Category Archives: Real Estate

BentleyForbes Shares Virtues of the Boy Scouts of America

BentleyForbes The founder of BentleyForbes has been a champion of the Boy Scouts of America since the company began in 1993. In this interview, he explains why BentleyForbes is heavily involved in the organization’s wealth of opportunities for today’s young men.

Zrylw: Welcome, and thank you for your time this morning.

BentleyForbes: It’s an absolute pleasure to be with you!

Zrylw: Tell us about your involvement with the Boy Scouts of America…

BentleyForbes: The Boy Scouts of America is truly one of the finest youth organizations in the U.S. The Boy Scouts put an emphasis on physical and mental fitness for young men from the ages of 11 to 17.

Zrylw: Why is this mission so critical in today’s society?

BentleyForbes: The American value system remains in a state of flux. With so many social options available to kids today, making the right choice can be incredibly difficult.

Zrylw: How so?

BentleyForbes: The youth of America are subjected to countless unethical corporate and individual acts in the media, not to mention their schools and communities.

Zrylw: Where do the Scouts come into play?

BentleyForbes: According to various studies, Scouts are generally more satisfied with their professional and personal lives. The value of these relationships cannot be underestimated.

Zrylw: What specific traits do you find are most notable among Scouts?

BentleyForbes: Scouts have excelled in leadership roles as a result of the self-confidence and strength that they have drawn from their experiences.

Zrylw: What experiences, for example?

BentleyForbes: Being of service to others is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. By learning how to respect other people and their property, Scouts gain invaluable life skills.

Zrylw: Such as…?

BentleyForbes: Especially in today’s society, it’s important to feel pride about America and all of its abundant opportunities. Taking care of the environment is one of the chief lessons learned by Scouts.

Zrylw: That’s a noble goal!

BentleyForbes: Indeed. These ethical standards establish a strong and unyielding foundation that serves young men for the rest of their lives.

Zrylw: What is the long-term impact of their involvement?

BentleyForbes: The opportunities granted by the Boy Scouts of America carry forth into the rest of their lives. Because of their association with the Scouts, young men improve their interpersonal relationships.

Zrylw: How can adults help out the cause?

BentleyForbes: As part of volunteering, adults can work directly with youth to develop and sustain a brighter future for the United States.

Zrylw: Is a certain level of experience necessary to volunteer?

BentleyForbes: Scouting volunteers come from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. People and businesses from nearly every industry are involved in helping youth become competent, caring and responsible citizens.

Zrylw: What can adults learn from these endeavors?

BentleyForbes: Scout volunteering allows people to learn a variety of new skills and create lasting friendships within the community.

Zrylw: Where can adults find out more information about volunteering?

BentleyForbes: On the Scouts website, simply type in a zip code to find the nearest council.

Zrylw: Tremendous! Thanks for sharing!

BentleyForbes: You’re quite welcome.

Commercial real estate company BentleyForbes is one of the leaders in its industry, with current holdings in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and a number of major markets throughout the U.S.

Kris Krohn: Creating a Successful Game Plan

Kris Krohn Kris Krohn is a well-known real estate investor, investment coach and author. As the founder of Strongbrook, Kris Krohn has developed “The Strait Path,” a real estate investment formula that helps people achieve financial stability by generating residual income. Here Kris Krohn answers questions about the creation of a long term investment strategy he calls a “game plan.”

ZRYLW: Kris Krohn, what is a “game plan” in your way of thinking about real estate?

Kris Krohn: Like anything else in life, to achieve something important, you need a plan. A solid portfolio-building game plan in the Strait Path system requires the following elements: identifying and leveraging hidden assets; a 10-year, specific, customized goal; and enduring to the end.

ZRYLW: What do you mean by that first set of terms?

Kris Krohn: Most people have assets, but those assets just aren’t working that hard for them.

ZRYLW: You mean they have money or potential going untapped?

