International News

LaSalle Partners discovers New Delhi and Shanghai The expanding Asian real estate market has led Chicago-based LaSalle PartnersInc. to open offices in New Delhi, India and Shanghai, China. The New Delhioffice, LaSalle Partners (India) Private Limited, will provide residentialand office tenant representation, project management and other services. Ifmarket conditions remain favorable, LaSalle plans to expand to Mumbai,Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The Shanghai branch will function as a satellite of La Salle's Beijingoffice, which opened in 1996. The Shanghai and Beijing offices will bemanaged by LaSalle-CIEC Consulting Ltd, one of the first U.S.-China jointventures authorized by the Chinese government. LaSalle will help itsmultinational clients, such as IBM, Mercedes Benz and General Electric, findsuitable office and industrial space in Shanghai.

Hines group finishes phase of industrial park south of border In the first major investment in Mexican real estate development byU.S.-based pension funds, Houston-based Hines and its Mexican partners,Promociones Metropolis and Desarrollos Residentiales Turisticos, completedPhase I of Parque Industrial Queretaro, a 741-acre industrial park north ofQueretaro, Mexico. The $50 million park is located at the intersection ofHighway 57 and the Mexico City bypass.

The $20 million Phase I includes a rail spur to Mexico's north/south railline, a fiber optic communications system, an electrical substation, anatural gas network and a new sewage treatment facility. Parque IndustrialQueretaro will house over 120 manufacturers and distributors and occupy 10million sq. ft. of space.

U.S. pension fund purchases Widewater Place offices in U.K. Teachers Insurance Annuity Association has acquired the freehold interest inWidewater Place, Harefield, England, from Grosvenor Square Properties GroupPLC, a subsidiary of Associated British Ports Holdings Plc. The transactionis valued at £27.5 million, or approximately $45 million.

The seven-year-old park consists of three office buildings currently leasedto tenants such as Renault (U.K.) Ltd., The Cheese Co. and Tupperware. Theoffices, comprising approximately 115,000 sq. ft., are leased for an averageof £18.50, or approximately $30, per sq. ft. Widewater Place is located nearthe intersection of the M40 and M2 highways.

RTKL wins design contract for Brazilian office complex Baltimore-based RTKL Associates has won the contract to design the RecifeOffice Complex, a three-tower, 550,000 sq. ft. office complex in Recife,Brazil. Each tower will be at least 30 stories tall. Phase I is expectedtobegin in early 1999, with completion by the end of the year. Phases II andIII are slated to begin in 1999 and end in 2000. The Dallas office of RTKLwill handle the project.

Village to bring Brits into 21st century in waterfront style Planners of Millenium Village hope the proposed 1,400-home development on the River Thames sparks an "urban renaissance" in south London.

Homes in the waterfront development will offer features that reduce primary energy consumption by 80% and water usage by 30%, by recycling water and using dual-flush toilets.

Not a typical waterfront community, Millenium Village will feature homes available through a flexible ownership program that allows residents to choose between outright ownership, partial ownership and renting.

The village, a Ralph Erskine design, is the first phase of a 3,000-home, mixed-tenure waterfront development that will include specialty retail shops, restaurants, cultural workshops and studio offices.

Knight Frank announces Kenya venture with First Chartered London-based Knight Frank and First Chartered Securities, a Kenyan investmentcompany, are opening an office in Nairobi. Knight Frank has 15 offices inseven countries in sub-Saharan Africa and manages a large portfolio ofproperty in the region for clients such as Mitsubishi, Mobil and Murray & Roberts.

Mortgage-backed securities in Argentina show signs of impending growth,according to Standard & Poor's annual report Securitization in LatinAmerica. But banks must first have the incentive to consider non-traditionalapproaches to raising capital.

A convertibility plan passed in 1991 allows low- and middle-incomeArgentinians to afford mortgages. Also, banks that took advantage ofinternational capital markets found funding over longer durations and wereable to offer mortgage term extensions.

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