Smith Travel, Pricewaterhouse form global research group New partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and Smith Travel Research plan to collect operating data for hotels in at least 21 countries as part of a deal signed by both companies to create a worldwide research group for the lodging industry. The agreement is expected to produce the world's largest database of lodging information.

Smith Travel Research will collect, process, protect and disseminate monthly operating data for individual hotels and their selected competitors. PricewaterhouseCoopers will provide the global infrastructure to support the project, including local contacts, training and publishing.

Staubach, Westbrook launch firm to buy sub-grade properties Expecting to make as many as 60 acquisitions over the next two years - each averaging nearly $5 million - Staubach Financial Services and Westbrook Partners have formed NLP*Net Lease Properties L.P.

The new company will focus on the acquisition of sub-investment grade properties throughout the country, typically concentrating on single-tenant, net-leased properties.

Opening immediately, the new firm will be based in Dallas until a permanent headquarters is announced. Brant Bryan, president of Staubach Financial Services, will head NLP.

No groping around in the dark: J.C. Penney hires energy pros EnerShop, a subsidiary of Central and South West Corp., has reached an agreement with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. to provide energy information and management services for five retail stores in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Under terms of the two-year agreement, EnerShop will focus on trying to reduce the struggling retailer's energy bill. The Plano, Texas-based company has had to shutter several retail storefronts across the country this year in an effort to control its downward slump.

Utilizing its Energy Aggregation and Control Technology, or EnerACT service, EnerShop will collect utility information for the stores, including electricity, gas and water data, which is then analyzed to determine any potential savings.

Former NYC deputy mayor wins CUED lifetime achievement award The Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) awarded its Edward deLuca Lifetime Achievement Award to D. Kenneth Patton, one-time deputy mayor for economic development in New York City.

During Patton's tenure as deputy mayor, more than $2 billion worth of projects were initiated in the Big Apple.

The current director and Silverstein Chair of the New York University Real Estate Institute, Patton's career has spanned the past 30 years and includes a two-year stint from 1973 to 1975 as CUED president.

Henry S. Miller opens seventh Texas office in San Antonio Following a five-year absence, the largest independent real estate firm in Texas has returned to San Antonio, opening a new office in the Southwestern city.

Since the sale of its offices to Grubb & Ellis in 1993, Henry S. Miller Commercial has had a limited presence in San Antonio, but company president, David Salazar, promises that that will quickly change.

"There is a definite need in San Antonio for a professional real estate group with the ability to offer services and tap into a national network of clients," Salazar says. The new San Antonio office, located at 8626 Tesoro Drive, will be headed by Keith Coelho, former president of Omega Properties.

HUD opens computer center to assist New Jersey residents BROWNS MILL, N.J. - Calling computer skills the prerequisite for economic achievement, Housing and Urban Development officials here have unveiled a computer learning center designed to help residents of Browns Woods, an area apartment complex, improve their job skills and odds for success in Corporate America.

"HUD recognizes that computer literacy and access are prerequisites for economic opportunity in the information age," says HUD acting director, Maryann Diak-Stern. "Therefore, the Department of Housing and Development is pleased to designate the computer learning center as a neighborhood network."

The center is staffed by a service coordinator who will work with residents to develop entry-level skills needed by local businesses and education groups.

Partnerships are being established with local businesses, including Burlington College, Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital, and the Pemberton Township Police Department. Future prospects also include departments at nearby McGuire Air Force Base.