Cleveland ready to rock for REMTEC Mark your calendar for the Real Estate Management Technology Conference (REMTEC) June 26 and 27 in Cleveland. In its second year, REMTEC is one of the industry's premier events for exploring the latest technology for leveraging the power of information management.

Wireless technology, telecommunications, E-commerce, application hosting and thin-client computing will be among the topics discussed at REMTEC. Richard D. Kincaid, executive vice president and CFO of Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust will present the conference's keynote address, Commercial Real Estate in the Internet Age.

Sponsored by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM); Cleveland-based Management Reports International; Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.; and New York-based Deloitte & Touche, as well as National Real Estate Investor and Shopping Center World magazines, the conference is expected to draw more than 300 real estate managers and executives to the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.

Additional information on REMTEC 2000 is available at www.remtec.org or by calling the conference's headquarters at 216-825-6777.

Real estate astrology? They saw it in the stars A recurring theme, a group of leading real estate companies from a range of property and service sectors have formed a real estate technology company, currently known as Project Constellation. The company intends to form, incubate and sponsor real estate-related Internet, E-commerce and broadband enterprises; acquire interests in leading Internet companies; and act as an opportunistic consolidator across property sectors in emerging real estate technology. The company plans to establish its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area, and will have its own management team, which is presently being assembled.

Project Constellation's founding members include: Menlo Park, Calif.-based Spieker Properties, Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust, San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp., Chicago-based Equity Residential Properties Trust, Los Angeles-based Kaufman & Broad Home Corp., and Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group; the Octane alliance; New York-based Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, both as investor and through its private equity funds, and as adviser to Project Constellation through its real estate and technology banking units; and Chase H&Q Capital Partners, an affiliate of New York-based Chase Capital Partners. The total commitment from the founding members is $135 million.

The real estate founders of Project Constellation own and/or manage $250 billion of institutional-quality office, industrial, retail and multifamily properties. Excluding Project Constellation, the founding members have invested in more than 20 real estate technology companies, ranging from procurement exchanges to e-tailing sites to broadband providers.

Three big guns unveil high-octane partnership Three of commercial real estate's leading service providers have formed an alliance to develop e-commerce initiatives that combine and take advantage of their capabilities and experience. Partners Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis, Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle and Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. plan to unveil their first e-commerce initiative this summer as part of the Octane alliance.

Initially, Octane will focus on procurement, transactions, support services and business- and consumer-related portals.

The three companies have equal ownership in the new venture, which is expected to operate as a separate business with a separate brand. The alliance intends to use its considerable combined scale to control costs. Combined, CB Richard Ellis, Jones Lang LaSalle and Trammell Crow spend more than $5 billion for goods and services required for more than 1.2 billion sq. ft. of property under management. In 1999, the three companies executed sales transactions worth more than $31.4 billion for 6,400 clients, and collectively completed 30,800 lease transactions for more than 400 million sq. ft. in North and South America.

Encompass gets the goods through FacilityPro.com Houston-based Encompass Services Corp. has selected Atlanta-based FacilityPro.com to manage its materials procurement. Facility-Pro.com estimates that more than $10 billion in transactions and materials will flow through its marketplace during the 10-year agreement. In addition to the agreement, Encompass has made an equity investment in FacilityPro.com.

A new Realm for commercial real estate New York-based RealPulse plans to launch The Realm, an Website devoted to commercial real estate business-to-business E-commerce. On behalf of The Realm, RealPulse also has acquired Dallas-based ARGUS Financial Software; New York-based B.J. Murray Inc.; Dallas-based CTI Ltd.; and Toronto-based Newstar Solutions. The Website, www.theRealm.com, will be launched this year.

The software and services provided by each acquired company give The Realm an immediate edge in commercial real estate technology.

Funding for The Realm was committed, in part, by $140 million of first round equity financing from an investor group including Dallas-based Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc.; New York-based TH Lee.Putnam Interest Partners; Andover, Mass.-based CMGI Inc.; and New York-based Gleacher Capital Partners. According to RealPulse, the investment represents the largest-ever first-round equity financing for a real estate-related Internet venture.

Post Properties plays the game, as well Atlanta-based Post Properties has launched its new Website and invested in a group of Internet companies, both plays that are intended to improve services for Post's residents and increase profitability and ancillary income.

Early in the first quarter, Post launched www.postproperties.com with an online pre-leasing feature that has averaged 62 pre-lease approvals per week and 1.5 leases per day. In its first 70 days, the new site generated more than $1 million in rental income.

As part of an industry technology collaboration, Post has made an initial investment of $1 million in Javalon, a Web-based property management system. Washington, D.C.-based AvalonBay and Richmond, Va.-based United Dominion also are investors in Javalon. The web-based software will allow Post to improve efficiencies in leasing and back office operations, improve the leasing process for residents, enhance the ability to access portfolio-wide resident and property data and better integrate property-level reporting systems with accounting and management systems in the corporate office.

Post also has made a $1.5 million investment in Louisville, Ky.-based Darwin Networks. Darwin is working with Post on the development of the PostSmart.net network.

AIR tosses its hat into the listing services ring The American Industrial Real Estate Association, Los Angeles, plans to launch an Internet-based property information system that will allow brokers access to image-enhanced data and present it to clients in real time. Called e-MULTIPLE, AIR's information service is schedule to debut this month and is accessible through AIR's site, www.aira.com. The service is available to any commercial or industrial real estate company or organization.

