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BizDEVELOPMENT continued from page 197 Street in Tucson. His second was planning an apartment community on 76 acres at Pantano and 22nd Street. “It was a great opportunity and I was ready for it,” Karber said. He completed more than 2,700 apartments in Tucson and Phoenix for Estes, working on both the construction and finance sides. With business partners, he formed ASR Investments, then merged it with the largest apartment real estate investment trust in the country, managing the acquisition of thousands of apartment units. And in a unique move at the time, Karber was able to broker group-rate cable contracts, using collective bargaining, for 80,000 apartment units in five states. With the fees from that deal, he started his own real estate development company, Karber Realty Advisors, always watching for changing consumer needs during ups and downs in the economy. He learned while working for Bill Estes Jr. that “you cannot lose focus on what the customer wants, what they can

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afford and what it takes to truly satisfy their needs,” Karber said. “Rather than analyze what would work best for us as a company, Estes would focus on the consumer.” Bill Estes Sr. started his real estate development company in 1947 and by the time he left it as a private family owner, the company had built more than 40,000 Arizona housing units. Growing Demand for Detached Luxury Rentals

In the early 2000s, Karber began to see that consumers shopping for rental housing were “losing their attraction to the traditional amenity packages that focus on the external” – the large clubhouse, exercise facilities, spas – and “nobody was giving them a choice. Consumers want choices. What they wanted was more amenities on the inside,” he said. “We listened carefully and found there was a growing desire to have a detached luxury rental, where the maximum amount we put into it would go inside the individual family’s home and into private rear yards and upgrades – including higher ceilings, better quality

energy-efficient appliances and nicer finishes.” Karber saw that consumers in their late 20s, 30s, 40s and on into their 70s were less interested in a mortgage and were turning to other methods of growing financial security. “The necessity of buying a house has gone away,” Karber said. He and his investors now offer the concept of home in professionally managed new, gated neighborhoods. The rental home builder is BFL affiliate Preferred Apartment Builders. The business brands are Aerie Development and Alta Vista Communities and the consumer brand for all sites is AVILLA. The partners are also expanding the concept to properties outside Arizona under the business name NexMetro. By simplifying the plans for the homes, PAB is able to construct them quickly, efficiently and with precision, Brav said. GPS is used to locate utilities. This allows trenching for all the homes to be completed before slabs are poured in a production-line manner. Karber said he knew Brav’s reputation as a precision builder and his experience with

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The Tucson Region's Business Magazine

Biztucsonwinter2014flip  

The Tucson Region's Business Magazine