Kris Krohn: Yes. Low-yield assets are often hidden and may include home equity, qualified-plan funds, income, job history, credit history, relationships or cash.

ZRYLW: Sometimes people don’t think about those as investment tools.

Kris Krohn: This may require a paradigm shift in thinking. Identify low-yield assets and leverage them by moving them to high-yield investments. Achieve this and manage your risk through education.

ZRYLW: How long do you work with investors?

Kris Krohn: Everyone I work with creates a 10-year goal along with a customized plan for achieving that goal. The beginning goal is to uncover and transfer enough existing assets to purchase one home.

ZRYLW: That’s the first step you talked about.

Kris Krohn: Yes. People with more assets can begin by purchasing multiple homes. The end goal is to create enough cash and cash flow to be able to technically retire within 10 years, which is a realistic goal for most individuals. When financed and positioned properly, investment properties create a chain reaction; the more you have, the more you’re able to leverage.

ZRYLW: Do you have a step-by-step game plan?

Kris Krohn: Yes, four steps. The first is to prepare. Obviously, real estate investors must be able to purchase properties. The first and most important step is to establish one’s ability to do so.

ZRYLW: What’s the second step?

Kris Krohn: Purchase. The next step is to start purchasing properties to generate cash flow, but more important, to build equity that can be leveraged into more deals.

ZRYLW: How does one make more purchases?

Kris Krohn: That’s the third step: using financial leverage. As a person buys properties, he or she is able to use the equity in those properties as a down payment on more property purchases.

ZRYLW: That sounds logical. How do you keep it going?

Kris Krohn: Momentum. At this stage, an investor simply has to duplicate the process to achieve critical mass and create exponential growth. That’s the fourth step.

ZRYLW: And how do you keep the plan on track?

Kris Krohn: Develop discipline in your investing by creating a 10-year portfolio game plan and sticking to it.

ZRYLW: Is it easy to get distracted?

Kris Krohn: Perhaps, but having this goal in place will help delay gratification.

ZRYLW: What do you mean by that?

Kris Krohn: Delay the gratification of spending your profits by reinvesting them, especially in the early years. Then, endure to the end by repeating the investing process over and over until you achieve your goal.

As a nationally recognized public speaker, Kris Krohn has taught thousands of Americans about investing in the real estate market.


Scott Safadi Talks about His Love of Dartmouth College

Scott Safadi graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003. Soon after leaving Dartmouth, Scott Safadi moved to Saratoga, California and began working in property management.  Today, Scott Safadi holds a CCRM (California Certified Resident Manager) designation and is the President of Cal Bay Property Management located in Palo Alto, California.

Zrylw:  We’re speaking with Scott Safadi, Dartmouth College graduate and President of Cal Bay Property Management. Thank you for joining us today, Scott.

Scott Safadi:  My pleasure. I’m a big supporter of Dartmouth College and always enjoy talking about my alma mater.

Zrylw:  What about Dartmouth makes it so special to you?

Scott Safadi:  Dartmouth is a family. I think part of it has to do with how isolated the campus is. When you’re there, you’re there. Dartmouth is Hanover. You can’t say that Columbia is New York City or that Harvard is Boston. The campus is extremely isolated and as a result, the students come together in a very special way. It becomes your world and that unique experience bonds the alumni.  It’s like having all attended the most amazing summer camp together.

Zrylw:  What attracted you to Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi:  Initially, I was attracted by Dartmouth’s reputation for a work hard and play hard attitude. I work harder than most people I know because it helps me do the things I love outside of work. The Dartmouth student body knows how to have fun; a lot more fun than kids are having at other top-tier institutions.

Zrylw:  What exactly is it that Dartmouth professors have that set them apart?

Scott Safadi:  The professors are extremely generous with their time and dedicated to helping undergraduates recognize their strengths and then encourage them to pursue their academic passions.  They really instill that academics don’t just exist in the classroom.

