Lusk real estate data firm is bought by TRW REDI

October 15, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Rufus S. Lusk & Son Inc., a regional real estate information company based in Silver Spring, announced yesterday that it has been sold for an undisclosed price to a national competitor, TRW REDI Property Data of Riverside, Calif.

The sale was completed on Wednesday.

While promising expanded local and national real estate

services, the combined company will close Lusk's 12-person Timonium office in about three months to eliminate redundancies in the two operations.

TRW REDI's 22-person Fairfax, Va., office also will be closed, but Lusk's Silver Spring headquarters, which has 38 workers, will remain, according to Rufus S. Lusk III, former president and chief executive officer of the Maryland company.

Jerry L. Hoerauf, senior vice president for TRW REDI, confirmed that the Timonium office will be closed, but said that there has been no decision on the Fairfax office.

"The goal of our coming together is to obviously improve our customer service and to improve our product line," said Mr. Lusk. "We will have a very broad product line."

The grandson of the Silver Spring company's founder and an 80 percent shareholder, Mr. Lusk has become the regional manager of the renamed Lusk/TRW REDI operation.

Lusk, which had about $2 million in annual sales, published weekly reports on real estate sales in 30 counties in Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia, along with other real estate reports. It also provided computer information services.

Some of the services that will be introduced in coming months will include real estate maps on CD-ROM, on-line computer service with a Windows format and additional information on real estate refinancing, Mr. Lusk said.

Lusk started in Washington in 1930 publishing apartment directories and in 1934 started its weekly real estate reports, Mr. Lusk said.

The Timonium office, at 22 W. Padonia Road, was opened six years ago as Lusk expanded its service area, Mr. Lusk said.

TRW REDI, which supplies real estate information on 350 counties nationally, is a partnership between TRW Inc., a U.S. conglomerate that includes information services, and Reed Elsevier, a British-Dutch publishing company.

TRW REDI's predecessor company began offering a weekly real estate report in the Washington area more than 10 years ago, according to Mr. Hoerauf, senior vice president for TRW REDI.

How many workers will be laid off during the next three months has not been determined, Mr. Lusk said.

Positions in the Timonium and Fairfax offices may be shifted to Silver Spring, and other employees may be able to work at home, Mr. Lusk said.

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