New ventures The Rouse Co., Columbia, Md., and London-based WPP Group plc, a communications services company, have formed a joint venture that will enable WPP's clients to expand the ways they reach, communicate with, sell to and research customers.

WPP's clients will be able to use The Rouse Co.'s 50 U.S. shopping centers to sample new products, sign up new customers, tap into research panels, create events and promotions, and advertise in the malls.

San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp., a real estate investment trust, and The LEFMARK Group of Miami, a private retail development/property management firm, have entered into a long-term strategic alliance to acquire, develop and/or upgrade in-fill shopping centers in high-traffic locations throughout south Florida.

One of the joint venture's first acquisitions is Northridge Shopping Center in Oakland Park, Fla. The 192,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Target, Publix and Walgreens. The center will undergo redevelopment and an 18,000 sq. ft. expansion during the next year.

Plaza West in Kendall is also slated for redevelopment, while Springsgate Center in Coral Springs is slated for construction.

Sales & Acquisitions Vail, Colo.-based Timberline Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. and Los-Angeles-based Strategic Real Estate Partners LLC have acquired Alameda West Shopping Center in Albuquerque, N.M., for an undisclosed amount from Albuquerque-based New Shopping Centers Corp. The 129,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Luckys/Sav On and Jo Ann Fabrics and Crafts. American Furniture will open a 28,000 sq. ft. store at the center this summer. The center is currently undergoing renovation.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. has acquired Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, Pa., for $38.1 million from Atlanta-based ERE Yarmouth. The 427,145 sq. ft. regional mall is anchored by Sears, The Bon-Ton and JCPenney.

San Diego-based M&H Realty Advisors acquired Sequoia Mall in Visalia, Calif., for $11 million from Chicago-based General Growth Properties. The 500,000 sq. ft. regional mall is anchored by Sears and Mervyn's, which were not included in the sale. Los Angeles-based CB Commercial represented the buyer in the transaction.

Bethesda, Md.-based First Washington Realty Trust has acquired Watkins Park Plaza in Prince George's County, Md., for $14.295 million from a private investment partnership. The 114,000 sq. ft. neighborhood shopping center is anchored by Safeway Supermarket, CVS Drug Store and Crestar Bank.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Equity Investment Group has acquired Tarpon Mall in Tarpon Springs, Fla., for $4.43 million from Aventura, Fla.-based Sun Centers Associates. The 186,000 sq. ft. shopping center is anchored by Publix, Scotty's, Eckerd Drugs, Carmike Cinemas and American General.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. has acquired Southwest Plaza in Denver for $113 million from Southwest Properties Venture, the original developer. The 1.3 million sq. ft. mall is anchored by Joslin's, Foley's, Sears, JCPenney and Montgomery Ward.

Dallas-based Pacific Retail Trust has acquired 10.4 acres of land in Hawthorne, Calif., for $5.8 million. The seller was Hawthorne Renaissance Co. LLC in combination with Bakewell Hawthorne LLC and Bunkley Hawthorne LLC, a partnership between San Diego-based Oliver McMillan Development and Danny Bakewell Sr. in association with Los Angeles-based Lonnie Bunkley. Pacific Retail Trust has begun pre-leasing its planned 103,500 sq. ft. supermarket- and drugstore-anchored neighborhood shopping center. Completion is scheduled for late 1999.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Grubb & Ellis Co. represented the buyer in the transaction, while Oliver McMillan Development and Danny Bakewell handled negotiations for the selling partnership.

Lutherville, Md.-based Mid-Atlantic Realty Trust has acquired Wayne Heights Mall in Waynesboro, Pa., for $6.25 million from Giles Building & Development Co. The 110,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Ames Department Store, Martin's Food and Thrift Drug. New York-based Cohen and Co. Inc. Real Estate was the sole broker in the transaction.

Crown American Realty Trust has acquired Jacksonville Mall in Jacksonville, N.C., for $38 million and Crossroads Mall in Beckley, W.Va. for $23 million from Beckley-Jacksonville LP. Both Jacksonville Mall, 384,000 sq. ft., and Crossroads Mall, 456,000 sq. ft., are anchored by Sears, JCPenney and Belk.

