Ft. Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. is aligning with North America’s largest commercial real estate firm, acquiring 10% interest in an innovative e-tailing operation catering to the office sector.

The REIT has issued a letter of intent for the 10% interest in EMPORI.COM, an online initiative of Oxford Properties Group Inc., headquartered in Toronto. Crescent will become the first strategic partner in the e-tailer’s roll-out bid for US markets. The e-tailer offers competitive pricing, performance and convenience to office buildings.

Crescent plans to integrate EMPORI.COM into select office buildings in Dallas and Houston before the year’s end. The sites have not been picked, Crescent’s public relations director Sandra Porter told GlobeSt.com. “It all very preliminary,” she said.

Oxford plans to open additional depots in the Greater Toronto area, Calgary and Edmonton while Crescent brings sites on line in Dallas and Houston.

EMPORI.COM, using an initial database of 20 leading e-tailers, is offering same day or next-day delivery of online purchases and power purchasing that could save up to 45% through pre-negotiated discounts. To go from the virtual world to reality, the e-tailer sets up retail delivery depots in major office buildings so goods can be picked up before, during or after work. The operation’s flagship depot is in Oxford’s Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto.

EMPORI.COM is part of an ongoing strategy to provide office customers with a suite of Internet-enabled technologies to simply their businesses and reduce costs. Denny Alberts, Crescent president and COO, says EMPORI.COM is a way of “expanding the dimensions of business beyond what had been previously expected in traditional real estate environments.”It was an office technology group that brought the two real estate giants to the table, with Oxford as the founding shareholder and Crescent as a strategic partner. They have a combined total of 225,000 office building customers.

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