Zrylw:  What did you most love about Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi:  The short answer is everything. The campus, the professors, the students—the activities! The friends I made at Dartmouth are some of the most fun and amazing people I have ever known. The Dartmouth experience itself was simply priceless; I created memories there that will last a lifetime.

Zrylw:  What else about Dartmouth would appeal to someone considering enrolling there?

Scott Safadi: It’s rare for an eighteen year old freshman to have their future planned with absolute certainty.  Dartmouth is structured in such a way that you can alter your path quite easily. For example, my original major was in genetics. Then I discovered philosophy. Despite having entered Dartmouth with genetics as my major, I was able to change my focus to philosophy without a lot of difficulty and red tape. And then, during my third year, I decided to pick up an engineering degree—again, without a great deal of stress.

Zrylw:  You said Dartmouth was a life-changing experience. What makes you say that?

Scott Safadi:  The Dartmouth professors opened my mind to new philosophies. Rather than conforming and going along with the crowd, I was encouraged to do my own thinking. The experience gave me the impetus to pursue new interests and the confidence to start my own company.

Zrylw: I know the company you founded is Cal Bay Property Management. What new interests are you referring to

Scott Safadi: As I’ve already mentioned, I gained an immense enjoyment of nature, which ignited my love of backpacking and mountain biking. The Dartmouth experience is enlightening on so many levels!

Zrylw:  How are you able to maintain your enthusiasm? What has it been—nearly ten years since you graduated from Dartmouth?

Scott Safadi: That’s what’s so great about Dartmouth. It is an exciting life-long journey.

Zrylw:  What makes you say it is a life-long journey?

Scott Safadi:  Dartmouth is an extremely tight-knit community and the strong bonds that are built on campus continue after you leave. We keep in touch through a network of alumni.

Zrylw:  You mean you go back to Dartmouth occasionally to socialize with former classmates?

Scott Safadi: Actually, the Dartmouth Alumni Association of Silicone Valley is a very active organization, not just an occasional get-together. I feel very fortunate to have also spent time serving on the DAASV board.

Zrylw:  Can you give us a brief summary of DAASV and its purpose?

Scott Safadi:  It’s the eighth largest regional alumni club. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1968 with origins dating back to 1881. DAASV’s purpose is to organize social, professional, athletic, and educational activities in order to extend the Dartmouth experience through a variety of events and programs in the greater Silicon Valley area.  The club has amazing leadership and I would not be overstating if I were to say that it is the most cutting edge and forward thinking alumni club in the entire country.

Zrylw: Thank you, Scott. Do you have anything to add?

Scott Safadi:   Yes. I’d like to say that Dartmouth College has been rated the number one teaching institute in the country for undergraduate studies by U.S. News & World Report since the category was created. Of course, Dartmouth has always been rated #1 in the minds of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff!

Scott Safadi married his wife, Rachel, in 2007 and their daughter, Sophia, was born on February 29, 2012.  Rachel, Sophia, and Scott Safadi live in Saratoga, California. See more about Scott Safadi at his website:

Real Estate Expert Travis Jones of Rush Properties Discusses Foreclosure

For many homebuyers, purchasing a foreclosed home may seem like a smart investment, but there are things a buyer must know before getting caught up in the foreclosure process. Understanding the different stages of foreclosure will help a buyer be successful at investing in a distressed property, says Travis Jones, Rush Properties’ former president.

Travis Jones of Rush Properties is an entrepreneur based in Olathe, Kansas with expertise in foreclosure real estate, remodeling and client relations.  In the past 15 years, he has focused on increasing home values through property improvements within the Johnson County area as well as assisting homeowners in foreclosure with their needs through various compensation options.  Recently he answered a few questions about foreclosures.

Q. Travis Jones, what is the main thing to remember when purchasing a foreclosed property?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Many newcomers to the market believe that foreclosures can be bought for next to nothing.   While it is true that foreclosures are often purchased at serious discounts, the idea that someone can consistently find homes for 10 percent of market value is just not realistic.

