Thomas Safran and Associates
Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA) is a Los Angeles-based apartment development and management firm that has specialized in affordable rental housing programs in Southern California for over 30 years. As a midsized company, TSA maintains low overhead without sacrificing the high standards of its new developments. Currently, TSA has developed over 3,500 units of housing in California. The company has earned over 30 awards for the superior quality and sensitivity of its development projects, which also include mixed-use and market-price housing.
TSA hired Schwartzman & Associates,Inc. to generate print, electronic and online news media for an open house event to announce the official opening of Skyline Village, a new TSA development in downtown Los Angeles, which was attended by Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick and City Councilman Ed Reyes. The event was held on August 11, 2005.
Skyline Village offers affordable housing to low-income families who make 60, 50 and 35 percent of the median income and stipulates that no more than 30 percent of an income should be allotted for rent. The building accommodates seniors and families with disabilities, as well.
Skyline Village is also designed to create a community for its residents to give them a place to belong and not just a place to live. The building aims to do this through amenities such as a spacious community room with a brand-new, 52-inch, flat-screen TV with surround sound, a ping-pong table, large comfortable couches, a kitchen, a billiards table and a player piano. There is also a computer lab with four new computers with flat screen monitors, high-speed Internet access, an air-conditioned exercise room, two playgrounds, a basketball court and a gas BBQ grill.
TSA received funding from over seven different agencies to make the apartment complex a reality. These agencies include the Federal Low Income Tax Credit Program, the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the California Housing Finance Agency. Several private investors, including Bank of America, also contributed to Skyline Village.
Schwartzman & Associates Inc. tailored story pitches about Skyline Village for different types of publications, ranging from business sections of newspapers to real estate publications and general news outlets. Extensive research into the current climate for affordable housing, nationally and locally, was undertaken and daily searches for current articles about affordable housing or lowincome housing were also conducted.
Each new piece of research or information was then incorporated to the press materials and into many conversations with journalists that were held on a daily basis. A press release was created that detailed Skyline Village, its features, the story of one of its residents and the development and funding processes that TSA underwent to make the building a reality. A simple media advisory detailing who, what, when, where and why for the open house event was also created as an easy reference for the press. In addition, fact sheets and company bios for TSA were distributed. The event and Skyline Village was pitched to national and local print and broadcast outlets two weeks prior. Several follow-up discussions and emails were conducted from then until the time of the event. The day of the event, calls to local broadcast mediaradio and televisionwere made, starting at 5 a.m. to secure their attendance at the event.
While nearly every media outlet expressed that Skyline Village was a unique example of affordable housing “done right,” and was the right kind of subject matter for an in-depth feature story, Schwartzman & Associates was retained on a project basis only for the Grand Opening event; however, we did schedule a meeting with the Los Angeles Times editorial board to further discuss affordable housing in Los Angeles and TSA’s involvement in developing affordable housing complexes. Due to the amazing features of Skyline Village and the overall aesthetics of the building, television was the best medium to capture the event. Schwartzman & Associates, Inc. secured broadcast coverage on the following:
- KCBS-TV, Story ran on afternoon and evening newscasts, August 11, 2005
- KCAL-TV, Story ran on afternoon and evening newscasts, August 11, 2005
- KPCC, Southern California’s National Public Radio, 89.3 FM, August 11, 2005
- KFWB, 980 AM “Morning Drive,” August 12, 2005
- KPFK, 90.7 FM, August 9, 2005 Schwartzman & Associates Inc. secured print coverage in the following:
- “Downtown News”, August 12, 2005: Article about Grand Opening event.
- “Downtown News” August 18, 2005: Editorial praising Thomas Safran & Associates and Skyline Village.
- “La Opinion” August 13, 2005: Article about Skyline Village.
- “The Chinese Daily News”, August 12, 2005: Article about Grand Opening event.
- “Apartment Professional”, September/October issue: Article about Skyline Village