NEW VENTURES National Retail Group has been formed by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. to provide better service to retail owners across the country. Bernard J. Haddigan is the group's director. Alan Pontius, first vice president and regional manager of the Palo Alto office, has been named regional director for the new group. Emery W. Shane, regional manager of the Atlanta office, has also been named regional director of the group. Greg A. Moyer, first vice president and regional manager of the Chicago office, is the director of retail events.

The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., has formed Manufacturers at Mills Inc., a new program developed to provide manufacturers and retailers with the space and staff to host warehouse and liquidation sales in its projects. In addition to aiding those retailers leaving its centers, the Mills program allows manufacturers and retailers to test Mills projects prior to signing a long-term lease commitment. These sales generally run 30 days.

SALES & ACQUISITIONS Cary, N.C.-based Konover Property Trust has acquired two community shopping centers for a total of $10.2 million. The centers were acquired from private owners in Florida and South Carolina. The centers include:

* Crossroads at Mandarin, a 72,136 sq. ft. center anchored by Food Lion, in Jacksonville, Fla.; and

* Grove Park, a 104,312 sq. ft. center anchored by Bi-Lo, in Orangeburg, S.C.

A subsidiary of The Macerich Co., Santa Monica, Calif., has announced that it will acquire Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, Calif., for $188 million from Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc. The 1.3 million sq. ft. superregional mall is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, Robinsons-May, Sears and Mervyn's. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the quarter.

Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc. has announced that it will acquire the remaining 50% interest in Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair in San Jose, Calif., for $107 million plus the assumption of debt. Westfield and The Rouse Co., Columbia, Md., acquired the center last year as part of their purchase of San Diego-based TrizecHahn's portfolio. The 1.14 million sq. ft. regional mall is anchored by Nordstrom and two Macy's stores. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the quarter.

An offshore partnership has acquired Crystal Tree Centre in North Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for $10.5 million from North Palm Crystal Associates, a Florida limited partnership whose general partners included PaineWebber Equity Partners One LP, a Virginia limited partnership. The 115,851 sq. ft. retail/office complex is anchored by T.G.I. Friday's and Roche Bobois Furniture. Boca Raton, Fla.-based RJS Realty Group Inc. arranged the transaction.

A Midwestern-based REIT has acquired Casselberry Commons in City of Casselberry, Fla., for $17.5 million from The Sterling Cos., Palm Beach, Fla. The 227,664 sq. ft. center is anchored by Publix, Ross Dress for Less, Dockside Imports, Service Merchandise, Beall's Outlet and Mae's Fabrics. Miami-based Aztec Group Inc. arranged the transaction.

CORPORATE MERGERS Atlanta-based JDN Realty Corp., which specializes in the development and asset management of retail centers anchored by value-oriented retailers, has acquired Denver-based Goldberg Property Associates Inc., a firm that specializes in retail development, property management and brokerage services. Mark Goldberg, founder and president of Goldberg Property Associates Inc., will continue in his current position with the wholly owned subsidiary of JDN.

OTHER TRANSACTIONS Lake Success, N.Y.-based Excess Space Disposition has disposed of a number of properties. Properties include CVS in Warren, Mich.; Catonment, Fla.; Dothan, Ala.; Enterprise, Ala.; Huntsville, Ala.; Effingham, Ill.; Warrenville, Ill.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Carlisle, Pa.; and Alexander City, Ala. Eckerd locations were disposed of in Aliquippa, Pa.; and Mansfield, N. Richland Hills, Pasadena and Lufkin, all cities in Texas. Payless ShoeSource locations include Cleveland and Modesto, Calif. Additional properties include Walgreens in Northlake, Ill.; Winn-Dixie in Palm Harbor, Fla.; Staples in Venice, Fla.; and Charming Shoppes in Salina, Texas.

Virginia Beach, Va.-based Divaris Real Estate Inc. has been named national real estate representative for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based MARS, The Musician's Planet. Divaris will be involved in finding new sites for the retailer's expansion, negotiating lease or purchase agreements, and consulting with the retailer's management on future growth and expansion plans. The retailer plans to have 50 stores opened by the end of 2000.

Falls Church, Va.-based L.F. Jennings has been awarded contracts to construct four stores for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Best Buy. The company is building 46,000 sq. ft. stores in Richmond, Va.; Chesterfield, Va.; and Roanoke, Va. In addition, a 76,000 sq. ft. store is being built in Frederick, Md. All of the projects are expected to be complete by mid-summer 1999.

Phoenix-based Summit Builders Construction Co. has been awarded a contract to construct the $4.2 million first phase of The Promenade in Scottsdale, Ariz. The center, owned by The Pederson Group, Phoenix, will eventually comprise 895,000 sq. ft. Construction is under way on spaces for four anchor tenants: Cost Plus Imports, OfficeMax, Michaels and Ulta 3 Cosmetics.