Q. But are foreclosures still worth pursuing?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Oh, definitely. RealtyTrac reports that over the last 7 months the average savings on foreclosure purchases is approximately 29 percent less than full appraisal.  That’s from a nationwide survey and is quite a significant savings!

Q. What else should buyers consider?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties:  Often people think that to buy a foreclosure is to take unfair advantage of a homeowner in distress.  Actually, if a buyer can find a seller in the pre-foreclosure stage as many realtors can help arrange, they can help the homeowner to leave with something to show for their equity in the property and avoid a major markdown on their credit report.   Even if the property is bank-owned the sooner the home can sell, the better it will be for home prices in the surrounding neighborhood, which affects everyone.

Q: Can you explain the different stages of foreclosure?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Yes, a foreclosure consists of few broad stages: Delinquency and Default, Foreclosure Suit, Judgment Sheriff Sale and Post-foreclosure

Q: What is the Delinquency and Default stage?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: At this stage when the homeowner still owns the property but is aware that there is potential for foreclosure. The homeowner is basically warned by the lender that he or she is in default and needs to act, says Travis Jones of of Rush Properties. At this point the homeowner can sell the property. This is considered a grace period before the lender files a lawsuit. The length of the grace period varies by state. The best way to find a property in this stage is through a real estate agent or an attorney.

Q: What options does the homeowner have at this point?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The homeowner can sell the property or work out a payment plan with the mortgage company. For a buyer, it’s best to find a property at this stage through a real estate agent or an attorney.

Q: What happens in the foreclosure suit stage?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The best way to find a property in foreclosure is through the County Clerk’s office. Title insurance companies can also be helpful. According to Travis Jones and Rush Properties, the foreclosure process varies from state to state, depending on whether it is a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure. After this phase, the trying to obtain a judgment and receive a order to be sold at an auction. Publicized foreclosure auctions can be researched online, usually listed on websites dedicated to foreclosures. Typically, the auctions take place at a county courthouse, says Travis Jones and Rush Properties.

Q: Can you explain the Judgment and Sheriff Sale phase?

The best way to find a property in foreclosure is through the County Clerk’s office. Title insurance companies can also be helpful. According to Travis Jones and Rush Properties, the foreclosure process varies from state to state, depending on whether it is a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure. After this phase, the trying to obtain a judgment and receive a order to be sold at an auction. Publicized foreclosure auctions can be researched online, usually listed on websites dedicated to foreclosures. Typically, the auctions take place at a county courthouse, says Travis Jones and Rush Properties.

Q: What happens, post-foreclosure?

Travis Jones, Rush Properties: At this stage, the lender is in control of the property. The home is now in the lender’s Real Estate Owned department, which may be willing to negotiate. However, the price may be at market value based on the condition on of the property.

Travis Jones, Rush Properties former President, is a partner in Cherry Park Properties.  He is married and has three children. When not working, Travis Jones of Rush Properties likes to spend time with his family, work in his yard and spend time on the water.

Larry Starr, Sarasota Presents Cedars Tennis Resort

Larry Starr, Sarasota owner of the vacation property company, Resort Vacation Accommodations, reports that the company purchased Cedars Tennis Resort on Longboat Key in 2012. In this brief interview, Larry Starr talks about the property and what vacationers can expect when visiting Cedars Tennis Resort on Longboat Key.

Zrylw Blog: First of all, give our readers a little background on the Longboat Key area.

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Longboat Key is located in the southwest region of Florida. It is a quiet barrier island just off the coast of mainland Sarasota that offers a more upscale vacation experience.

Zrylw Blog: What are some of the main draws to the area for vacationers?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Longboat Key and the surrounding area has some of the best championship golf courses in Florida and the 12-mile beach is immaculate. This area is typically free of spring breakers, so it is an ideal place for families, retirees, and people looking to get away from crowds.

Zrylw Blog: Please tell our readers about why you decided to purchase Cedars Tennis Resort.

