Construction of a new Nordstrom department store in the Cincinnati suburb of Deerfield, Ohio, is speeding up Indianapolis-based Duke-Weeks Retail Group's plan for a multi-anchor 360,000 sq. ft. retail center. The 45-acre site on which the center is to be built is located directly adjacent to the Nordstrom. Duke-Weeks is co-developing the Nordstrom project with Columbia, Md.-based The Rouse Co.

Duke-Weeks plans to develop an upscale, open-air center with up to four outparcels. Potential uses include department stores, entertainment and restaurant components. Ten acres of the site will accommodate a mix of free-standing outlot and build-to-suit retail buildings. Duke-Weeks will act as owner, developer, leasing agent and manager of the facility. Site work for the retail center is expected to begin in spring 2001.

By adding Fort Lee, N.J.-based Toys "R" Us and Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc. to its roster of clients, Service Resources Inc. (SRI) has quietly begun to make a name for itsself. Those companies have joined more than 70 others making SRI one of Dun & Broadstreet's "Hot 100" fastest-growing new businesses in the United States.

Robert Dickhaus, president of Atlanta-based SRI, founded the company in 1997. Since then, the company has quickly become one of the nation's leading integrated facility management providers, currently managing more than 194 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate, 80% of which is retail related. By the end of this year, SRI plans to have a total of more than 400 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate in its portfolio.

"We are a different type of facility management company," says Dickhaus. "Our goal is to help lower costs for retailers and apply modern technology to automate and streamline the process."

The company negotiates and secures all natural gas and electricity contracts, for its retail clients. It monitors total energy usage and expenditures and centralizes the payment of utility invoices by providing national strategic recommendations for energy efficiency. SRI also manages all janitorial and waste management services.

To help make this a realty, SRI has a National Operations Center (NOC) in Greenville, S.C., where retail clients can report any problems they might be experiencing. Using two-way pagers, SRI technicians can receive service orders and notify the NOC upon a job's completion. The efficiencies gained at the NOC allows SRI to provide round-the-clock service to its clients nationwide.

"The [NOC] is extremely important to the success of SRI," says Jerry Harrison Jr., vice president of technology. "It allows us to stay on top of the problems our clients experience."

SRI also offers FacilityPro.com., a subsidiary that enables retail clients to use the Internet to make procurement of materials and purchase-related materials at wholesale and manufactured level pricing. The Web site also offers fully-automated procurement process, product selection, order placement, payment tracking and history.

In terms of competition, SRI does not really have any, at least not yet. Dickhaus says that other companies such as Dallas-based Trammell Crow or Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle cannot compete nationally with SRI because they are too large and cover too large a base. "They are not facility managers per se," he says. "They might offer it, but they can't compete with us on a national basis. They specialize in facility management on a regional basis, but don't have the ability to cover it nationally."

"We are more of a facility management company than a property management company," adds Mike Freidl, senior vice president of operations. "We are more concerned with making sure the facility meets our set of business standards as opposed to property management companies that are more concerned with making money on the property."

SRI's future with retail appears bright. Dickhaus says that eventually SRI would like to partner with shopping center developers such as General Growth Properties or Simon Property Group.

Service Resources has quietly attracted the `big dogs' By adding Fort Lee, N.J.-based Toys `R' Us, and Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc. to its roster of clients, Service Resources Inc. (SRI) is quietly making a name for itself. Those companies have joined more than 70 others making SRI one of Dun & Bradstreet's "Hot 100" fastest-growing new businesses in the United States.

Robert Dickhaus, president of Atlanta-based SRI, started the company in 1997. Since then, the company has quickly become one of the nation's leading integrated facility management providers, currently managing more than 194 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate, 80% of which is retail related. By the end of this year, SRI plans to have a total of more than 400 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate in its portfolio. SRI operates out of more than 80 cities nationwide.

"We are a different type of facility management company" says Dickhaus. "Our goal is to help lower costs for retailers and apply modern technology to automate and streamline the process. We are in the change business."

SRI has been able to grow its business through referrals. "Our clients tell other companies about our service and how we are able to offer a cost-savings approach to meet the needs of that particular company," says Dickhaus. "We also do a small amount of direct marketing."

SRI is able to save clients money by negotiating and securing all natural gas and electricity contracts, for its retail clients. It monitors total energy usage and expenditures and centralizes the payment of utility invoices by providing national strategic recommendations for energy efficiency. SRI also manages janitorial and waste management services.

To help make this a realty, SRI has developed a National Operations Center (NOC) in Greenville, S.C., that handles any problems retail clients may experience. Using two-way pagers, SRI technicians can receive service orders and notify the NOC upon a job's completion. The efficiencies gained at the NOC allow SRI to provide round-the-clock service for its clients nationwide.

"The [NOC] is extremely important to the success of SRI," says Jerry Harrison Jr., vice president of technology. "It allows us to stay on top of the problems our clients experience."

SRI also offers FacilityPro.com., a subsidiary that enables retail clients to use the Internet to procure materials and purchase-related materials at wholesale manufacturer pricing. The Web site also offers a fully-automated procurement process, product selection, order placement, payment tracking and history.

"We are more of a facility management company than a property management company," adds Mike Freidl, senior vice president of operations. "We are more concerned with making sure the facility meets our set of business standards as opposed to property management companies that are more concerned with making money on the property."

SRI's future appears bright. Dickhaus says SRI does plan to go public, although he offers no firm timetable. "We are looking into that because we would like to add to our client base." He adds that at some point SRI would also like to partner with national shopping center developers.