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Related Capital Co. launches REIT for retail and apartments New York-based Related Capital Co. (RCC) launched another publicly traded REIT in October called Aegis Realty Inc. (AMSE:AER). The initial portfolio value is $121 million and represents a consolidation of four partnerships. Included in the portfolio are 14 shopping centers comprising 1.3 million sq. ft., two multifamily communities with 236 units and three multifamily mortgages with $27.6 million in outstanding debt. Aegis has nearly 8 million shares of common stock outstanding with a net asset value of $15 per share. Earlier in October, RCC began trading Charter Mac, a portfolio that includes 31 tax-exempt bonds with a net asset value of $308.8 million, or $14.95 per share.

ARV Assisted Living completes $60 million transaction ARV Assisted Living, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based seniors housing provider, issued Prometheus Assisted Living LLC, an affiliate of Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors, $60 million in convertible subordinated notes at 6.75% that will be due in 2007. The notes are worth 3.5 millionshares of ARV's common stock valued at $17.25 per share. This transaction, in conjunction with an earlier purchase of 1.9 million shares of ARV stock for $26.9 million, replaces a previous agreement in which Prometheus was to purchase up to $135 million of ARV's common stock.

Prudential Real Estate Investors creates new fund on Wall Street Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), based in Parsippany, N.J., raised $350 million from eight institutional clients to invest with Prudential's own General Account REIT to create a new fund called Strategic Value Investors (SVI) valued at $685 million. SVI will have a five-year life with an extension option of up to 24 months depending on market conditions. PREI anticipates being able to negotiate favorable terms for the purchase of equity securities from other REITs. To date, the largest purchase SVI has made, which closed in November, acquired a nearly $225 million stake in Strategic Hotel Capital Inc., a closely held real estate operating company.

LaSalle Partners arranges credit facility worth $150 million Chicago-based LaSalle Partners Investment Banking Group financed $150 million for a credit facility to produce the newly formed Florida Business Environment Co. (FBEC). FBEC, based in Orlando, invests in upscale office markets throughout Florida. At present, FBEC has placed first mortgage financing totaling $27 million on four properties encompassing 795,808 sq. ft. in Miami, Tampa and Fort Myers, Fla.

Tower Realty Trust generates IPO capitalized at $600 million Tower Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:TOW), a commercial real estate firm specializing in office product based in New York, completed its initial public offering in October with market capitalization valued at $600 million. Tower Realty owns 21 office buildings containing approximately 3.4 million sq. ft. in the Manhattan, Phoenix/Tucson and Orlando markets. At present, 54% of the firm's portfolio and rental stream is derived from the Manhattan submarket.

WMF Group acquires Robert C. Wilson Co. Vienna, Va.-based Washington Mortgage Financial Group (WMF) purchased the Robert C. Wilson Co. (RCW), based in Houston. RCW is the third-largest commercial mortgage banker in Houston and the second-largest in Arizona, where the firm has a Phoenix office. Included in the transaction is RCW's portfolio of $554 million in product and 30 employees. WMF closed the deal in November.

National Association of Realtors reports record-setting third quarter Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) acknowledged in a report released in November that favorable housing affordability conditions and the strong market demand for condominiums and cooperatives helped set a new record for sales in the third quarter nationwide. The annual resale rate for condos and co-ops rose 4.2% during the third quarter to 521,000 units from 500,000 units in the second quarter of 1997. This represents the highest level since the NAR began tracking condo sales in 1981. The current pace is 10.1% higher than the 473,000 units recorded during the third quarter of 1996. According to the NAR, the national median price for condominiums and cooperatives was $97,000 per unit during the third quarter of 1997, an increase of 0.5% from the second quarter. This is the highest median price since the NAR began tracking condo sales. The strongest market in the nation was the Midwest, where the pace for sales was 10.8% above that of a year ago and the median unit price was $101,700. The highest median price per unit was in the West, with units having a median price of $119,400.

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