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Resort Vacation Accomodations purchased Cedars Tennis Resort in 2012 as a way to expand our Sarasota area and Longboat Key vacation rental offerings and amenities to vacationers in the area.

Zrylw Blog: Can you describe the accommodations?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Cedars Tennis Resort has a village feel to it, with many amenities onsite. There are 1, 2, and 3-bedroom townhouses, with fully equipped kitchens for every guest.

Zrylw Blog: What are some of the specific amenities Cedars Tennis Resort offers guests?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: There is private beach access, a heated junior Olympic size pool, and an onsite fitness center with group fitness classes and a personal trainer. Each unit is fully stocked with linens, so guests can leave their towels at home. There are also chaise lounge chairs for all guests, because, as everyone knows, Longboat Key and Sarasota beaches are for relaxing!

Zrylw Blog: Okay, this is a tennis resort – so we need to know all about your accommodations for tennis enthusiasts.

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Of course! The 10 Har-Tru tennis courts at Cedars Tennis resort are attractive to beginners all the way up to tennis pros. Players can get all the supplies they need at the resort’s Pro Shop.

Zrylw Blog: Cedars Tennis Resort sounds like a place nobody would want to leave; are there also dining options at the resort?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Yes, when Resort Vacation Accommodations purchased the resort, it was important to include Cedars Café and Tiki Bar in the purchase, to offer guests onsite dining convenience. There are scores of other restaurants in the area that offer every type of cuisine imaginable.

Zrylw Blog: Beyond tennis, what other activities does Cedars Tennis Resort offer guests?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Guests can fish at the Cedars pier overlooking Sarasota bay or explore the Key by bike or kayak, and then spend the afternoon at the tropical Island tiki bar.

Zrylw Blog: And if one does wonder off site?

Larry Starr, Sarasota: Well, the area is filled with an eclectic mix of attractions. Vacationers can visit Circus Sarasota, Longboat Key Center for the Arts, or do some shopping at St. Armand’s Circle or the Avenue of Flowers.

Larry Starr, Sarasota and Longboat Key vacation property owner, real estate developer and entrepreneur has over 25 years of experience in the vacation rental field. As a local resident, Larry Starr ’s Sarasota commitment extends beyond vacation properties and includes participation with the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Sarasota County Arts Council as well as active memberships in many local Chambers of Commerce.

Q&A with Tiffani Von Alvensleben on Investing in Foreclosure Properties

In a tough real estate market, it takes a competitive, savvy businesswoman like Tiffani Von Alvensleben to make a go of it. A successful entrepreneur, Tiffani Von Alvensleben has a deep knowledge of the market and a unique skill set that makes her a natural. Today, we talk to Tiffani Von Alvensleben about real estate investment:

Q: What’s your current title?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: I’m owner of Von Vesting, in Rocklin, California. We’re partnered with American Redevelopment Fund.

Q: You buy distressed properties in bulk, remodel them and sell them?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Correct.

Q: What’s your track record been like?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: In the last twelve years, we’ve turned over $50 million in transactions.

Q: Wow, that’s phenomenal!

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Thank you!

Q: How have your margins typically been?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Our worst year was 2002, when we had a 14% return to investors; our best year was 2008, when profits were at 54%.

Q: What tools do you use to find properties?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: I constantly scan sites like, bank listings and Zillow to try to connect investors with the best deals.

Q: What’s your methodology?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Well, we do deep research into zip codes, prices on comp properties, liens, titles, saving money on the front end…

Q: Surely your intimate knowledge of the area is of help, too.

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: I’d like to think so!

Q: What about the homes themselves?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: We won’t come near a house that has structural problems…

Q: Is that because of the expense involved to repair them?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Yes, those types of repairs can get quite expensive quickly and cut into the bottom line.

Q: Foreclosures have come as a boon for you and investors…

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: They have, and there’s a deep pool of REO properties for future transactions. Some foreclosed homes are in terrible shape and suffering from neglect, but many more are only in need of cosmetic and remodeling work.

