Ohrbach Housing Solutions


Ohrbach Group is a second-generation, full-service real estate organization that owns and manages a diverse portfolio of both luxury and affordable housing properties. Based in New York but with investments across the country, Ohrbach has 35 affordable housing properties with 6,807 apartments and nearly 15,000 residents.

The relationship with Ohrbach Group began in 2018 with the University Square Apartments in Center City Philadelphia, which did not have a video surveillance system. The company wanted to add video to the exterior of the property and to common interior areas. A key requirement of the project was to deliver a video surveillance system in which installation and ongoing costs could be minimized while still ensuring resident safety and comfort.

Upon completion of the University Square Apartment project, Ohrbach asked CM3 to add video surveillance to the Country Commons property in Bensalem, PA. An additional seven properties followed – with varying security system needs.

The Challenge

One unique challenge was the intercom system. For select senior living properties, Ohrbach wanted to provide a video intercom system without running cable and without relying on a mobile solution that would allow residents to unlock doors when they were off-site. For other properties, the physical property configuration was such that a video intercom solution could not be affordably deployed.

The Solutions

Intercom Systems

The intercom system presented unique challenges, and the solutions CM3 deployed were a dichotomy: Leading-edge tech for some locations and back-to-the-basics, tried-and-true for others.

Audio Intercom

For some properties, a wireless configuration could not be affordably deployed, therefore the existing wiring needed to be reused. CM3 installed the classic Alpha audio intercom system which provided upgraded sound quality and reliability while leveraging existing infrastructure.

Video Intercom

For several properties, CM3 created a custom solution using an internal wireless network to connect the Aiphone door intercom with tablets in each apartment. This enabled residents to see who was at the door and then open it remotely from their apartment. The wireless configuration minimized installation cost and the tablet-based mobile app ensured enhanced security in contrast to a phone-based app.

Video Surveillance

In addition to quality, reliable surveillance equipment, another important goal for the system was to minimize cost. CM3, therefore, proposed an on-premise solution, rather than cloud-based, which is a one-time, rather than recurring, cost. CM3 deployed the Hanwha Wave Video Management System and Hanwha cameras which provide a variety of video surveillance solutions for interior and exterior environments. The standardization of the system across properties also maximized efficiency in operations and maintenance.

Access Control

As with the video surveillance system, quality, reliability and affordability were all priorities. CM3, therefore deployed Continental Access Control systems. This product delivers both quality and reliability, while also being easily scalable. And with Continental, there are no software license fees which addressed Ohrbach’s longterm affordability goals.

Emergency Call Systems

With the Sentrics system already in place in some properties, CM3 partnered with Sentrics to deploy additional emergency systems (pendants and pull-down stations) in the senior living properties.