Kollman forms U.S-based division in Atlanta ATLANTA - Wiesbaden, Germany-based full-service developer Kollmann AG has formed a U.S. subsidiary, Kollmann USA, headquartered in Atlanta. The company has been active in the United States since 1993, investing more than $200 million in development partnerships throughout the Southeast.

Company founder and CEO Jurg Kollmann recently told NREI that lessons learned and partnerships forged through the company's development in the Southeast and throughout the United States led Kollmann to base U.S. operations in Atlanta.

"Now the time has come to show that we've made a strong decision to stay in the U.S.," says Kollmann, who founded the company 35 years ago. "We've been here several years, and in that time have learned what our clients want - what our European clients need in America and what our American clients need in Europe."

Former Georgia Governor Zell Miller joins Kollmann USA as chairman. As governor - and, previously, lieutenant governor and a state legislator - Miller was at the forefront of Atlanta's and the state's recent economic boom. Miller met Jurg Kollmann about a year ago, visited the company founder in Wiesbaden and was immediately impressed.

"He already has taught me a lot," Miller says. "The more the Atlanta community gets to know him, the more they will be impressed, not only with what he has accomplished over 35 years, but with what he can and will accomplish in Georgia and the South."

Known for cutting-edge developments such as the 1.3 million sq. ft. Space Park in Bremen, Germany, and American Express' European headquarters in Frankfurt, Kollmann plans to develop a wide range of products, initially focusing on the Sunbelt, says William F. "Trey" Freeman III, CEO of Kollmann USA. Already, Kollmann partnerships have developed distribution centers in Atlanta's northeast submarket, an air freight distribution center at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport and an apartment complex in an east-Atlanta suburb.

"We're focused on expanding our opportunities throughout the Southeast in association with partners that have proven local market experience," Freeman says. "We are rather flexible in our evaluation of types of properties we consider. We don't just have to do tall, $100 million high-rises. We can find niche opportunities and penetrate certain markets with small properties as well."

With more than 15 years of institutional real estate development, investment sales, finance, asset management, leasing and project management experience, Freeman will oversee U.S. operations. He was previously vice president at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Atlanta, where he oversaw Peachtree Center and was responsible for the sale of investment properties throughout the U.S.

Colliers, C&W ally with Ohio-based companies CINCINNATI and CLEVELAND - Two companies have been named the exclusive real estate service providers for two large U.S. corporations. New York-based Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International formed strategic partnerships with Procter & Gamble and BFGoodrich, respectively.

Cushman & Wakefield has had a strategic alliance with Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble's customer business development facilities & operations group for the past nine years. Procter & Gamble wanted to expand the relationship to simplify its transaction management and lease administration process. The new arrangement makes Cushman & Wakefield the exclusive real estateconsultant, agent and broker for Procter & Gamble's U.S. real estate projects. Cushman & Wakefield will provide lease administration, such as developing and maintaining a lease database and performing lease audit services; strategic planning, including portfolio reviews and disposition strategies; and transaction management, including coordinating field brokerage activities, performing key market surveys and soliciting RFPs.

Procter & Gamble markets approximately 400 brands - including Tide, Crest, Pantene Pro-V, Always, Pringles, Pampers, Vicks and Oil of Olay - to nearly five billion consumers in more than 140 countries. Cushman & Wakefield manages 325 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate worldwide.

Colliers International is now the sole real estate services provider in North America for Richfield, Ohio-based BFGoodrich, a manufacturer of aircraft systems and services.

"We will be the single point of contact and provide BFGoodrich with on-line instant access to a team of real estate professionals in areas where they do business," says Dennis Burnside, Colliers general manager. "BFGoodrich will also have on-line access to a group of Colliers financial experts."

A Colliers International project team will assess BFGoodrich's more than 14 million sq. ft. of office and industrial property in North America; provide strategic planning; and manage BFGoodrich's acquisition and disposal of property.

Cyberloan 2000 receives $665 million loan apps DENVER -Through its CyberLoan 2000 on-line prequalification and routing system, Denver-based DataMerge Inc. has reported more than $665 million in commercial real estate loan applications in the system's first six weeks of operation. Based on that figure, the company projects more than $75 billion in loan applications will be submitted through CyberLoan 2000 by March 1, 2000.

CyberLoan 2000, which went live on February 1, 1999, allows borrowers to electronically submit loan applications to the appropriate lenders, and matches financial information found in the loan application with the individual lending criteria of more than 500 lending institutions. CyberLoan 2000 then automatically routes the applications to their appropriate institution, branch and loan officer. With the CyberLoan 2000 system, the loan application process now takes less than 30 minutes instead of the traditional two weeks.

DataMerge reports that NationsBank, Citibank, Bank One and Wells Fargo have signed on as CyberLoan 2000 lenders, capable of receiving loan applications electronically through the system.

Developed with the assistance of executives at key lending institutions, the information and format of CyberLoan 2000's Loan Request Summary is similar to that used by loan review committees to approve loan originations. The loan request summary provides enough information for a lender to make a preliminary commitment, followed by a firm commitment pending receipt of various due diligence materials.