Q: How would you sum up what you do?

Tiffani Von Alvensleben: Limiting risk and maximizing profits for investors by buying distressed properties in bulk at wholesale rates from lenders!

Tiffani Von Alvensleben serves at TKL Home Designs, LLP, in the capacity of manager. With Tiffani Von Alvensleben at the helm, TKL is a general partner in American Redevelopment Fund, LP. In her community, Tiffani Von Alvensleben is an active and enthusiastic supporter of the athletic programs at Del Oro High School.


Frankie Bordeaux Q&A: The Boys and Girls Club of America

Frankie Bordeaux has worn many hats throughout his life. From Boys and Girls Club executive director, businessman to property management and real estate developer to NCAA basketball official, Frankie Bordeaux has experienced many things—but few compare to making a difference in the lives of families and children. Recently, Frankie Bordeaux answered a few questions about the Boys and Girls Club of America and how it has affected his life.

Q: Tell us a little about the Boys and Girls Club of America.

Frankie Bordeaux: The Boys and Girls Club is an organization that makes a difference in children’s lives by promoting education and career programs, character and leadership programs, health and life skills, sports and fitness initiatives, and more.

Q: How long were you, Frankie Bordeaux, involved with the Boys and Girls Club?

Frankie Bordeaux: I’ve spent time volunteering and working with the organization for more than 25 years.

Q: How did you serve the organization?

Frankie Bordeaux: I started out as program director for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Durham, N.C. and then also as program director for the Boys and Girls Club of Winston Salem, N.C.  I served a two year stint at each club.  Finally, I was blessed to serve as executive director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Nash and Edgecombe Counties in Rocky Mount, N.C. for 20 years.

Q: What were some of your duties in that role?

Frankie Bordeaux:  My main responsibilities were planning, program development, budgeting, fundraising and board development. The Boys and Girls Club is a non-profit organization; therefore, so we relied on the generosity of donors.

Q: How did you work in the community?

Frankie Bordeaux:  I served as a liaison between the club and various community entities such as civic organizations, foundations, schools, businesses and industries.  I also served as a liaison between the club and parents. I communicated constantly with parents and children to create awareness of our programs and all that we had to offer.

Q: Do you still keep in touch with people from the Boys and Girls Club?

Frankie Bordeaux: Absolutely. I consider the people I met working there to be some of my closest friends, and I regularly keep in touch with the families I worked with.

Q: How does the Boys and Girls Club help with children’s education?

Frankie Bordeaux: The Boys and Girls Club teaches children ways to balance their workloads and their schedules in order to be successful in their studies, to stay in school, and to attend college and get a great education.

Q: And how does it help with children’s athletics?

Frankie Bordeaux: Fitness is important for children, so the Boys and Girls Club programs designed to get kids moving, get them out of the house, and get them active.

Q: Why did you retire from the Boys and Girls Club?

Frankie Bordeaux: I loved every minute of my time with the organization, but after twenty-five years of service I felt I needed to take the time to focus on my own family and to do the things that I wanted to do.

A resident of Greenville, North Carolina, Frankie Bordeaux has been involved with non-profit organizations for many years. Frankie Bordeaux worked not only with the Boys and Girls Club of America but also with the United Way and Unity Lodge.  Also, Frankie is a former member of the Rocky Mount Planning and Zoning Board.

Peter F. Spittler Discusses Urban Redevelopment

Today, the staff of Interviewing Experts had the opportunity to speak with Peter F. Spittler, a renowned architect and urban designer from Ohio. Peter F. Spittler has left a mark on many urban areas, through sustainable development and creative design.

Interviewing Experts: What does it take to execute your ideas for revitalizing an area?

Peter F. Spittler: Vision! It takes the ability to look at an urban brownfield site, a derelict factory, an abandoned railroad yard, and think about how it can be renewed, overhauled and re-purposed to respond to a market demand.

