Corporate mergers Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Realty has agreed to merge with Dallas-based Pacific Retail Trust to create a national platform of grocery-anchored, infill retail centers. The merger, which is subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close by the end of the year. Security Capital U.S. Realty, the largest shareholder of both companies, has agreed to vote its share in favor of the merger.

Once merged, the companies will operate under the Regency Realty name and will operate from the Jacksonville headquarters. Controlling the combined assets of $2.2 billion and a credit capacity of more than $600 million will be chairman and CEO Martin E. Stein Jr., who currently holds the same position with Regency Realty. Mary Lou Rogers, who is a director of Regency, a trustee of Pacific Retail and a managing director of Security Capital Group, will serve as president and COO of the combined company.

Chicago-based LaSalle Partners Inc. has agreed to merge with Jones Lang Wootton, London, to form an international, fully integrated real estate services and investment management company. The merger, which is subject to shareholder approval, regulatory and tax clearances, and customary conditions, is expected to close early next year.

The combined company will operate as Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., headquartered in London. The investment management business will operate as LaSalle Investment Management Inc., headquartered in Chicago along with the holding company. Jones Lang LaSalle will have approximately $20.3 billion of assets under investment management. More than 6,000 employees based in 34 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific will be led by chairman and CEO Stuart L. Scott, currently chairman and CEO of LaSalle Partners, and president and deputy CEO Christopher A. Peacock, currently CEO of Jones Lang Wootton.

Fayetteville, Ark.-based investment banking firm Llama Co. has acquired Boston Capital Mortgage Co. (BCMC), a Boston-based commercial mortgage company. Llama was previously a 50% partner in BCMC. The combined company, Llama Capital Mortgage Co., merges Llama's commercial mortgage origination unit and BCMC into a larger company that will provide mortgage loan financing through various programs within its network of community banks, mortgage bankers and brokers. Llama president Kingsley Greenland will serve the new company in that capacity.

Sales & acquisitions Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc. has acquired interest in three more centers owned by San Diego-based TrizecHahn. Westfield has completed the acquisition of 100% interest in Downtown Plaza in Sacramento, Calif., and Horton Plaza in San Diego, as well as 55% interest in North County Fair in Escondido, Calif., bringing its ownership to 100%. Interest in the three superregional centers was acquired for approximately $454 million. Downtown Plaza, a 1.16 million sq. ft. center, is anchored by two Macy's stores. Horton Plaza, an 800,000 sq. ft. center, is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's and Mervyn's. North County Fair, a 1.26 million sq. ft. center, is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, two Robinsons-May stores, Sears and JCPenney. With this transaction, Westfield has acquired 11 of 12 centers it had planned to purchase from TrizecHahn.

Columbia, S.C.-based E&A Southeast LP has acquired Cypress Point Shopping Center in Virginia Beach, Va., for $7.75 million from Aetna Life Insurance Co. The 117,911 sq. ft. center is anchored by Farm Fresh. Norfolk, Va.-based Goodman Segar Hogan Hoffler GVA and Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Inc. represented the seller in the transaction.

An institutional client of Chicago-based Heitman Capital Management Corp. has acquired 278 Post Street, an upscale retail complex on San Francisco's Union Square, from 278 Post Street LP for an undisclosed amount. The 278 Post Street LP comprises Cincinnati-based Madison Marquette and an institutional client of LaSalle Advisors Capital Management Inc. The 73,000 sq. ft. center is tenanted by such retailers as Giorgio Armani, Cole-Haan and Nike Town. The Greenwich Group International LLC, New York, represented the seller in the transaction.

Chicago-based City Center Retail Trust has acquired eight urban infill centers for more than $220 million. Among them:

- CocoWalk, a 185,833 sq. ft. urban retail-entertainment center in Miami, is tenanted by AMC Theatres, Banana Republic, Gap and Cheesecake Factory.

- Pioneer Square, three buildings in Portland, comprises 263,278 sq. ft. and is tenanted by Borders Books & Music, Gap, and Garden Botanika.

- 312/314 Clematis Street, a 54,265 sq. ft. center in West Palm Beach, Fla., is tenanted by such retailers as Banana Republic and Z Gallerie.

- 645 North Michigan Avenue, a 182,000 sq. ft. center in Chicago, is tenanted by such retailers as Salvatore Ferragamo, Zegna Outlet and T.G.I. Friday's.