DataMerge charges borrowers and brokers for access to the CyberLoan 2000 system under two different subscription plans. The premium one-year subscription costs $650, plus $24.95 per month, which allows users to submit an unlimited number of loan requests and also allows unlimited searches on DataMerge's MortgageSource 2000 on-line database. An alternative one-time subscription costs $199 and allows users to submit one loan request to lenders on the system. Users can access CyberLoan 2000 by visiting its website www.financingsources.com or calling DataMerge at (800) 580-1188.

Cousins/Richmond to redevelop Atlanta hospital ATLANTA - Atlanta-based Cousins/Richmond, Cousins Properties Inc.'s healthcare division, will tackle the redevelopment of Emory University's Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. The two-phase, $270 million project will provide flexible space for staff and doctors, outpatient service consolidation, and a more pedestrian-friendly and convenient environment for patients.

New construction also will include a 500,000 sq. ft., six-story diagnostic and treatment center with a 16-story medical office tower rising above it. Departments in the diagnostic and treatment center will consist of emergency medicine, imaging, endoscopy and radiology on the second floor; admitting, preadmission testing and the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center on the third floor; surgical and pulmonary services on the fourth floor; food services, a dining room, education, laboratories and medical engineering on the fifth floor; and a women's center on the sixth floor.

The Midtown medical office building will open by 4th Quarter 2001, and the medical facility will be open by the end of 2002. No disruption of ongoing hospital or outpatient care will occur during construction.

Financiers post strong 1st Quarter 1999 gains Many of commercial real estate's biggest finance sources recently reported 1st Quarter 1999 earnings, and though the real estate portion of those earnings is often difficult to decipher, the overall results indicate a rather happy bunch. With the stock markets continuing to post significant gains in the 1st Quarter, it is no surprise that the brokerage activities of these institutions helped to carry the day.

J.P. Morgan & Co., the nation's fourth-largest bank, saw its quarterly profit more than double, surprising sector analysts and sending its stock on a tear. The company earned $3.10 per share on a diluted basis.

Meanwhile, three big regional banks posted gains. Boston-based Fleet Financial Group reported a 36% increase in profits. Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp of posted a 12% earnings rise, while Wachovia Corp. posted a 25% increase in earnings.

The largest money-center banks, Citigroup, BankAmerica and Chase Manhattan Corp., all reported strong growth.

A strong performance by Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney brokerage unit helped the firm boost income 9.3% to $2.36 billion in the 1st Quarter, beating analysts' expectations. Meanwhile, BankAmerica, based in Charlotte, recorded $1.91 billion in net income, up 44% from the 1998 period. Chase Manhattan's earnings rose 62% in the quarter to $1.17 billion.

In other banking results, Wells Fargo & Co.'s income jumped 29% to $884 million, while Bank One Corp. posted a 23% gain to $1.15 billion.

Finova Group, based in Phoenix, surprised analysts by delaying its 1st Quarter earnings report until late-April, saying it may have to restate its earnings for 1998. (Check out our daily news on the Web for the latest on Finova at www.internetreview.com.)

NRC guide gives industry recs to Congress, Clinton WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Realty Committee has released America's Real Estate: 1999 National Policy Agenda, a set of recommendations to Congress and the Administration on key U.S. tax, capital and credit, environmental and technology issues for the commercial real estate industry. Some of these recommendations include the following: the real estate industry creates approximately 9 million jobs, generates 12% of America's gross domestic product and produces 70% of the taxes raised by local governments for essential public services.

Among NRC's recommendations for legislative or regulatory action in 1999 are:

* Federal policies. Policies that counteract or undermine state and local government efforts to revitalize communities through smart growth initiatives should be amended or rescinded;

* Tax reform. Any major shift from the current tax system to a new system must provide a multi-year transition period that treats existing and new investments equitably;

* Environmental reform. Better federal policies that accommodate both economic growth and environmental protection in areas such as brownfield redevelopment, endangered species protection and global warming.

Copies of America's Real Estate: 1999 National Policy Agenda are available free of charge by calling NRC in Washington at (202) 639-8400.

Property owners with polybutylene plumbing systems face an August 20, 1999, claims deadline. Within the Spencer vs. DuPont settlement, property owners must replace their polybutylene plumbing systems by August 20 or within 15 years of original installation, whichever date comes later.

Polybutylene is a plastic resin used extensively in the manufacturing of water supply plumbing from 1979 to 1995. Due to the low cost of the material and ease of installation, the systems were viewed as the pipe of the future. Builders installed polybutylene systems in an estimated 6 million homes, apartments and other properties predominantly in the Sun Belt region of the United States, where construction was most intense during the 1980s.

Experts believe oxidants, such as chlorine, in public water supplies react with the polybutylene and cause it to scale, flake and become brittle. As a result, the pipe fractures and becomes susceptible to sudden failure. Leaking problems led to several class action lawsuits, including Spencer vs. DuPont and Cox vs. Shell. The rate of system failures continues to escalate as the systems age. Unlike pinhole leaks in copper and galvanized systems, polybutylene system failures are equivalent to turning on a garden hose inside a property.

Any systems that will be 15 years old or not replaced by August 20, 1999, will drop from the class action suit on August 21, 1999. Until the cut-off date, there is no age limit to qualify within the class action. There are, however, specific qualifications that must be met to participate in the class action.

For additional information on polybutylene, visit www.polybutylene.com.