Inland Real Estate Corporation, which sponsors several private REITs, is now seeking to list on the New York Stock Exchange. The retail REIT owns 138 properties with a total of 12 million square feet of retail space in the Midwestern United States.

"Listing is a major component of our overall strategy. We have patiently built our asset base and believe that the market will now recognize our efforts," says Inland CEO Robert Parks.

He adds that Inland plans to hire an advisor to assist in evaluating a listing, a process that may take several months to complete. Inland is one of the "Big Four" unlisted REITs in commercial real estate.

The three other REITs in this class are Wells Real Estate Funds, CNL and WP Carey. The Inland REIT that is seeking a listing was launched in the mid-1990's. Thus its "list or liquidate" provision may have expired in 2004, which could explain why the REIT is seeking to go public. Even if that's the case, Inland would not be alone in taking the company public. 2004 has already seen more than 20 IPOs -- far more than the same period last year.