Key features of e-MULTIPLE include: reports per property type, including the ability to add images and maps to reports; the ability to search available, historical and combinations of available and historical data; the ability to map a group of properties and print color maps; the capacity for a user to query the system and automatically be notified whenever a property enters the system that meets specific search criteria; the ability to e-mail reports, maps and images to clients; and automatic audit procedures to ensure completeness of data.

Encompass gets the goods through FacilityPro.com Houston-based Encompass Services Corp. has selected Atlanta-based FacilityPro.com to manage its materials procurement. Facility-Pro.com estimates that more than $10 billion in transactions and materials will flow through its marketplace during the 10-year agreement. In addition to the agreement, Encompass has made an equity investment in FacilityPro.com.

FacilityPro's marketplace centralizes purchasing information and aggregate spending, which is expected to result in lower materials cost and improved purchase and fulfillment cycles, administrative cost savings and reduced inventory costs. Encompass expects its pilot locations to be operational on the FacilityPro marketplace within six months, with a full rollout for the balance of Encompass' operations by year end.

Comro, Jack Resnick & Sons team up Chicago-based Comro.com will list New York-based Jack Resnick & Sons 12 Manhattan office buildings totaling 4.5 million sq. ft. on Comro.com's online marketplace. The Resnick portfolio compliments and further strengthens Comro's presence in Manhattan after recently adding the SL Green portfolio.

Comro also has added a number of affiliate marketing partners to its Web site. Comro's web directory now includes online finance company CapitalThinking.com and financial services company Capitalengine.com, both of New York, as well as Move.com, Sitestuff.com, Steel Services Inc. (yourtotalcontractor.com), IPG Direct (ipgdirect.com), Business Office Interiors (boiinc.com) and Officefurniture.com. Additionally, Comro.com has added OfficeMax.com, MakeTheMove.com, Investors Business Daily and ABF U-Pack Moving (upack.com) to its affiliate marketing program.

Cypress completes SiteConnect acquisition Atlanta-based broadband services provider Cypress Communications has completed the acquisition of Seattle-based SiteConnect. Cypress had previously owned 18% of SiteConnect and recently exercised its option to acquire the remaining 82% of the company.

SiteConnect has license agreements to provide communications services to 4 million sq. ft. of office space in 11 multi-tenant buildings in the Seattle area. The company's 14 employees will be retained as employees of Cypress.

The acquisition is Cypress' second after obtaining Los Angeles-based MTS Communications Inc. in 1998.

Encompass gets the goods through FacilityPro.com Houston-based Encompass Services Corp. has selected Atlanta-based FacilityPro.com to manage its materials procurement. FacilityPro.com estimates that more than $10 billion in transactions and materials will flow through its marketplace during the 10-year agreement with Encompass. In addition to the agreement, Encompass has made an equity investment in FacilityPro.com.

FacilityPro's marketplace centralizes purchasing information and aggregate spending, which is expected to result in lower materials cost and improved purchase and fulfillment cycles, administrative cost savings and reduced inventory costs. Encompass expects its pilot locations to be operational on the FacilityPro marketplace within six months, with a full rollout for the balance of Encompass' operations by year end.

Winstar continues to woo GSA New York-based Winstar Communications Inc. has been awarded four additional Metropolitan Area Acquisition awards from the General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Technology Service. Under four separate contracts, Winstar has been selected as an eligible provider of data and local switched voice services, as well as dedicated transmission services, to government users in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Miami and St. Louis. Each four-year contract includes four additional one-year options. The total value of the contracts is up to $1.04 billion over eight years.

In Atlanta, Winstar will share a contract valued at up to $520 million; in Indianapolis Winstar will share a contract worth up to $240 million; in Miami Winstar will share a contract valued at up to $140 million; and in St. Louis Winstar will share a contract worth up to $140 million.

In March, Winstar received three GSA contracts to supply voice and data services to government buildings in Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Those contracts have a combined potential value of $620 million. All previous awards had been made to incumbent local exchange carriers or AT&T.

Winstar also has signed a non-exclusive agreement with Glendale, Calif.-based PS Business Parks (PSB) to offer fixed wireless broadband communications capabilities in PSB's 153 buildings, 12.4 million sq. ft. portfolio.

Retail, e-commerce continue to merge If you can't beat them, join them. That seems to be the mantra of retail developers and owners as they continue to embrace the Internet and e-commerce.

New York-based Acadia Realty Trust has entered an agreement with Woburn, Mass.-based Eversave.com to bring Acadia's 53 shopping centers online through Eversave.com's Web site. Using Eversave.com, local consumers can go online and find out about sales and events at Acadia's centers as well as inquire about the availability of specialty items. Eversave.com's coupons also can be printed at home and used with local merchants at.

Acadia owns 11 million sq. ft. of retail space in the eastern United States.

Meanwhile, Dallas-based BigFatWow! Inc. will provide free high-speed Internet access in 100 malls across the country. BigFatWow! also will provide Internet consulting and development services to support owners, developers and tenants of large regional malls.

BigFatWow!'s Internet centers - called Wow Centers - have a modular design with four to 12 computer terminals to work within a variety of retail footprints. Partners and sponsors can provide advertising via Wow Centers' 17-inch computer terminals as well as several 42-inch plasma screens and 27-inch television monitors located overhead and in vertical columns.

In addition to high-speed Internet access, consumers are able to check existing Internet e-mail accounts or sign up for new e-mail or Internet services. Consumers also are prompted to enter demographic data and preference information. BigFatWow! expects to collaborate with mall owners and how to appropriately use customer information for marketing and loyalty programs.

BigFatWow! has signed five-year leases to install Wow Centers in 16 malls owned by The Pyramid Cos., Syracuse, N.Y.