Houston-based Weingarten Realty has acquired Moore Plaza Shopping Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, for an undisclosed amount from Staples Joint Venture Ltd., a Texas limited partnership. The 522,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Office Depot, Builders Square, Circuit City, Old Navy, Party City, The Mattress Firm, Hobby Lobby, HEB Supermarket and Target.

New York-based New Plan Realty Trust has acquired Hunting Hills Shopping Center in Roanoke, Va., for an undisclosed amount from Richmond-based Gray Lumber Co. The 166,207 sq. ft. center is anchored by Wal-Mart. Richmond-based Morton G. Thalhimer Inc. * ONCOR International represented the seller in negotiations.

Atlanta-based ERE Yarmouth Inc. has acquired the Weston Retail portfolio for $79 million from Memphis-based Weston Cos. ERE Yarmouth made the transaction on behalf of its Value Enhancement Fund II (VEF II), a closed-end, pooled investment account. This is the fund's first retail investment.

The portfolio comprises five existing shopping centers totaling 690,465 sq. ft. and one 160,040 sq. ft. center currently under construction.

* Bartlett Town Centre, a 179,767 sq. ft. center in Bartlett, Tenn., is anchored by Kroger and Blockbuster.

* Southhaven Commons, a 116,900 sq. ft. center in Southhaven, Miss., is anchored by Seessel's and Walgreens.

* Trinity Commons, a 166,848 sq. ft. center in Memphis, Tenn., is anchored by Kroger, Walgreens and Malco Cinemas.

* Benton Commons, a 72,570 sq. ft. center in Benton, Ark., is anchored by Kroger.

* Summer Center, a 154,380 sq. ft. center in Memphis, Tenn., is anchored by Kroger, Blockbuster and Stein Mart.

* Commons on Dexter Lake, a 160,040 sq. ft. center, will be anchored by Kroger, Stein Mart and Samuel's Furniture once it is completed this summer.

Boston-based NET Properties Management Inc., a pension fund adviser, has acquired two Charlotte, N.C., shopping centers for $31 million from partnerships affiliated with The Crosland Group Inc., Charlotte.

* The Commons at Chancellor Park, a 366,942 sq. ft. center, is anchored by Circuit City, Home Depot, Kmart, Marshalls and Reading China & More! The seller was The Commons Associates LP.

* Crown Point Plaza, a 147,200 sq. ft. center, is anchored by Babies "R" Us, Lowe's and Off-Broadway Shoes. The seller was Crown Point Retail LP.

The centers are 100 percent leased.

Atlanta-based JDN Realty Corp. has acquired a 1.1 million sq. ft. shopping center portfolio from Milwaukee-based Market Street Associates for an undisclosed amount. All of the centers are located in the greater Milwaukee area. Included in the transaction were:

* Market Place of Brown Deer, a 143,454 sq. ft. center in Brown Deer;

* Brown Deer Center, a 217,093 sq. ft. center in Brown Deer;

* Shoppers World of Brookfield, a 190,142 sq. ft. center in Brookfield;

* West Allis Center, a 383,967 sq. ft. center in West Allis; and

* Point Loomis, a 160,533 sq. ft. center in Milwaukee.

The sale was brokered by Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Mid-America Real Estate Corp.

Los Angeles-based CB Commercial has merged with London-based REI Limited, which operates outside the United Kingdom as Richard Ellis, to form CB Richard Ellis. The global real estate services firm will have more than 8,000 employees in more than 200 offices in 29 countries.

Corporate Mergers Jim Didion, chairman and CEO of CB Commerical, will retain his position in the new company. Barry White, CEO of REI, will become vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis' Global Operations Management Board.

In other merger news, CB Commercial has joined The Galbreath Co. Mid-Atlantic and Arnheim & Neely of Pittsburgh to form CB Commercial Pittsburgh. CB Commercial Pittsburgh encompasses The Galbreath Co. and CB Commercial/Arnheim & Neely, an existing partnership formed in September 1996.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Donahue Schriber has merged with Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Diversified Shopping Centers. The merger creates a company with combined assets of $500 million, a portfolio of 46 operating REIT properties and 1.6 million sq. ft. under development throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.

