Fortress Investment Group is born from former Wall Streeters Several Wall Street veterans who have worked together since 1994 have come together to launch Fortress Investment Group. The company, which is based in New York, with offices in London and Toronto, was formed to invest in opportunistic real estate assets on a global basis.

The four former executives of UBS Securities are Wesley R. Edens, who will serve as CEO and chairman, Robert I. Kauffman as president, Randal A. Nardone as COO and Erik P Nygaard as CIO.

Texas company to develop three student housing communities Austin-based American Campus Communities has been awarded $52.5 million worth of projects to develop, build and manage three student housing units in Texas and New York.

The projects include University Village in Prarie View, Texas; Callaway House in College Station, Texas; and a proposed student residence community in New Rochelle, N. Y. American Campus Communities develops student housing projects throughout the nation.

Bank of America arranges credit facility for Essex Property Bank of America's Commercial Real Estate Services unit has arranged a $100 million unsecured revolving line of credit, as administrative syndication agent, for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Essex Property Trust Inc., a real estate investment trust.

This credit facility will allow Essex to replace multiple secured and unsecured credit facilities, and will provide Essex with increased availability and a centralized source of financing.

C & W to represent KBC Bank in expansion of U.S. headquarters Cushman & Wakefield has negotiated a long-term lease expansion on behalf of KBC Bank NV of Belgium at 125 West 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, the location of its U.S. headquarters.

KBC Bank will sublet an additional floor and increase its occupancy size by 22,650 sq. ft., bringing its total occupancy to 60,000 sq. ft. at 125 W. 55th Street. The eight-year sublease carries an aggregate rental value in excess of $8 million.

Oncor International takes on two Chicago firms Oncor International expands its worldwide network with the addition of two firms in Chicago. Joining Oncor are Tanguay-Burke-Stratton, LLC Oncor International (TBS) and Paine/Wetzel Associates Inc. OncorInternational.

Founded in 1987, Tanguay-Burke-Stratton Oncor International is a commercial leasing and investment services firm. Founded in 1975, Paine/Wetzel Associates Inc. OncorInternational is a full-service real estate company specializing in the industrial arena.

Highwoods completes merger with J.C. Nichols Co. Highwoods Properties Inc. has completed its merger with J.C. Nichols Co. J.C. Nichols shareholders choosing to receive Highwoods stock will be given 2.03 Highwood shares for each share of J.C. Nichols stock. Under the terms of the J.C. Nichols agreement, Highwoods acquired, or has an interest in, 5.7 million sq. ft. of property, including 47 office buildings, 18 retail properties, 18 apartment communities and 14 industrial properties in Kansas City, Mo. and Des Moines, Iowa.

MacArthur Foundation selling Florida land Prompted by the strength of the real estate market and the availability of capital, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that it will undertake an accelerated sales program. The decision was made in an attempt to sell the underdeveloped land it owns in Palm Beach and Martin counties in Florida. The foundation also confirmed its intention to continue its philanthropic activities in the region.

Approximately 14,650 acres will be offered under this new sales program, both as a total portfolio and as a number of sub-portfolios.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously (10-0) approved an agreement between the Port of Los Angeles, California Yacht Marina and Holiday Harbor/Fleitz Brothers, allowing for the sale of the port's Cabrillo Marina for $11 million in addition to monthly lease payments to the port.

In keeping with its mission, the port, which has been operating since 1986, has now opted to become the landlord rather than the operator, much as it has with other marinas and terminals in the Port.

The lease agreement stipulates that the operators will pay the port $70,000 per month or 25% of gross receipts, whichever is greater. Included in the sale were:

* 1,200 recreational vessel slips

* boater restroom facilities and gangways

* marina operations building

* the Cabrillo Community Center

* related parking

* landscaping

* walkway improvements

The existing marina is Site I of the port's West Channel Development Area, a proposed mixed-use commercial entertainment and recreational project. Site II is located east of the existing marina and is proposed to be developed as an 80-acre complex featuring a new marina as well as retail, recreational and nautical-related components.