Deal positions Marriott to enter corporate apartment industry Anticipating "tremendous growth opportunities" in the $3 billion interim housing industry, Washington, D.C.-based hospitality company Marriott International Inc. agreed in early January to acquire ExecuStay Corp., the country's second largest provider of leased corporate apartments, for approximately $128 million, including cash, stock and assumed debt.

When the transaction closes, Marriott expects to launch the acquired company as "ExecuStay by Marriott" and plans to combine it with Home-Solutions by Marriott, the company's home and apartment cleaning maintenance services business, to create a corporate apartment business.

Based in Washington, D.C., ExecuStay generates approximately $150 million in annual revenues and holds an approximately 5% share of the highly fragmented market. According to Joseph Ryan, the Marriott International executive vice president who will have overall responsibility for ExecuStay by Marriott, the top four firms in the corporate apartment housing industry account for just 20% of the business.

Corporex wins competition to develop site in metro Boston Cincinnati-based Corporex won out over nine competitors to develop an $80 million project on a 33-acre site in the Boston metropolitan area. Corporex proposes to build and operate a Hilton full-service hotel, a Five Seasons Sports Country Club and two Class-A office buildings on land it will lease from the town of Reading, Mass.

The company plans to complete site preparation and break ground by early fall 1999. Commonwealth Hotels, a Corporex company, will manage the eight-story hotel, which will open in the spring of 2001. The two five-story office buildings - scheduled for completion in 2000 and by the middle of 2001 - will provide a total of 300,000 sq. ft. of office space.

In choosing Corporex, the Reading Board of Selectment cited Corporex's financial strength, development record, quality reputation and the proposal for a mixed-use development that will generate additional tax revenue for the town.

Realty Information Group to acquire Jamison Research Realty Information Group Inc., a Bethesda, Md.-based provider of information services with more than 15,000 end-users, has reached a binding agreement to acquire Jamison Research Inc., a provider of commercial tenant and property information in Atlanta and Dallas. Jamison serves approximately 4,000 end-users and 500 firms, with estimated 1998 revenues of approximately $4.4 million. The agreement is valued at approximately $10.75 million in stock and cash. Henry D. "Budge" Jamison IV, founder and president of Jamison Research, has entered into a three-year employment agreement with RIG to remain president of Jamison operations.

Atlanta's Cousins Properties adds diversified Charlotte firm Atlanta-based diversified development company Cousins Properties Inc. has extended its reach even further by acquiring The Atkins Group Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based diversified commercial real estate firm. W. Henry Atkins and C. David Atkins, principals of the acquired firm, will join Cousins' Charlotte office to oversee marketing and leasing activities and to pursue new development opportunities in North and South Carolina.

Change of servicer helps lift CMBS transactions' 'Down' rating watch CHICAGO - Here's proof that - at least in the eyes of the rating agencies - the servicer does make a difference: Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) removed nine CMBS transactions from Rating Watch - Down as a result of CRIIMI MAE Services L.P. handing over special servicer duties to Banc One Mortgage Capital Markets LLC (BOMCM).

Initially, DCR had placed 13 transactions on Rating Watch - Uncertain in connection with the Oct. 5 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by CRIIMI MAE's parent, Rockville, Md.-based CRIIMI MAE Inc. Shortly after that, one transaction was removed from Rating Watch - Uncertain as a result of the controlling class for the transaction replacing CRIIMI as the special servicer. Then, following DCR's determination that the bankruptcy could potentially have negative implications for the transactions, DCR changed the watch status from "Uncertain" to "Down" for the remaining 12 transactions. Subsequently, in December and January, following the completion of the special servicing transfer from CRIIMI to BOMCM, nine CMBS transactions were removed from Rating Watch - Down. As of press time, CRIIMI MAE had notified DCR that it intended to appoint BOMCM as the special servicer for the remaining three transactions, but they remained on Rating Watch - Down.