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Midland chosen as servicer for largest CMBS deal to date Midland Loan Services Inc., Kansas City, Mo., has been selected to serve as master and special servicer for $3.8 billion in floating rate commercial mortgage-backed securities, the largest CMBS transaction to date. Lehman Bros. Inc., New York, served as issuer and depositor on the deal and contributed the majority of the mortgage loans. The transaction consists of 76 multifamily and commercial mortgage loans with an aggregate outstanding principal balance of $3.44 billion and nine CMBS certificates. The mortgaged properties are located throughout 31 states, and property types include office, retail, hotel and multifamily.

Kennedy-Wilson sells two-thirds of pool of Japanese loans There's a strong Japanese buyers market. At least, that's what Kennedy-Wilson International, New York, found when it re-sold nearly two-thirds of a recently acquired Japanese portfolio consisting of approximately 25 properties and loans with an original face value of over $400 million. The assets went mostly to Japanese individuals and small companies.

Earlier this year, Kennedy-Wilson purchased a "significant interest" in Japanese brokerage firm Jyutaku Ryutsu.

First American closes one deal, enters into two more to expand The First American Financial Corp., Santa Ana, Calif., had a busy November. During that month, not only did the financial and information services provider complete the formation of a joint venture with a mortgage lender to provide multiple services to the real estate industry, but it also entered into agreements to acquire a Midwest title insurer and an information services provider.

RELS LLC, the joint venture holding company formed by First American and Norwest Mortgage Inc., contains two companies formerly operated by Norwest: Value IT, which markets appraisal services, and VIE, which provides income and employment verification reports to lenders.

As for its acquisitions, First American signed agreements to acquire San Francisco-based National Information Group in a stock-for-stock transaction and Ohio Bar Title Insurance Co., which has headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

Five firms take membership in CRESA alliance one step further Five firms are taking their membership in the Corporate Real Estate Service Advisors alliance one step further: They have merged to form CRESA Partners LLC. The firms - Avalon Partners, Boston; Preve Liberatore & Barton, Miami; Cooper/Brady, San Jose, Calif.; CRESA Partners of Georgia, Atlanta; Catalyst Real Estate Group, Palo Alto, Calif.; and Metrospace, Los Angeles - will continue to be active in the Dallas-based alliance. Bill Goade is president of the new company.

NYC's Douglas Elliman and Chicago's Miglin-Beitler merge In an effort to expand their services, New York advisory firm Douglas Elliman Commercial and Chicago-based commercial property management firm Miglin-Beitler Inc. have merged. J. Paul Beitler will serve as chairman of the new company, Douglas Elliman-Beitler, which will be based in Chicago. In New York, the company will operate under the direction of Peter Friedman, chairman, and Peter Ricker, president.

Megaplex developers battle for East Coast bragging rights WASHINGTON and FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Just how big will movie theaters get? Two East Coast companies are pushing the envelope.

Hoffman Management Inc. plans to begin construction this spring on a new facility for AMC Theaters at its Hoffman Center in Alexandria, Va. The new building will house 24 screens and seat up to 6,000 movie-goers, reportedly making it the largest multiplex cinema on the East Coast.

Meanwhile, Muvico Theaters, Fort Lauderdale, purchased sites in Tampa, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, Fla., for development of three 20-screen auditoriums, each with "all stadium seating."

But Hoffman should not get too comfortable at the top of the East Coast megaplex heap: Muvico also reports that, "in the coming months," it "will premiere" a 24-screen cinema in Southwestern Broward County, Fla.

Freeport revitalization means opportunity for developers FREEPORT, N.Y. - The board of trustees of the Village of Freeport approved a request for proposal to develop a three-acre parcel in the village's CBD that is the site of Freeport's landmark flatiron bank building. The RFP will encourage the preservation and/or adaptive re-use of this structure as a gateway to the village's new downtown. It is expected to be the first in a series and will constitute an integral part of the mayor's plan to revitalize the entire 206-acre central commercial core.

Developers wishing to participate have until Feb. 15 to contact the Village of Freeport at (516) 377-2223.

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