Arabellas Sheraton in Munich to undergo $56 million renovation The Arabella Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Munich, Germany, will undergo a renovation that will include a lobby that boasts a glass-domed atrium three stories high. The 636 guest rooms will be completely renovated and equipped with modem/ISDN links and voice-mail service. State-of-the-art technology, ergonomic furniture and high intensity lighting will be provided for the business traveler. Four executive floors will be created and special amenities such as a private business lounge, separate check-in and check-out counters and free use of the business center, will be provided. This will be Sheraton's flagship hotel for the area.

First direct continental European acquisition completed by TIAA Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, part of TIAA-CREF, has purchased 50% of NorteShopping, Oporto, Portugal, for an undisclosed amount as its first direct continental European acquisition. The center consists of 785,000 sq. ft. and has 253 shops. The sellers were Figest, SA and Sonae Imobiliaria SGPS, SA. Sonae Imobiliaria will retain 50% of the center and manage the property. The NorteShopping deal was negotiated on the basis of a total asset value of approximately $200 million, with approximate net initial yield of 8%.

Four new companies added to Oncor International Oncor International has added four new companies: New York City-based Newmark & Company Real Estate Inc., a commercial real estate firm; Mexico City-based Alles Group, a corporate real estate and consulting service; Barcelona, Spain-based Ferren, a commercial real estate company; and Geneva-based Kuoni, Mueller & Partner, which represents financial institutions and banks. These additions fill a new market in New York City and expand Oncor's coverage in Europe and Latin America.

U.S. property owners outnumber Southeast Asians in New Zealand New Zealand's "clean green" image and its increasing international profile are bringing interest from American buyers. Auckland, New Zealand-based real estate firm Bayleys Real Estate says American buyers in New Zealand have overtaken Southeast Asian investors as the main offshore buyers of property. Bayleys' sites the weather, a climate similar to Arizona, as one of the reasons North Americans visit New Zealand in the winter months as well as its international profile.

Europe's largest upscale hotel sold for $190 million The Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel, Europe's largest upscale hotel, has been sold for $190 million on behalf of a group of private shareholders to the Rotterdam-based Hospitality Europe B.V. The 1,020-room hotel is located in the Frankfurt, Germany airport. It has 33 meeting and conference rooms and six restaurants. Jones Lang Wootton (JLW) arranged the sale and under a management agreement, the hotel will continue to be operated by Sheraton. Hospitality Europe B.V. plans a major renovation this summer.

San Diego hosts annual international convention Hightstown, N.J.-based New America International (NAI), a global partnership of real estate service firms, is holding its international convention in San Diego in April. More than 200 NAI offices with more than 1,000 representatives from more than 26 countries are expected to attend. San Diego was chosen because it has become a gateway to Latin America and Asia/Pacific Rim. Of all U.S. exports, 20% go to Latin America with more than 2,000 American corporations in Brazil. With the devaluation of Brazil's currency, NAI's clients see this as an opportunity to expand market share.

Sale of 300-room luxury hotel in Montreal arranged. The Hotel Le Westin Mont-Royal has been sold to Omni Hotels and will be converted in the near future. The 300-room hotel has two restaurants, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, sauna, sun room, Jacuzzi and 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. It was built in 1976. Kuo Investment Company was the owner, and Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. was its financial advisor.

Mixed-use project underway near Valencia, Spain includes hotel Construction has begun on Centro Comercial y de Ocio Bonaire, a 1.6 million sq. ft. retail-driven urban mixed-use development. The development's anchor stores are Alcampo Hypermarket and Warners Cinema. The project will also include a bowling alley, mini-golf and a hotel. London-based RTKL designed the project for Spanish real estate developer Grupo Riofisa. IDOM S.A. is the architect and engineer for the project.