RealTime IT News

A Real Deal for Corporate Space

Start-up netStruxr and partners Bank of America, IBM and Prudential Insurance are launching what they called "the world's largest e-marketplace exchange for corporate real estate transactions."

The netStruxr application, called SPACEdirect, is a buyer-centric, Web-based portal that aims to serve the needs of corporate real estate buyers, owners and service providers, the companies said. The new e-marketplace will run on technology provided by IBM.

Prior to joining forces with netStruxr, Bank of America, IBM, and Prudential had been exploring the creation of their own integrated online application intended to serve the needs of corporate real estate buyers and sellers.

Instead, the three companies elected to collaborate with netStruxr to create "the first tenant-led, demand-side tool to facilitate and manage space transactions," the companies said in a release.

Senior real estate executives from each of the companies worked closely with netStruxr to beta test the product and further develop the design and functionality. The partner companies reportedly are seeking greater control of the process of leasing space for their own offices and other facilities.

The companies have taken unspecified ownership stakes in netStruxr and collectively the three companies said they bring to SPACEdirect annual real estate transaction volumes of approximately $3 billion.

"We are already seeing great interest in this exchange and expect participation by corporate buyers and their service providers to grow significantly over time," said Edward Rytter, vice president at Prudential.

SPACEdirect lets corporate real estate executives post specific requirements for space. Using the application's imbedded tools, tenants can review and analyze landlords' responses and engage in online negotiation of final lease terms.

Competition will include a variety of other commercial real estate sites that have a significant head-start but lack the brand name status of Bank of America et al.

"Corporations currently procure an enormously complex range of customized services, and are poorly served by current web tools, whose focus is commodity procurement," said Greg Williams, CEO of netStruxr. Bank of America, IBM and Prudential realize that there is a tremendous value for the entire real estate industry in the formation of this marketplace exchange.''