- 100 Grant Street, a 70,437 sq. ft. center in San Francisco, is tenanted by Timberland and Mont Blanc.

- Five street retail buildings totaling 112,000 sq. ft. in Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill, Pa., are tenanted by Banana Republic, Borders Books & Music, Talbots, Limited Express, and CVS.

Columbia, S.C.-based Edens & Avant LP has acquired a portfolio of eight Jitney Jungle-anchored shopping centers in Mississippi for $24.5 million from three separate partnerships controlled by the McCarty and Holman families of Jackson, Miss. The 620,000 sq. ft. portfolio comprises six neighborhood centers and two community centers. Six of the centers are located in the Jackson area, with the others in Brookhaven and Magee. New York-based Landauer Associates Inc. represented the sellers in the transaction.

Financing awards The New York office of Dallas-based Holliday Fenoglio Fowler has arranged $38 million in financing for the acquisition of Rye Ridge Shopping Center in Rye Brook, N.Y., by Greenwich, Conn.-based Win Properties Inc. The funding was provided American General Investment Corp. The finance package included a 7.14% fixed-rate loan for 15 years with a refinance option after five years. Rye Ridge is a mixed-use property that includes 150,000 sq. ft. of Class A retail space.

Holliday's Buffalo, N.Y., office arranged a $3.9 million loan through Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to refinance Christiansburg Hills/Food Lion Plaza in Christiansburg, Va. The company arranged the fixed-rate loan on behalf of the borrower, Daniel G. Kamin. The 158,528 sq. ft. center is anchored by Food Lion and Hills.

Phoenix-based FINOVA Realty Capital took part in the $34 million financing for the expansion and renovation of Garden Promenade in Garden Grove, Calif. The financing, arranged on behalf of the Newport Beach, Calif. owner, was structured to include a three-year bridge loan and a construction loan. The loan will refinance the existing first mortgage and provide capital for the 32-year-old center's renovation and expansion, including a new, 16-screen Regal Cinema.

Chicago-based Sanwa Business Credit Corp. has arranged a loan that provides $9 million in refinancing and $5 million in renovation financing for MCL Cos., also of Chicago, for Piper's Alley in Chicago. The 135,000 sq. ft. retail entertainment center is home to Sony Theatres, Office Depot, Tony & Tina's Wedding as well as Second City Etc. Theater, where comedian Dan Aykroyd got his start, The renovation includes a new facade and some internal work.

Other transactions The Retail Group, Washington, D.C., has been named leasing agent for The Village at Waugh Chapel. Annapolis, Md.-based Sturbridge Development Co. owns the 71.6-acre, mixed-use center in Anne Arundel County, Md. Plans call for the center to include up to 516,000 sq. ft. of stores, restaurants, community and recreational facilities, professional offices, a child care center and a senior living complex on a site with two ponds, promenades, town squares and outdoor gathering places. A 55,000 sq. ft. Safeway supermarket has already been signed to anchor Phase I of the development, which broke ground this fall.

Buffalo, N.Y.-based CA One Services, a leading airport food-service and retail operator, has been awarded a 10-year contract to operate food service at Miromar Outlets in Naples, Fla., by project developer Miromar Development Inc. Implementing its gateway program at the center, CA One Services will use local restaurants in place of national chains. So far, the center's restaurant lineup will include regional outfits such as Tropical Chill, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Rib City, Hurricane Reef and Rascal's House Deli. CA One Services plans to continue its expansion into non-airport retail markets.

Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Ignarri-Lummis Architects and Planners has been selected to convert two existing spaces into PETCO stores by the San Diego-based retailer. The 18,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft. stores will be located in Wachtung, N.J., and Pittsfield, Ma.

The Hutensky Group, Hartford, Conn., has been retained by Boston-based Kate Realty Co. to provide leasing services to two of the company's Connecticut centers. Both Trolley Square, a 91,816 sq. ft. center in East Haven, and Ansonia Landing, a 90,732 sq. ft. center in Ansonia, are anchored by Super Stop & Shop grocery stores. Kate Realty is a division of Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.

In addition, New Haven, Conn.-based CNHA II LLC has selected The Hutensky Group to handle leasing responsibilities at Dwight Place, a 78,973 sq. ft. center in New Haven. The new urban center is anchored by Shaw's Supermarket.