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DALLAS-The Staubach Co., based here, is buying a piece of Internet real estate, launching a cyberspace spin-off to develop high-tech proprietary products and seal strategic alliances for point-and-click efficiency.

The independent venture, eStaubach Partners, is being overseen by a 13-year company veteran, Jim Underhill, president of Staubach’s northeast corporate services division based in Vienna, VA. The e-commerce launch will be reinforced within 30 days when a major announcement–possibly software related–will be announced, Underhill told GlobeSt.com.

“We’re working on the building blocks of a system that ultimately will lead to on-line leasing,” says Underhill, explaining that existing e-commerce operations fall short of The Staubach Co.’s “definition of online leasing.”

The northern VA community has been selected for the venture because that is where Underhill is based and that region is one of the nation’s high-tech leaders, nearly equal to CA’s Silicon Valley or Austin. “The capital sources are here and the products are here,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

In an innovative move, Staubach is starting an in-house software development program as well as putting into place a team to evaluate existing Internet-based real estate products and services for strategic alliances. “Since we’re in the business every day, we feel we’re in a great position to evaluate products. And, it’s a great way to leverage the infrastructure we have in place,” Underhill notes. The goal is to streamline processes for acquiring, managing and disposing of commercial real estate via the Internet which, emphasizes Underhill, “is creating some fundamental changes in the traditional broker’s role as intermediary.”

The game plan is for eStaubach Partners to interface with the bricks-and-mortar real estate company’s more than 6,500 real estate professionals in 33 countries and more than 150 cities worldwide, including DTZ Staubah Tie Leung. The professionals worldwide will provide a core distribution network for the e-commerce spin-off.

“In the rapidly changing world of commercial real estate, eStaubach Partners is an entrepreneurial venture that underscores our commitment to technology and playing a leading role in its full integration with our industry,” says Roger Staubach, chairman and CEO.

Underhill, a graduate of Harvard Business School, has been a key player in opening and running new offices in the Northeast for The Staubach Co. Last year, he was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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