Kevin Timochenko

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Kevin Timochenko wanted Wyomissing Gardens badly. He wanted the 156-unit property in Reading PA., so badly, in fact, that he offered the Department of Housing and Urban Development $2.2 million for the complex. But, after the agency made a last-minute request for $200,000 in back property taxes as a condition of the deal, Timochenko pulled out. Six months later, Timochenko got a second chance when HUD put the property up for auction. Timochenko joined the bidding from the beginning and, when the property hit $1.3 million, his competition bowed out. "I was thinking I would never get this place. Besides the birth of my children, that was the most exciting day in my life," says Timochenko, president and founder of Metropolitan Management Group, a Reading, Pa.-based company that buys and repositions properties.

It was also an exciting day for his business. The acquisition of Wyomissing Gardens in 1995 doubled MMG's size. The purchase, Timochenko's first of a building with more than 100 units, also represented a huge change for the entrepreneur, who had done everything from repairing properties to giving tours. By purchasing Wyomissing Gardens and other bigger properties, he knew he would be lifting his business to a new level. No longer would he be able to work side-by-side with his people at the property level. Instead, he would need to make executive decisions and rely on senior managers to filter the company values through the ranks. He would also need to decide how much control the central office would exercise over the daily operations of each property.

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