The companies will operate as Donahue Schriber under its existing board of directors and present management team.

BancBoston Securities of Boston served as financial adviser for Donahue Schriber, while New York-based JP Morgan advised Diversified.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Little & Associates Architects has acquired Washington, D.C.-based Rebecca Hubbard Architects PC. The acquisition marks Little & Associates' third expansion in three years.

Rebecca Hubbard has been named president of Little's Washington, D.C. regional office.

Philadelphia-based Colliers Lanard & Axilbund, a commercial and industrial real estate services firm, has merged with Paoli, Pa.-based Dakota Realty Corp., a commercial real estate services organization. The merged firms will operate as Colliers Lanard & Axilbund.

Dakota owner and president Linda S. Himel will become a corporate services specialist for the new company.

New York-based Nomura Capital has provided a $150 million loan to San Diego-based BPP/Golden State Acquisitions LLC, an affiliate of Burnham Pacific Properties, for the acquisition of a portfolio of 20 California retail properties. This 10-year permanent mortgage loan amortizes over 30 years and represents almost half of the portfolio's purchase price. The majority of the neighborhood retail centers are located in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, with other locations in Sacramento, San Jose and Redding. The grocery store- and/or drugstore-anchored centers range in size from 36,151 sq. ft. to 365,999 sq. ft.

Financing Awards Boston-based BankBoston has provided The Coffee Beanery Ltd. of Flushing, Mich., with a $7.5 million revolving credit facility. The facility will enable The Coffee Beanery to restructure existing debt and will provide capital to finance future growth plans and acquisitions. The retailer currently has 187 locations. Baltimore-based RTKL's London office has been awarded design duties for The Printworks, a 500,000 sq. ft. urban entertainment development in Manchester, England, by Birmingham, England-based Richardson Developments.

The center, located on the site of the former Mirror Group Newspapers headquarters, is a focal point of redevelopment plans for the city center, which was bombed in June 1996.

The theme of the four-level project blends early 20th-century warehouse industrial architecture with elements of modern gentrification. The building features a 110,000 sq. ft., 20-screen UCI Cinema, a 3D IMAX theater, a family entertainment center, restaurants, bars and specialty retailers lining interior streetscapes.

Completion has been scheduled for Dec. 31, 1999.

Toronto-based New York Fries made its overseas debut in June with the opening of a store in a pedestrian-mall shopping district in north central Seoul, South Korea. NYF Korea, the master franchisee, is required by the franchise agreement to open at least 10 New York Fries locations during the next three years.

The Swiss Group Inc., Indianapolis, has been appointed leasing agent for a portfolio of Indiana shopping centers owned by various partnerships affiliated with Anderson, Ind.-based Pay Less Super Markets Inc. The centers include Southtown Center, Applewood Centre and Cross Street Market Place, all located in Anderson, and Tippecanoe Court in Lafayette.

The Reeves Agency, Baltimore, has been selected by Maryland-based Lerner Enterprises to provide marketing, trade and consumer advertising, and public relations for Dulles Town Center in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Loudoun County, Va. The 1.2 million sq. ft. superregional mall will be anchored by Sears, JCPenney, Hecht's and Lord & Taylor. The center is scheduled to open in April 1999.

Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Alexander Haagen Properties Inc., a self-managed real estate investment trust, is changing its name to CenterTrust Retail Properties Inc.

The change continues the strategic repositioning of the company and reflects its new direction. It comes on the heels of a strong first quarter, $49 million in acquisitions in the second quarter and a restructuring of management.

Recent appointments have included Edward D. (Ned) Fox Jr. as president and CEO; William P. Hewitt as senior vice president of leasing; Joseph F. Paggi Jr. as senior vice president of properties; and Mark Granados as appointed vice president of acquisitions.

CenterTrust Retail Properties Inc. owns or controls 58 retail properties comprising 42 unenclosed, anchored shopping centers, two regional malls and 14 single-tenant properties.