PIX signs LaSalle National Bank to its finance database program New York-based Property Information Exchange (PIX), the nation's largest database of for-sale commercial properties, has added LaSalle National Bank of Chicago to its finance program. LaSalle is the first major bank to join PIX's database and the fifth finance client to sign. LaSalle has $15.7 billion in assets and is the third-largest bank in Chicago. Other lenders in PIX's database are Aries Capital, Heller Financial, Heitman Finance Group and Berkshire Mortgage Finance. PIX has a database of more than $3 billion of for-sale investment properties with an average sales price of $7 million.

GMACCM completes CMBS offering for 188 properties GMAC Commercial Mortgage, a commercial real estate financial provider based in Horsham, Pa., has completed a $1.07 billion offering of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) collateralized by 144 commercial mortgages on 188 properties. The properties are located in 37 states, with the largest concentration in California (24.7%), followed by Florida (12.9%), New York (8.2%) and New Jersey (6.5%). The collateral pool consists of multifamily (28.1%), retail (25.8%), nursing homes (16.9%), office (10%), industrial (7%) and co-op (5.1%). Other product types are hotel, mixed-use, mobile home parks and self-storage facilities. Some 5.8% of the pool involves credit leases. The largest loan in the pool was for $165.3 million, which targeted 43 skilled nursing homes located in 12 states.

Legg Mason Real Estate records its best month in 44-year history In December, Legg Mason Real Estate Services, a Philadelphia-based commercial mortgage banking, servicing, advisory and consulting firm, recorded its best month in its 44-year history, with $340 million in commercial financing and equity investments. During the last nine months of 1997, Legg Mason closed 147 transactions totaling more than $1.1 billion in loan originations and equity placements on behalf of 54 different lenders. Multifamily loans had the largest value at $210 million in financing for 30 properties, and the lowest loan totals included $84 million for 17 miscellaneous property types.

Meditrust acquires Cobblestone Holdings Inc. for $241 million The nation's largest healthcare REIT is on a buying spree again. Needham Heights, Mass.-based Meditrust, a seniors housing provider and healthcare REIT, has reached a definitive agreement to purchase Del Mar, Calif.-based Cobblestone Holdings Inc. for $241 million. Cobblestone is the parent company of Cobblestone Golf Group Inc., an owner/operator of 25 facilities with 29 golf courses located in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Virginia. Under the terms of the agreement, approximately $154 million of Cobblestone debt and associated costs will be either refinanced or assumed as a condition of closing the deal.

Golf Trust of America releases fourth quarter 1997 results Golf Trust of America (GTA), a self-administered real estate investment trust based in Charleston, S.C., reported in February funds from operations (FFO) of $5.3 million or $.50 per share, on revenues of $6.6 million compared to FFO of $3.2 million or $.40 per share, on revenue of $3.7 million for the prior year's pro forma fourth quarter results. The 25% increase in FFO per share is primarily due to acquisitions made during the year. In the fourth quarter of 1997, GTA purchased five golf courses for approximately $25 million.

NorthStar Capital raises total offerings to $322 million New York-based Northstar Capital Investment Corp., an organization established for opportunistic real estate investments, has raised $322 million since December. Included are $262 million in common stock in the initial offering and $60 million from partnerships and a secondary offering in January.

LaSalle Partners acquires New America Asset Management In an effort to expand its reach into the California marketplace, Chicago-based LaSalle Partners has acquired New America Asset Management, a facility and services management company based in Long Beach, Calif. In turn LaSalle increases its Southern California leasing and management portfolio of LaSalle Partners Management Services Inc. to more than 8 million sq. ft. of assets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. New America's portfolio includes the Union Bank of California Building (170,000 sq. ft.) and Canyon Corporate Center (366,000 sq. ft.).

General Growth Properties FFO rises 31% in fourth quarter 1997 General Growth Properties Inc., an owner, developer and manager of shopping centers based in Chicago, has released its earnings for fourth quarter 1997. Total funds from operations (FFO) for the quarter increased approximately 31% to $41.8 million, from $32 million in fourth quarter 1996. On a per share basis, the stock was up 13% to $0.77 per share vs. $0.68 per share in 1996. For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 1997, total FFO increased nearly 32% to $143 million compared to $108.5 million during the same period in 1996.

