The News: Free to Choose

A large number of empty condominium units is challenging South Florida’s apartment rental market, and apartment owners are looking for more ingenious ways to attract tenants. One company, Altman Development Corp., is offering early leasing residents the opportunity to customize apartments at Satori, a 279-unit luxury complex in Fort Lauderdale.Steven G. Inc.’s flooring, carpet, granite and paint color options will decorate the only rental community in Florida that offers rental-unit customization, the developer said. Phase I of the four-building complex will be completed in March 2009, and construction is slated for completion by the end of 2009.Altman is offering the option free to pre-leasing residents, and Satori property manager Jeff Cohen reported that it has proven popular. Prospective residents can make their choices at Satori’s leasing center, which feature model apartments and a large touch screen where they can view their desired floor plan, though Cohen noted that tenants have to make their choices early enough so as not to affect construction of a unit.