New Ventures The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., has entered into a five-year, $750 million capital commitment with the U.S. division of Munich-based Kan Am, a significant unit holder of the REIT and joint venture partner. The commitment will fund future development projects, with $300 million funded over the next two years and $150 million in each of the following three years. Kan Am will fund up to 100% of a specific project's equity requirement and receive a percentage of ownership interest equal to half of the percentage of equity it has funded.

Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group has launched a nationwide branding campaign with the theme "Simply Simon, Simply The Best Shopping There Is." Beginning in March, the company's radio and television commercials began appearing across the company. The two 30-second television commercials and 60-second radio commercial were developed by Indianapolis-based Publicis.

In addition, the company is installing a large board, reciting the company's pledge and signed by mall employees, at its properties. The Simon name will appear on the doors of malls as well. In addition, Simon has launched "S," a magazine produced in conjunction with Time Inc. Custom Publishing that provides mall-specific information about events, offerings and promotions. The company's MALLPeRKS Marketplace program will provide shoppers with a central location to receive value offerings and information from Simon and its marketing partners.

Corporate Partners Northbrook, Ill.-based Grubb & Ellis Co. has acquired Florida Realty Partners Inc., a south Florida real estate firm. The acquisition affords Grubb & Ellis new opportunities in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Minneapolis-based Marquette Bancshares Inc., an operator of banks and financial services companies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Nebraska, has acquired Northland Financial Co., also of Minneapolis. Northland Financial provides commercial real estate financing, including financial intermediation, loan administration, seller/servicer and investment services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Abbey Co., Garden Grove, Calif., is benefiting from a $125 million investment in the company by Rodamco, NA, a subsidiary of Rodamco, NV, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The investment represents 65% of the firm's outstanding common stock, with Donald G. Abbey, co-chairman and CEO, holding the remainder. The investment will accelerate Abbey's ongoing property acquisition program.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Realty and Dallas-based Pacific Retail Trust have finalized their merger. The combined company, which will operate under the Regency name, owns 200 retail properties totaling more than 23 million sq. ft. The merger makes Regency the first national owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored, neighborhood infill retail centers with total assets exceeding $2.4 billion.

Sales & Acquisitions Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio of up to 14 regional malls from Newton, Mass.-based New England Development Co. (NED) for $1.7 billion. In addition, Simon will assume management responsibilities from NED's affiliated management company, WellsPark Management LLC.

The portfolio includes 10 properties in Massachusetts, two in New Hampshire, and one each in Connecticut and Virginia. The malls total 10.6 million sq. ft. Simon expects to acquire the portfolio through a joint venture with institutional investors. Under terms of the agreement, Stephen Karp, chairman of NED, will be invited to join Simon's board of directors.

Boston-based Boston Properties has completed the second phase of the two-phase acquisition of Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. The acquisition includes 3.6 million sq. ft. of Class A office space, 354,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 2,090 underground parking spaces. Boston Properties acquired the entire portfolio for $1.2 billion from The Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

The Investment Services Group of New York-based Landauer Associates Inc. has sold three shopping centers in Washington on behalf of a private New York bank. The centers were sold to two investment groups. Boston-based Colliers International represented both of the investment groups. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed

* Franklin Park Mall in Spokane and Highlands Center in Kennewick were sold to one of the investment groups. Franklin Park Mall is a 268,134 sq. ft. center anchored by Montgomery Ward, Rite Aid and Ross Dress for Less. Highlands Center is a 124,147 sq. ft. center anchored by Rite Aid and Hastings Entertainment.

* Sea Tac Plaza, a 109,556 sq. ft. center in Federal Way (near Seattle), includes tenants such as Wendy's, Countrywide Home Mortgage, Godfather's Pizza and Outback Steakhouse. The anchor space was vacant at the time of sale.

Financing Awards Conshohocken, Pa.-based Kranzco Realty Trust has acquired Statler Crossing Shopping Center in Staunton, Va., for $8.6 million from Atlanta-based Jamestown Management Co. The 167,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Wal-Mart. The McLean, Va.,and Atlanta offices of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis represented the seller in the transaction.

Toronto-based Cambridge Shopping Centres Ltd. and Cadillac Fairview, also of Toronto, have received a $145 million refinancing for Market Mall in Calgary, Alberta. Each of the companies owns a 50% interest in the mall. The financing is in first mortgage bonds with a 6.64% interest rate and a February 2014 maturation. TD Securities and ScotiaMcLeod Inc. provided the underwriting. Market Mall is a 752,000 sq. ft. regional center anchored by The Bay and Zellers.

The Atlanta office of Houston-based L.J. Melody & Co. has arranged $9.5 million in fixed-rate financing for Kroger at Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga., on behalf of Marietta, Ga.-based Retail Planning Corp. The 102,000 sq. ft. Kroger-anchored center features tenants such as Blockbuster, Buffalo's and State Farm. Jackson National Life Insurance provided the funding.

Miami-based Aztec Group Inc. has arranged $6.5 million in refinancing for Outlet Marketplace in Fort Mill, S.C., on behalf of Coral Gables, Fla.-based Gulfside Development. The 215,967 sq. ft. center includes tenants such as Hamrick's, Rack Room Shoes, Dress Barn, Bass Outlet and Adidas Outlet. Arbor National provided the funding.

Chatham, N.J.-based David Cronheim Mortgage Corp. has arranged $33.3 in financing for two New Jersey centers:

* Pohatcong Plaza Shopping Center, a 328,822 sq. ft. center in Phillisburg, is anchored by Wal-Mart, Edwards, Regal Cinemas and Toys 'R' Us. The financing was arranged on behalf of the borrower, an affiliate of Purchase, N.Y.-based National Realty & Development Corp.

* A construction loan was arranged on behalf of Southport, Conn.-based David A. Mack Properties for Franklin Square Shopping Center in Bloomfield. A 64,000 sq. ft. Edwards superstore will anchor the proposed 134,000 sq. ft. center.

Management Contract The Florida division of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. has been awarded leasing and management responsibilities at River Bridge Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., by Dallas-based CIN Riverbridge LP. The 218,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Publix, Walgreens, Crafts & Stuff, and United Artists Theatre. Trammell Crow represented the buyer in its acquisition of the center.

Mount Laurel, N.J.-based Metro Commercial Real Estate Inc. has been awarded leasing and management responsibilities at Timberline Shopping Center in Mantua, N.J., by the center's owners, Mantua Partners LLC, also of Mantua. The 100,000 sq. ft. center is anchored by Super Valu, Eckerd and Woodstown National Bank.

Other Transactions Orange, Calif.-based Architects Orange has been selected to serve as project architect for the redevelopment of Riverside Plaza in Riverside, Calif. The firm was selected by the center's owner, Illinois-based Riverside Plaza Associates. Chicago-based Litchfield Advisors represented the owners in the acquisition of the center and will lead redevelopment efforts. The 500,000 sq. ft. center will be anchored by Harris/Gottschalks, Montgomery Ward, Trader Joe's, Sav-On Drugs and Vons.

Towson, Md.-based KLNB Inc. has been awarded leasing responsibilities at South Lakes Village Center in Reston, Va., by Hartford, Conn.-based Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers Inc. The 103,837 sq. ft. center is anchored by CVS and Safeway. Herndon, Va.-based Cambridge Asset Advisors LP is the center's property manager.

Correction In the February issue (p. 12), a news item incorrectly stated that Weingarten Properties of Houston was named exclusive leasing agent for Airport Mall Shopping Center in Bangor, Maine. Weingarten Properties of Wynnewood, Pa., was chosen to handle the leasing responsibilities.