Interviewing Experts: What is it that drives you? Or, maybe another way of saying it is, what is your core conviction going into these projects?

Peter F. Spittler: I fervently believe that we can’t afford to keep expanding into suburbia. The impact of suburban sprawl on traffic, air quality, roads, taxing districts…we can’t afford it. Our future is in dense urban development where those infrastructures already exist.

Interviewing Experts: Tell us about the Pickwick and Frolic in Cleveland…

Peter F. Spittler: Sure. Working closely with Nick Kostas, we started out with a 1922 department store, gutted it, repurposed it with a 300 seat restaurant, 120 seat cabaret complex, 400 seat Hilarities comedy club and Martini Bar, while keeping the building’s exterior character and architectural details intact. Nick was a pioneer on East 4th Street in Cleveland and Pick Wick and Frolic was the flagship project. Since then there has been over 150 million dollars of investment on the street

Interviewing Experts: What were some of the special details that you included in that building?

Peter F. Spittler: We did things like refitting a giant chandelier salvaged from an old department store in Akron, built a vintage-style marquee, restored some of the building’s façade with custom-cast stonework. Most importantly, we created a unique dining and entertainment experience. The Hilarities comedy club is considered one of the finest comedy clubs in the country.

Interviewing Experts: Weren’t you involved in another urban project in Cleveland?

Peter F. Spittler: Yes, the Flats East Bank. The project is a 500 million 24 acres of mixed-use retail, office and residential development located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Phase 1 will be completed Spring of 2013 and will include a 500,000 sf office building, a 150 room Aloft Hotel, several restaurants, a fitness center along with a 14 acre public park and a 1,200 lf riverfront boardwalk

Interviewing Experts: I recently read something about your Midtown Miami project; could you describe that for our readers?

Peter F. Spittler: Midtown Miami is a 1.4 billion dollar urban redevelopment projected located on an abandoned railroad yard. The project is located just south of Miami’s world renowned Design District and includes several thousand residential units and a variety of retail, restaurants and entertainment venues. The project filled an enormous retail void located in section of the city. The project came to fruition through a collaborative effort between the City of Miami and the developers, Midtown Equities and DDRC. You just cannot have 56 acres of urban property sitting there being underutilized…it makes no sense and everyone agreed.

Peter F. Spittler serves as manager of Forum Architects. Peter F. Spittler ’s responsibilities have included program management, planning and design as well as investor and government relations and much more at the firm. Prior to this, he was a founding principal and president of GSI Architects, Inc. Peter F. Spittler is a graduate of Kent State University’s architecture program. Peter F. Spittler also served as senior project manager at Figgie International, where he worked with teams on commercial and industrial development. At The Austin Company, Peter F. Spittler took on many of the same duties, as well as traveling to Eastern Europe to consider the privatization of government controlled industries in that region. The hands-on approach of Peter F. Spittler has given him a great insight into how to make things work successfully in the world of urban redevelopment and public/private financing.


J. Kale Flagg – An Inspirational Success Story

J. Kale Flagg believes in inspiring others. Nothing can ignite the fire in an aspiring salesperson like a good story. Often, he relates the story of a young man in Scotland in the late 1800s. A young, very poor dreamer by the name of Andrew Carnegie immigrated to the United States with only pennies in his pocket. According to J. Kale Flagg, from humble beginnings, with a lot of work and a lot of sweat, Andrew Carnegie became one of the first recorded billionaires in history.

Looking back over his success, Andrew Carnegie couldn’t figure out why he’d become so wealthy in the U.S. while so many others who were born here stayed broke. In his mind, creating wealth was so simple. As J. Kale Flagg relates, Andrew Carnegie met and hired a young man by the name of Napoleon Hill to find out what made people successful. According to J. Kale Flagg, Napoleon Hill traveled the country to conduct interviews, sitting down with such greats as Henry Ford, Wilbur Wright, William Wrigley, Teddy Roosevelt, and more.

