Hines reaches for Paris skies Hines, the international real estate firm with its headquarters in Houston, announced that it will construct and manage thedevelopment of its first major office building in France. The 700,000 square foot tower, sold prior to the start of its construction to a joint venture of Electricite' de France (EDF) and Caisse des Depots & Consignations, will stand a grand 40 stories (508 feet) high in Paris' Le Defense business district. EDF will occupy 430,000 square feet. Construction is scheduled for November 1998, with completion in March of 2001.

New York's Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the designers of the Louvre's glass pyramid, won the international architectural competition held to decide the aesthetic fate of the Paris tower.

Insignia/ESG delves into the German market In an effort to extend its venture into Europe, the New York-based international financial group announced that it will open an office in Frankfurt, Germany. Former head of Richard Ellis International in Germany, Scott Morgan, will lead Insignia's latest German endeavour and will be responsible for international advisory work.

The intermediary Frankfurt office will work closely with the UK's Richard Ellis Group, Ltd. on pan-European business assignment and with the US's Insignia/ESG operations on trans-Atlantic assignments.

Cushman & Wakefield ventures down under The international real estate services firm is establishing its Australian connection through an alliance with Commercial Property Network member, Laing & Simmons.

This venture, part of a world-wide expansion program that the company is embarking on with its European associates, Healey & Baker, is in an effort to broaden their services to reach all sectors of the commercial property market.

Polacheck goes global The Wisconsin company's relationship with CB Commercial proved worldly recently when it merged with London-based, REI Limited, an international real estate company. The new partnership, entitled CB Richard Ellis, now has over 200 offices in 29 countries.

With its global status, Polacheck can provide its local clients with world-wide access as a single source.

FIABCI elects president for US chapter Bob Hatcher of Hatcher and Eiland Inc. was elected 1998 president of the American chapter of the International Real Estate Federation, known by its French acronym, FIABCI-USA. The organization, a multicultural group that conducts business in countries around the world, acts as an alliance to those in the industry with various world-wide real estate interests. Ninety percent of FIABCI's members are based outside the US.

Hatcher led the US delegation to Bali at the end of May for the 19th annual World Congress of FIABCI, and throughout his term will work to further the FIABCI-USA mission.

The federation, a leading international real estate association, operates in over 50 countries and in connection with more than 100 professional associations and one million real estate professionals. FIABCI holds Special Consultative Status - Level II before the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations.

AIG plans office building in Dublin ***American International Group, Inc., (AIG) has announced that its member companies, AIG Global Real Estate Investment Group and AIG Global Investment Group, Inc. (AIGGIG) have entered into a joint development agreement with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority for a 70,000 square foot office building within the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) area of Dublin. AIGGIG will locate its Dublin investment operations to the project at completion, scheduled for late 1999. ********

***Brook Hillier Parker-Oncor International (BHP), a leading international property consultancy, announced that it is establishing a series of property funds to finance major developments in China's second-tier cities. These will include large provincial capitals and special economic zones. The funds will be the single purpose Real Estate Investment Funds (REIF's) covering China.

Such a focus on second-tier locations contrasts with the traditional concentration on major cities, where an abundance of supply has resulted in high vacancy levels and declining rental values.