Time is on our side

I grew up at the convergence of two mighty rivers, the Mississippi and Missouri. With a simple look at this powerful artery beating the heart of a country as the Mississippi so honestly does, life suddenly makes sense--as does America, especially now.


As a younger self, I watched mere mortals struggle against the will of the “Old Man” with a child’s curiosity. Here I learned a simple truth. Quiet observation and analysis informs future events.

If you are watchful, even curious, you can discern how the story ends.

Near the Mississippi there was the perpetual cycle of the “river people” who built homes on its shore only to be devastated during the 100-year flood that came a half dozen times in my childhood. The engineers, time and again, attempted to coax its banks around growing towns and roads as the Old Man smiled in amusement. And of course its hallowed voice was heard in 1812 as, perhaps, the largest earthquake of recorded history caused it to palpitate, running backward for a bit, and then abruptly righting back to its earthly job.

The Mississippi does not protest. It does not debate or publish mandates. It simply is.

Still, there is undeniable pain in the earthly process. “Meanwhile, back in America,” rings a chorus struck by Peggy Noonon recently in the Wall Street Journal that reminded me of the lessons of the Old Man in life and in purpose. Most assuredly, there is consternation, even misery, inside the chest of the country. Often, like the river, there are no words that can calm the angst and disruption in this, our winter of discontent.

Still, constants remain. They will course their way through the earth, across broken promises, fleeting contracts and unseemly tactics. With deep and singular breath, the country will heave as the Mississippi did long ago.

That is the story we are making now. It can not be deflected and it can not be suaded from truth.

A year ago in our cover story, “Good-by Archstone,” Wendy Broffman methodically pieced together the analysts’ prediction of the BRE sale, and right on time, the story rests in your hands.

The last months have seen tremors as Essex, then Land and Buildings, and finally Essex, mounted a campaign to purchase BRE Properties. The play puts 50,000-plus units under Essex’s charge, and change is in the wind across the portfolio to make the new construct a performance giant. Mostly, we told you it was coming.

This and other news abounds in multifamily as trends appear and analysis is gathered. And then new regulation changes it all in a moment.

Want to know what happens next? You’ll just need to keep reading.

As the river flows, unstoppable and mighty, the story of multifamily flows through our lives changing everything in its path. And we are here to report.