowed us to realize growth in a more condensed timeframe. Rainmaker provided one-on-one training for our team which was critical for them to be able to understand and get comfortable with pricing recommendations in order to create ownership and buy-in."

"It's exciting to see the impact revenue management can have for a company truly dedicated to driving pricing," said Andrew Rains, executive vice president of Rainmaker LRO. "Habitat is a prime example of how in-depth involvement from executive leadership to on-site personnel is part of the equation for a successful shift to an automated revenue management platform and ultimately successful revenue generation."

Prior to engaging LRO revenue management, Habitat ran all pricing activities internally through time-consuming manual processes, and often the company's main rental increases coincided with the known seasonality of a community or a market. The company was also dealing with concessions and had been working towards redirecting that trend. "LRO provides a broader picture allowing us to not only pull the trigger faster on rental increases and pricing strategies but helps minimize days vacant by matching the right unit and lease term with the right customer which, in turn, allows us to focus on generating revenue and customer service.  The software delivers the flexibility of offering multiple lease terms on both the prospect and resident renewal side so there are options without us having to compromise by giving a concession," Byrne explained.

Habitat is experiencing success throughout its portfolio; however, the most notable impact they realized was at the company's Michigan properties. This market, hit by the recession earlier compared to other markets where Habitat manages properties, had been coming out of the recession faster than anticipated. "Our team was taking steps to eliminate concessions and drive rents before we deployed the LRO system; however, that entire process was accelerated by automating pricing using the LRO software platform.  After implementation, we saw impressive increases of $100-150," she said.  "The system was more aggressive and allowed us to achieve a lift in NOI faster than what we would have been able to do. The Habitat market rate portfolio has seen a 4.5 percent increase in NOI since we rolled out the program." 

Rainmaker LRO™ revenue management is the leading multifamily lease rate optimization solution used to maximize revenue from apartment leases. The system calculates optimized pricing based on multiple factors that influence rate setting, including traffic and lease duration, move-in dates, competitive affects and other metrics. The system also produces enterprise-wide demand forecasts by measuring and analyzing historical and current market metrics and performing calculations necessary for occupancy predictions that are dynamically updated as market conditions change.



News page

The Habitat Company Starts Construction of 450-unit luxury high rise in Chicago

CHICAGO (January 12, 2012) - The Habitat Company announced the start of construction of a 43-story, 450-unit luxury high rise in Chicago in a joint venture with Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) and a major institutional investor. This luxury multifamily community will be located at 360 W. Hubbard Street in Chicago's vibrant River North neighborhood, across the street from the iconic East Bank Club. This latest project adds to the more than 17,000 residential units developed by The Habitat Company in its 40 year history. Bentall Kennedy, one of the largest North American real estate advisors, represents its clients, an institutional investor and MEPT, a $5.4 billion real estate equity fund, in the transaction. "We are pleased to begin our latest project which builds on our forty years of experience and understanding of the market to create what we believe will be our finest apartment development," said Daniel Levin, Founder and Chairman of The Habitat Company. The rental residences will be smoke-free and will include top-of-the-market finishes, amenities, and services, including 29,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space to accommodate year round activities. The development will be seeking LEED Silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system of the U.S. Green Building Council. The project's architect is Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz & Associates which has designed many distinctive residential buildings around Chicago, including The Habitat Company's Kingsbury Plaza development located across the street. The general contractor for the development is James McHugh Construction Company which has built some of the most recognized properties in the Chicago skyline, including many of The Habitat Company's prior projects. "For The Habitat Company, there are many exciting aspects to this development, not the least of which is our partnership with Bentall Kennedy, one of the most respected North American institutional real estate advisors, a major institutional investor and MEPT," said Matt Fiascone, Senior VP of Finance and Investment for The Habitat Company. Upon its completion in late 2013, the development will be managed by The Habitat Company. The Habitat Company currently manages for its own account and for third parties over $2 billion of assets comprised of more than 20,000 residential units of market rate, affordable, condominium, student and public housing units in Illinois and four other states. When combined with its recent acquisition of 480-unit and 360-unit multifamily assets in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Habitat Company concluded transactions in December having a total value of close to one-quarter of a billion dollars.

Signup for E-news

Get our e-newsletter delivered to your inbox regularly.