Hollywood, Fla.-based Swerdlow Real Estate Group Inc. has become a private REIT. The REIT is a successor to Michael Swerdlow Cos. Inc. and its related partnerships. The group will continue to offer the broad range of ownership, development, management and leasing activities of its predecessors. The group has also completed its $500 million equity and debt securities offering. The offering was sold primarily to pension funds.

Two Irvine, Calif.-based law practices are merging. The Law Offices of H. Vaughn Hapeman and the Law Offices of Mark D. Klein are merging to form Klein & Hapeman LLP. The merger marries Klein's experience in representing domestic and international clients in corporation/partnership, trademark/copyright, bankruptcy, trusts and business matters with Hapeman's more than 20 years in commercial real estate development, leasing, purchasing, sales, financing and entitlement matters. The new firm will continue to specialize in legal matters for the commercial real estate, industrial, corporate and business communities.

Boston-based Boston Properties has signed a binding agreement to acquire, between now and January 2001, the leasehold interest in the remaining two development sites in New York City's Times Square. The sites are part of the 42nd Street Development Project, a redevelopment undertaking initiated by the city and the state. Boston Properties will acquire the leasehold interests and ground rent credits for $312 million from Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Colonial Realty LP has acquired Bel Air Mall in Mobile, Ala., from Atlanta-based Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc. The 1.4 million sq. ft. mall is anchored by Dillard's, Parisian, Sears, JCPenney and Target. The sales price was not disclosed.

Florida Neighborhood Centers LLC, a related entity of Miami-based America's Capital Partners, has acquired five neighborhood retail properties for $62 million from Miami-based M2 Realty. The properties are located throughout Florida and include Colonial Square and Shoppes at Carrolwood in Tampa, Concourse Village in Jupiter, Miller Square in Kendall and Wedgewood Commons in Stuart. Miami-based Aztec Group Inc. advised the seller in the transaction.

LaVale Associates Inc., comprising key executives of Pittsburgh-based J.J. Gumberg Co. and members of the Gumberg family, has acquired Country Club Mall for an undisclosed amount from Country Club Associates, whose principal is The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. The 526,726 sq. ft. mall, located in Allegany County, Md., is anchored by JCPenney, Sears, Kmart and The Bon-Ton. J.J. Gumberg Co. will manage the property.

The RREEF Funds, Chicago, has acquired Best Buy Metro Center in Springfield, Va., for $24 million from a private investment company headquartered in suburban Maryland. The 103,000 sq. ft. center includes tenants such as PetsMart, Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria, Best Buy, Starbucks Coffee and Zany Brainy.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties has acquired The Crossroads in Portage (Kalamazoo), Mich., for $68 million from an investment fund managed by CIGNA. The 765,500 sq. ft. mall is anchored by Hudson's, Mervyn's, JCPenney and Sears.

Vista, Calif.-based Pan Pacific Retail Properties Inc. has acquired two grocery-anchored centers for $15.4 million from San Mateo, Calif.-based Franklin Select Realty Trust.

- Glen Cove, a 66,000 sq. ft. center in Vallejo, Calif., is anchored by Safeway.

- Mira Loma Shopping Center, a 94,360 sq. ft. center in Reno, Nev., is anchored by Scolari's Food & Drug and Longs Drug Store.

Birmingham, Mich.-based Malan Realty Investors Inc. has acquired a portfolio of 13 Wal-Mart-anchored centers in six Midwestern states for an undisclosed amount. New York-based Cohen and Co. Inc. represented both the buyer and the seller, Indianapolis-based Sandor Development Co.

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Kimco Realty Corp. has acquired several New Jersey properties under the advisement of Paramus, N.J.-based Mark H. Needle. All acquisitions were made for undisclosed amounts.

- Oak Park Commons, a 140,000 sq. ft. center located in South Plainfield, was acquired from Paramus-based Oak Park Commons LLC. The center is anchored by A&P Super Food, Sears Hardware and CVS.

- Franklin Towne Center, a 138,000 sq. ft. center located in Franklin, was acquired from Middletown, N.J.-based K. Hovnanian. The center is anchored by Edwards and CVS.

- Piscataway Towne Center, a 97,000 sq. ft. center in Piscataway, was also acquired from K. Hovnanian. Shop Rite anchors the center.

- Bridgewater Promenade, a 700,000 sq. ft. mixed-use retail/hotel center currently under construction in Bridgewater, was acquired from Madison, N.J.-based American Home Products. The center will be anchored by Target, Home Depot and Costco Wholesale.

Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has arranged the sales of three Midwest shopping centers:

- San Francisco-based Levin & Menzies has acquired Lincoln Mall, a 989,562 sq. ft. mall in Matteson, Ill., from Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado. The regional center is anchored by Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Montgomery Ward and Sears.

- Charlotte, N.C.-based Faison & Associates has acquired Honey Creek Mall, a 680,890 sq. ft. mall in Terre Haute, Ind., from a limited partnership. The regional center is anchored by Elder-Beerman, Sears and JCPenney.

