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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

REITs Investing in Online Apartment Service

November 07, 2000|BOB HOWARD

Seven apartment-industry real estate investment trusts have joined to invest in an Internet-based service that matches renters with apartments.

The REIT consortium has invested $17.3 million in Santa Monica-based Viva (http://www.viva.com), a 6-month-old service that allows renters to register online to receive rental offers from property owners and negotiate leases.

The consortium's REIT members are Archstone Communities, AvalonBay Communities, Camden Property Trust, Equity Residential Properties Trust, Gables Residential, Post Properties and United Dominion Realty.

The consortium's investment will enable Viva to increase the number of registered rental units from about 834,000 to nearly 1.2 million by adding 345,723 units owned by the consortium's members, the companies said.

Viva operates in 15 metropolitan markets in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida and Georgia, and has plans to expand nationally in 2001.

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