Monthly Archives: November 2013

RPT-Struggling U.S. cities hope small projects yield big results

Reprinted from Reuters

By Mary Wisniewski

Nov 9 (Reuters) – Struggling U.S. Rust Belt cities for years have tried to counter the loss of manufacturing jobs with big, expensive projects like casinos and stadiums.

For cities such as Gary, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; and Youngstown, Ohio, these projects brought hope and headlines. Some delivered new revenue, but others brought new costs and mixed results.

Gary’s underused Genesis Convention Center, for example, cost the city $3.6 million in repairs and operations in the past year alone.

Now, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and civic leaders of some other blighted cities are going small with strategic, narrowly focused ideas such as selling vacant homes for $1, demolishing derelict buildings and neighborhood clean-up projects that produce immediate results.

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Blighted Cities Prefer Razing to Rebuilding

Reprinted from New Your Times Online


BALTIMORE — Shivihah Smith’s East Baltimore neighborhood, where he lives with his mother and grandmother, is disappearing. The block one over is gone. A dozen rowhouses on an adjacent block were removed one afternoon last year. And on the corner a few weeks ago, a pair of houses that were damaged by fire collapsed. The city bulldozed those and two others, leaving scavengers to pick through the debris for bits of metal and copper wire.

To see the full article, click here.

Efficiency of one-stop maintenance shopping



You’re in New York and your portfolio of properties spans both U.S. coastlines. How can you possibly manage property maintenance and day porter services remotely? The answer is a national maintenance service provider. Follow these three guidelines and managing nationwide property maintenance will become easier.

First, take detailed stock of your property’s goals.

As Kenny Rogers’s said in The Gambler, “you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.” What do you intend for your property? Are you holding and collecting income, refurbishing, selling, or demolishing? The tactics you choose for maintenance will be directly related to what you want to achieve in the end. Investing in major equipment for the long haul or simply protecting the property with secure fencing and perimeter lighting are very different approaches. Are you renovating the exterior and using day porter services to make the property attractive to potential buyers and/or tenants? In the end, bluffing your way through can prove costly. Take a look at the hand you were dealt and in this case, count your chips while at the table.

Second, obtain a partner that has resources in all locales, but can manage from one location.  Do you need snow removal in Boise and window boarding in Miami? A national provider utilizes a network of skilled local contractors and can manage multiple providers, dramatically reducing the time you would spend finding qualified professional contractors, following up, and confirming the completion of your project. Furthermore, a national provider eliminates the need to track down insurance certificates, licenses and other documentation from local providers. Select a company that is familiar with your industry sector (mortgage, REITs, Receivership, etc.). Your service provider should know more than just plumbing. They should understand the financial and trend data that impacts your business daily.

 Lastly, simplify your communication and billing with just one, national resource. Insist on detailed reports and photographs before/after each assignment. There is time and cost saving advantages to having invoices in a single format with only one W-9 to concern yourself with. Accessible online reports, invoices and photos available in real time are one hallmark of a national operation. Review their portfolio of experience and make sure they have expertise in all aspects of maintenance, inspection and repair. National maintenance managers and customer service professionals should have a broad range of experiences in countless property situations and will more than likely have dealt with your concern countless times through their career.

What you may now have discovered is that a national provider offering commercial property maintenance, preservation and day porter services is the answer to managing multiple properties in remote geographic locations. Simplify your life by having a single go to source to provide services anywhere in the U.S. vs. searching for unfamiliar, untested, and often unreliable, resources in each individual locale. Don’t gamble with your distantly located properties, the risk is too high. For more information visit or call (800) 445-0640.