|NAREE's 69th Annual Journalism Contest Winners|
|Published Friday, June 28, 2019 9:00 pm|
Category 15: Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine Story
KEITH LARSEN, The Real Deal, “A Little Arkansas bank is funding much of SoFla’s condo boom. What could go wrong?”
Judges’ comment: This well-reported story follows the “show, don’t tell” rule of journalism, illustrating with numbers and specific building projects why people may want to worry about the unlikely rise of Bank of the Ozarks in funding construction of high-end Florida condos.
KATIE BRENZEL, The Real Deal, “The anatomy of construction corruption”
Judge’s comment: In this depressing but thoroughly reported piece, Brenzel shows how middlemen take advantage of systemic problems in New York City’s $45.8 billion construction industry. To make her points clear, she uses examples like a property owner paying $300 for a light fixture that cost just half that much money or a subcontractor charging for seven Dumpsters for a demolition when only four were needed. There’s no single villain or explanation. In fact, a couple of “rogue” employees can contribute a great deal to bribery, extortion and bid-rigging schemes. Brenzel’s thorough reporting and easy-to-understand examples make a complicated topic understandable.
JOHN NELSON, Southeast Real Estate Business, “Off the Beaten Path”
Judge’s comment: In the United States, rails-to-trails projects span more than 22,000 miles. Nelson expertly uses statistics like this one to grab his readers' reader’s attention. Through interviews with developers and land-use experts, he shows why communities think it makes sense to turn old railroad lines into walkable open spaces. As cities get denser, they need to become greener, too, at least if they want healthy, happy residents.
JANE ADLER, Contributing Editor, Seniors Housing Business, “Investors Rethink Memory Care”
Judge’s comment: With more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, there’s a huge need among families and investors for quality information about memory-care facilities. Adler’s well-reported, numbers-filled piece gives critical statistics (the occupancy rate at stand-alone memory-care units is 81.1 percent, down from a peak of 86 percent in 2014). She explains why most investors are bullish on properties that combine independent and assisted-living buildings, with or without memory units.
Category 16: Best Online Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story
TEKE WIGGIN, Freelancer, Inman News, “Real estate’s new disruptors: The ‘PayPal Mafia’”
Judges’ comment: This wide-ranging story about how the “Pay-Pal mafia” are impacting the real estate industry introduces readers to individuals who aren’t household names but who drive the technology many people use every day. It’s well-sourced and well-written.
JONATHAN HORN, KGTV 10 News San Diego, “The McMansion Loophole”
Judges’ comment: This is a strong piece of enterprise reporting that explained how developers were able to exploit a local legal loophole to turn modest coastal homes into McMansions as angry neighbors helplessly stood by.
JOSEPH PIMENTEL, Bisnow, “Residents Grapple with Change Coming to View Park, LA’s ‘Black Beverly Hills’”
Judges’ comment: This story about a neighborhood that is one of the most affluent African American neighborhoods in the country and how soaring home prices are leaving some out of the market has an enticing lead and strong sourcing. Both informative and entertaining.
BETHANY ERICKSON, Candysdirt.com, “Health Insurance Impacts Timely Rent, Mortgage Payments, Report Says”
Judges’ comment: This in-depth piece on how basic to catastrophic illnesses
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