NEW VENTURES The Atlanta-based retail operation of Jones Lang LaSalle and San Diego-based Corti-Gilchrist Partnership LLC have formed a strategic alliance combining the retail capabilities of each firm to pursue business development opportunities. Corti-Gilchrist specializes in the development and leasing of retail properties, and Jones Lang LaSalle Retail provides comprehensive retail property management and leasing services. "Coupling (Corti-Gilchrist's) development and leasing expertise with our property management and leasing abilities will contribute significantly to the growth of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail," says Bob Welanetz, president and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. The two firms have worked together previously in the management of two California malls.

Heitman International, an affiliate of Chicago-based Heitman Financial LLC, has entered into a strategic alliance with Central European Retail Property Fund (CERPF). Under the agreement, Heitman will oversee all phases of development on a number of shopping centers in Central Europe. Sponsored by French developer Bouygues, U.K.-based investment bank Jones Lang LaSalle Finance, and New York-based Lehman Brothers, CERPF is expected to attract approximately $500 million in debt and equity financing to develop shopping centers in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. CERPF will focus its investment program on hypermarket-anchored shopping centers and plans to develop 10 properties in the next four years. The projects are expected to be enclosed, Western-style shopping centers with a variety of entertainment, leisure and food options.

Cary, N.C.-based Konover Property Trust Inc., a community shopping center REIT, is forming a joint venture with 1st Carolina Properties, a Cary-based company founded by Connell L. Radcliff, formerly Konover's executive vice president of development. The joint venture will enhance retail development opportunities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Knowledge Discovery One Inc. (KD1), an Austin, Texas-based provider of advanced retail decision support applications, and Denver-based Prime Response Group Inc., a marketing automation vendor, have formed a partnership to integrate the firms' technologies: KD1's Retail Discovery Suite and Prime Response's Prime Vantage. The combined product lines enable retailers to plan, manage and execute marketing campaigns based on consumers' buying history. Retail Discovery Suite analyzes customers' specific buying behaviors at the transaction level; Prime Vantage software executes a highly targeted direct marketing program across the most appropriatemarketing channels, such as direct mail, telesales, etc. The integration of these technologies facilitates tracking and analysis of campaign results, simultaneously evaluating the return-on-investment of hundreds of different marketing campaigns.

SALES & ACQUISITIONS Columbia, Md.-based Constellation Real Estate Inc. has sold Piney Orchard Marketplace, a 52,000 sq. ft. retail center in Anne Arundel County, Md., to CR Piney Orchard LLC, an affiliate of Baltimore-based Continental Realty Corp., for $3.45 million. The center, which opened in March and is 100% leased, is in the center of Piney Orchard, a 2,000-acre planned community that Constellation Real Estate owns and is developing. The community currently features 2,000 residential units.

Highwoods Properties Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based REIT, has sold its south Florida properties to Miami-based America's Capital Partners for $323.2 million. The sale includes 34 in-service properties encompassing 2.7 million sq. ft., two properties under development totaling 173,000 sq. ft., eight properties under redevelopment totaling 402,000 sq. ft., and 49 acres of development land.

Baltimore-based Phillips Edison & Co. has acquired Plaza of the Oaks shopping center in Hudson, Fla., on the Gulf Coast. The 193,481 sq. ft. center, anchored by Winn-Dixie, Dollar General and Beall's, sold for $3.85 million. The unnamed seller was represented by the Tampa, Fla., office of Marcus & Millichap. At the time of the sale, the center was 42% vacant. However, Phillips Edison foresees potential in releasing the vacant space because of substantial population growth in the area.

LMA LLC, an affiliate of Providence, R.I.-based Churchill & Banks Ltd., has acquired Lincoln Mall in Lincoln, R.I., from SYCT Corp., an affiliate of New York-based Merrill Lynch. The selling price was $24.5 million. Originally completed in 1975 and renovated in 1987, the 504,000 sq. ft. mall will undergo a $14 million renovation/expansion. When the redevelopment is completed, the mall will have five anchors and more than 80 retail stores and restaurants. National tenants include Kmart, Super Stop & Shop, a recently enhanced Gap store, Cherry & Webb, Walden Books, Kay Bee Toys, CVS and Lerner New York. The mall's primary market (within five square miles) includes 90,000 people with annual household incomes topping $60,000.

Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc., an Atlanta-based real estate management firm, has arranged the sale of Scottsdale Fiesta Shopping Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., for one of its pension fund clients. The purchase price was not disclosed. The 490,000 sq. ft. center was purchased by Los Angeles-based CNA Enterprises Inc., which hopes to take advantage of a new freeway nearby to further enhance the center's value. The property is anchored by Kmart, HomeBase and Smith's Food & Drug. Other tenants include Linens 'n Things, Barnes & Noble, PetsMart, CompUSA and OfficeMax.

FINANCING AWARDS Houston-based L.J. Melody & Co., a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis, has arranged fixed-rate financing of $9.5 million for Kroger at Sugarloaf shopping center in Duluth, Ga. Prudential Portfolio Management, Chicago, provided the funding to the borrower, Atlanta-based Retail Planning Corp. The Kroger-anchored center has 102,000 sq. ft. of net rentable space and features Blockbuster Video, Buffalo's Cafe and State Farm Insurance.

Atlanta-based J.P. Morgan Mortgage Capital provided $11.7 million in financing for Montclair East, a 135,852 sq. ft. center in Montclair, Calif. The borrowers were two individuals, both of Montclair. Tenants include Ross Stores, Kid 'R' Us, Sportsmart, Strouds and Office Depot. The term of the loan is 10 years with a 30-year amortization. J.P. Morgan Mortgage Capital has also closed a $6.2 million loan for East Gate Square VI, a 36,253 sq. ft. retail center in Burlington, N.J. Tenants include Hallmark, Joseph Banks and Store House Furniture. The term of the loan is 10 years with a 25-year amortization.

CORPORATE MERGERS MOHR Retail Learning Systems of Ridgewood, N.J., and Learning Systems Sciences (LSS) of North Hollywood, Calif., two of the country's largest providers of training to retail companies, have announced plans to merge. MOHR Retail specializes in interpersonal skills training in service, sales, management, leadership, negotiation and recruiting. LSS designs and develops custom training applications, most of which utilize interactive multimedia technology to teach the skills retail employees need. The companies, both operating units of Boston-based Provant Inc., will become MOHR Learning, which will have 60% of the outside training market, estimates Herb Cohen, CEO of the new entity. Steven Pechter of LSS will be executive director and COO of the new firm. Cohen says the significance of the merger is that for the first time retailers can have all of their training needs met by a single provider.

New York-based Adshel Inc., a unit of Clear Channel Communications, has signed an agreement to acquire Mall Communications Network LLC and consolidate it with Clear Channel's mall division, Eller Mall Media. The new entity, called Adshel Mall Communications Network, will have approximately 4,000 advertising displays in more than 270 malls in the United States. Allen Cohen, chairman and CEO of Mall Communications Network, will serve as president of the new division.

OTHER TRANSACTIONS Burlington, Mass.-based Finard & Co. LLC has been named the leasing agent for The Marketplace, a 50,000 sq. ft., three-level retail and service center located on the island of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The selection was made by Enighed Partnership of St. John, the project's developer. The center is one of the largest commercial outlets on the island, which has 4,500 year-round inhabitants and more than 600,000 annual visitors. The assignment gives Finard & Co. the opportunity to move beyond its traditional Northeast United States market area.

Miami-based Horizon Properties has been named the exclusive leasing agent of Coral Reef Center, a 60,000 sq. ft. shopping center currently under construction in South Dade County. The selection was made by the developer, Miami-based General Real Estate Corp. The property, which is scheduled to be completed by year's end, will feature Hollywood Video, The Hair Cuttery, Dunkin' Donuts and Don Olson Tires. The center will be joined by a 20-acre outparcel with restaurants, a U.S. Post Office and a hospital outpatient facility.

New York-based Robert K. Futterman & Associates has been named exclusive leasing agent for two Manhattan retail spaces by the landlord, Citibank of New York. 630 Lexington Ave. comprises 11,500 sq. ft. of ground-floor space and 3,000 sq. ft. on a lower level. The second space, 399 Park Ave., consists of 4,000 sq. ft. on the ground level. Both sites have asking rents of $125 per sq. ft.