Rothschild Realty and Merritt form new investment company In an agreement signed in January, New York-based Rothschild Realty has formed a new company with Baltimore-based Merritt, a commercial real estate development firm, calle d Merritt Properties LLC. Initially, Rothschild has made a $75 million commitment to Merritt Properties with a portion to be drawn out immediately to reduce outstanding debt. Merritt Properties LLC will consolidate virtually all of Merritt's 10 million sq. ft. of light industrial space and extensive land holdings into a single, fully integrated company.

Theatreplex Entertainment joins forces with ORIX Real Estate ORIX Real Estate Equities Inc. and Theatreplex Entertainment Properties Inc., both based in Chicago, have formed a strategic partnership to provide capital and development services to the motion picture exhibition industry. Over the next two years, Theatreplex plans to invest $250 million in freestanding multiplex theaters and theater-anchored community entertainment centers across the country. ORIX and Theatreplex will offer turnkey development services, net-lease construction and acquisition financing to national theater chains and smaller, family-run exhibition companies.

Prentiss Properties Trust purchases 3.12 million sq. ft. Dallas-based Prentiss Properties Trust, a self-administered and self-managed REIT, has acquired 1.5 million sq. ft. of office and industrial property for approximately $227 million. Purchased in eight separate transactions including a definitive agreement to buy the assets of San Diego-based Newport National Corp., the deal was a combination of cash and operating partnership units. Overall, the assets were acquired in four transactions during the fourth quarter of 1997 and three deals that are scheduled to close in spring 1998. Of the seven transactions, the largest is 1.62 million sq. ft. of office and industrial/flex buildings in Irvine, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz.

L.J. Melody & Co. purchases mortgage firms on both coasts CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group, based in Los Angeles, has announced that its commercial banking mortgage subsidiary, L. J. Melody & Co. of Houston, purchased two mortgage banking services firms, expanding its foothold in targeted markets. First, L. J. Melody acquired Seattle-based North Coast Mortgage Co., which had 1997 new loan commitments of approximately $420 million and a commercial loan servicing portfolio of around $800 million. In a separate deal, Melody acquired Cauble and Co., a mortgage banking firm based in Charlotte, N.C. In 1997, Cauble had $250 million in new loan commitments and a servicing portfolio of nearly $350 million. The cost for the acquisitions was not disclosed.

Adler Group, Apollo Real Estate generate investment fund In an agreement reached in January to target more commercial acquisitions in selected Florida markets, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, a national investment group based in New York, has teamed up with Miami-based Adler Group to form an investment fund worth in excess of $250 million. Upon inception, the fund will allow the two firms to acquire, develop and manage industrial and flex/office properties. The team's goal is to build on the management capabilities of the newly established organization.

APCOA Inc. and Standard Parking sign merger agreement Cleveland-based Apcoa Inc., a subsidiary of Holberg Industries of Greenwich, Conn., and Standard Parking, a national parking service provider based in Chicago, have merged to create APCOA/Standard Parking in a deal that will be completed by mid-1998. The new company will manage airport, urban and hospital parking facilities throughout the United States and Canada. At present, APCOA manages more than 700 parking operations in 30 cities and has 4,000 employees. APCOA's revenues from 1997 were $475 million. Standard Parking manages 380 properties in 29 cities. Standard has grown into a $450 million business.

Granite Partners Inc. highlights active office market for investors In 1997, nationwide investment in office properties nearly doubled over 1996 with pricing increasing an average of 20%, according to an office market report by New York-based

Granite Partners Inc., a national commercial real estate investment banking firm.Granite estimates that total office investment was approximately $46 billion in 1997, based on the comprehensive tracking of office transactions greater than $10 million. This new report highlights the dynamic changes and emerging trends in the capital markets for office properties. Some statistics include:

* REITs accounted for nearly half of all properties sold individually and approximately 84% of all portfolio deals. More than $28 billion in transactions were related to REIT office investment.

* Average pricing increased from $114 per sq. ft. in the first quarter of 1997 to $135 per sq. ft. in the fourth quarter. Acquisitions from offshore investors had the highest average price of $137 per sq. ft., with opportunity funds having the lowest at $96 per sq. ft.

* New York City was the most active office investment market in 1997, with approximately $6 billion in transactions. The most active suburban markets were northern New Jersey ($3 billion), Los Angeles ($2.84 billion), Chicago CBD ($2.22 billion) and Washington, D.C. ($1.98 billion).

* Sales of downtown (CBD) buildings dramatically increased from less than $2 billion in first quarter 1997 to more than $5 billion in the fourth quarter.