In the news Indianapolis - Simon Property Group, working with third-party administrator Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America Inc., has established the Simon Youth Foundation. The not-for-profit organization was established to provide educational scholarships for deserving students. 6,000 students applied for the scholarships at Simon malls around the country, with 163 winners receiving $1,500 in scholarship money. The program was established in August 1998, but this is the first year scholarships have been awarded.

Facts & figures Chicago - Ferguson Partners Ltd. has released a new hiring forecast for the remainder of 2000. The survey of 750 CEOs of commercial and single family businesses in real estate-related fields predicts that hiring demand will continue to be strong. Commercial service firms demonstrate slightly less demand than other sectors, while commercial finance firms show stronger demand, and a full 100% of family business owners predict that demand would either stay at current levels or increase in the coming year.

More specifically, 69% of commercial real estate companies surveyed said their hiring over the next six months would increase, although hiring demand for real estate investment managers is predicted to fall. Acquisitions and development people are still in high demand, with 25% of respondents saying that they would be hiring at least one senior executive in these capacities. Among financial institutions, lending professionals are in greatest demand, with 58% of respondents saying they would hire at least one senior executive for these positions.

Towson, Md. - "Better is more" will be hot retail buzz in coming months, according KLNB Inc.'s mid-year report on retail activities. By this, firm indicates an emphasis on quality over quantity, which they see as one of the reasons many developers are working to improve existing properties, as opposed to building new ones.

Other predicted trends include a healthy franchise market, and a balanced consumer interest in both cyberspace and the local mall.