After an astounding twenty years of research, J. Kale Flagg states that Napoleon Hill wrote the book Think and Grow Rich. Boiling the book down to one paragraph, J. Kale Flagg describes that Napoleon Hill discovered there are two groups of people in this world—the 97 percenters and the 3 percenters. The 97%’ers are worker bees and the 3%’ers are the rulers. While the 3%’ers control 97% of the wealth in this country, most people are wondering why they were given the short end of the stick, J. Kale Flagg says.

The good news, says Flagg, is that you control whether you’re a 97%’er or a 3%’er. J. Kale Flagg has found that those who have spent their lives around people who have achieved financial independence are more likely to think like a 3%’er. And you can think like a 3%’er, J. Kale Flagg says, by following a few simple techniques.

To be successful, Napoleon Hill stated that you use OPI (other people’s ideas), OPM (other people’s efforts), and OPM (other people’s money). Too many people let fear keep them from putting these techniques into practice, J. Kale Flagg has found. The most successful people—the 3%’ers—use other people’s money (credit), other people’s efforts (duplication), and other people’s ideas (a proven system), explains J. Kale Flagg.

According to J. Kale Flagg, you don’t have to be brainy or rich to become successful. You just have to be smart enough to identify an opportunity where the timing is right and what products are needed and then tell people about that opportunity. J. Kale Flagg stresses that you don’t need to invent anything. You don’t need to discover anything. Just find a great product and recruit other people to help you market it. It sounds simple because it is simple.

J. Kale Flagg is a Yale graduate who has hosted sales and business seminars around the country. J. Kale Flagg is the General Partner of the American Redevelopment Fund, LP, a real estate development fund and Chief Operating Officer of Array Asset Management, LLC—an asset management company providing services for owners of commercial and utility scale solar arrays.

Texas Lending ( Offers Reverse Mortgages to Homeowners

Known to many customers as Texas Lending, mortgage banker was founded in 2001 with the goal of providing affordable mortgage rates to future homeowners.

Texas Lending is fielding an increasing number of questions about reverse mortgages, with many baby boomers interested in finding ways to afford to retire. Many senior citizens have heard reverse mortgages are a great way to bring in extra money, yet come to Texas Lending with reservations.

Texas Lending knows a reverse mortgage  is a great tool for many seniors 62 or older. For the right person, it can be a way to pay off a traditional mortgage or to acquire cash for home remodeling projects, for medical bills,  for a new car, or for a trip of a lifetime. According to Texas Lending, the best thing about a reverse mortgage is that the  loan doesn’t have to be  repaid until the borrower dies or sells the house.

Reverse mortgages are ideal for those who have no intention of moving, since the loan must be paid off if the home is sold. Homes with substantial equity ( 50% or more) make the most sense under the program. The professionals at Texas Lending will confer with a homeowner to determine whether or not a reverse mortgage is the best solution.  The homeowner must also confer with a HUD approved counselor to confirm the Reverse is truly the best option

Texas Lending is quick to correct the misconception that in signing up for a reverse mortgage, all equity will revert to the lender when the homeowner dies. That is actually the last option! Upon death, the heirs decide the best course of action and often decide to sell the home to repay the debt. Any monies remaining after the debt has been repaid is paid to the heirs when the sale of the home closes. If the debt exceeds the amount of equity, the heirs will owe nothing.

According to Texas Lending, when a reverse mortgage is granted, the borrower receives money in one of many ways: a one-time lump sum, equal monthly payments for the duration of the borrower’s life, equal monthly payments for a fixed period, unscheduled payments or installments via a line of credit, a combination of lines of credit and scheduled monthly payments for the duration of the borrower’s time in the home, or for a set time period. Texas Lending works with homeowners to help them understand these options, as well as any terms that may apply to their particular situation.

For more information, visit Texas Lending online at
4100 Alpha Rd. Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75244
NMLS# 137773