- Chicago-based GK Development has acquired Quentin Corners, a 42,588 sq. ft. neighborhood center in Palatine (suburban Chicago), Ill., from Highland Park, Ill.-based Kaplan Cos. Inc.

Sales prices were not disclosed.

German-based Rosche Finanz has acquired ownership interest in two of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group's projects, The Source in Westbury, Long Island, N.Y., and The Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami, Fla. Rosche Finanz acquired 50% of Simon's ownership interest in each project, resulting in 25% ownership of The Source and 37.5% ownership of The Shops at Sunset Place. Simon retained the leasing, development and management responsibilities for both projects.

A partnership between New York-based New Plan Realty Trust and Phoenix-based Wilton Partners has acquired The Mall at 163rd Street in Miami for an undisclosed amount from a partnership between Chase Manhattan Bank and Toronto Dominion Bank. The 1.1 million sq. ft. mall is anchored by Burdines, The Home Depot, Marshalls and Service Merchandise. New York-based Granite Partners LLC represented the owner in the transaction.

New York-based Spence Hill Associates Inc. has arranged a $20 million first-mortgage loan on behalf of a partnership controlled by Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and Conshohocken, Pa.-based Crown American Realty Trust. The financing will be used to pay off existing debt and the construction of a Boscov's Department Store, as well as fund mall renovations and tenant allowances at the 450,000 sq. ft. Palmer Park Mall in Easton, Pa.

Phoenix-based FINOVA Realty Capital has arranged $23.3 million in financing on behalf of Carteret, N.J.-based Pathmark Stores Inc. for the refinancing of four of its shopping centers. The 75% loan-to-value features a 10-year fixed rate amortized over 25 years. The four centers total more than 450,000 sq. ft. and are located in Wilmington, Del.; East Brunswick, N.J.; Upper Darby, Pa.; and Gelnolden, Pa.

Chatham, N.J.-based David Cronheim Mortgage Corp. has arranged $7 million in permanent financing for a shopping center in Maple Shade, N.J. The 22.5-year, self-liquidating financing was placed with AEGON USA Realty Advisors Inc. on behalf of the borrower, affiliates of Purchase, N.Y.-based National Realty & Development Corp. and Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Gibraltar Management. The shopping center totals 172,573 sq. ft. and is anchored by Caldor.

Houston-based L.J. Melody & Co. has arranged $16.7 million in construction financing for a partnership controlled by Houston-based Hines Interests LP. The financing will be used to build Galleria North in Dallas. The 112,000 sq. ft. center will be tenanted by Restoration Hardware, The Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Z Gallerie Furniture, Mondo's Restaurant and Starbucks Coffee upon completion. Construction began in January.

San Jose, Calif.-based BT Commercial has signed an agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Terranomics. The merger will add Terranomics' capability in retail brokerage to BT Commercial's existing regional and national business. Terranomics will operate as an independent unit and will report to Mike Kamm, senior vice president of BT Commercial.

Washington, D.C.-based ONCOR International has expanded its system with four companies:

- Newmark & Co. Real Estate Inc. * ONCOR International, a New York-based firm that represents both tenants and owners, providing leasing, property management, and financial and investment sales service;

- Alles Group * ONCOR International, a Mexico City-based company that provides a full range of corporate real estate and consulting services throughout Mexico;

- Ferren * ONCOR International, a Barcelona-based company that provides a full array of commercial brokerage services throughout Europe; and

- Kuoni, Mueller & Partner * ONCOR International, a Switzerland-based company that has recently represented such clients as Cisco Systems, Saab and several financial institutions and banks.

L.J. Melody & Co., a Houston-based finance company, has acquired Pittsburgh-based Carey, Brumbaugh, Starman, Phillips & Associates (CBSP). The acquisition provides L.J. Melody & Co. with more Northeast coverage, complementing its existing offices in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Jim Brumbaugh, president and principal shareholder of CBSP, will become executive vice president. CBSP has financed 60 regional malls in the past four years.

Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. has been named managing agent for Tower Square, a 1.6 million sq. ft. mixed-use development in Springfield, Mass. Farmington, Conn.-based Cornerstone, a real estate advisory group, selected the company on behalf of its clients and the complex's owner, Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co. The development will undergo a $10 million capital improvement that will renovate the food court and upgrade common areas. The complex includes 224,000 sq. ft. of retail, a 324,000 sq. ft. office tower, a 265-room Marriott and a three-level parking garage.

A story in the February issue on Puente Hills Mall in California contained several inaccuracies. First, the loan on the property, which was developed and owned by The Hahn Co. from 1974 to 1996, was never in default. Second, The Hahn Co. was never in bankruptcy. Additionally, according to Janene Kraft, a spokesperson for TrizecHahn Development, The Hahn Co. undertook strategic marketing efforts based on significant research. Kraft says the company has earned top honors in the industry for its marketing excellence. Shopping Center World regrets the errors.