The conversation wandered from there. Apparently, they're going to be putting in a few large plasma-screen TVs, holding the place open longer, tearing down a few walls, redecorating, installing a Wii, installing a PS3, installing a 360, and holding a collection of parties. The last was set up while the staff were all snowed in and getting yelled at by a bunch of residents mad at them for something they could do nothing about; apparently, planning recreational events is how they relax. The rennovation will run to around $4e7, which is about three hundred years of my rent.
Which is sort of a side consideration; they were planning on raising rent to take advantage of the growth in the renting population (due to the foreclosures), but now with the current recession, that's starting to seem like a Bad Idea- which is also interesting to me. More interesting is that Avalon Redmond had a financially burdensome collection of leases at waaaay below market rates, with a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom unit going for about $80/mo more than what I'm paying for a 2-bedroom 1-bathroom unit when the market rate is well over $700/mo more than that. The Onyx became The Onyx because the old management company was bought out in a desperation sale, because Avalon Redmond "couldn't pay their bills". I admit this does make me worry about my rent a little, but given how much he was going on about the insanely cheap Fairmont and Grand units (apartment units go up the alphabet by first letter; the F and G units are the 3-bedroom 2-bath ones. Rakeela and I live in a Corinthian, AKA a "C"), I don't know how hard this is going to hit us.
It seems the goal of HSC- the new management- is essentially to flip the property. That's right, I can expect another change in management in three years: they want to fix what's wrong with it, get it positive cash-flow, and then sell it off. Of course, if the cash flow winds up too positive, they'll just keep it instead. As the current management here is excellent, that would almost be a best-case scenario, except that if they're that profitable, it definitely means my rent's gone up...
If they're going to try to sell the place, they're going to raise rents to make it attractive to buyers, so I need to brace for my rent to really get jacked up in two years if I'm not already out of here by then. Maybe I should start seeing what their competitors offer; I'm nowhere near financially ready for home ownership yet. (Although I'm keeping a close eye on friends who just got started with it; that'd be you, eldarath and nambroth!) I think.
So it's a lot of useful information- about the nature of our current management company, their long-term plans, why management changed, what I can expect in the next several years as far as rent goes, and- as an all-but-trivial minor side note- the events they intend to host.
Oh, and there are ducks in the swimming pool. Quack. Yay ducks!
And the person to whom we talked noted the trouble he had with his commute from Capitol Hill. Walking back to our unit (with no mail, but a lot of information, making it one of our most useful mail runs evar), we reflected on that, and how, from what we already knew of the man from our rent-paying and technician-calling interactions with him from the past few months, the district of his residence really failed to surprise us.