UNITED STATES - California State Teachers Retirement System anticipates its relationship with First Industrial Realty Trust will not be affected by a major change in the firm's upper management.
Michael Brennan has resigned as president and chief executive office of First Industrial but Gary Neumeier, senior managing director at CB Richard Ellis Investors, and the man who oversees CalSTRS' relationship with First Industrial said it will be "buasiness as usual" as "the main people we deal with at First Industrial are still there and we are moving ahead with our investment programs with the REIT."
A more pressing issue for the pension fund, according to Neumeier, is trying to find correctly priced transactions that it can invest in.
"We are having a hard time in being able to locate industrial real estate that is priced correctly. There is still a big gap in what the buyers and sellers think an asset is worth. This is a major issue for us right now," he said.
This situation is one of the reasons why CalSTRS has extended the time line for all of its joint venture relationships with First Industrial as this should give them more time to invest the capital in a prudent manner.
One of the ventures extended is the FirstCal Industrial Europe, LLC, created earlier this year, which has now been rolled on to continue into 2018, instead of 2015 as initially planned.
Capital in this venture totals $475m (€381.3m) and carries 60% leverage as CalSTRS provided 90% of the equity, or $150m, and First Industrial contributed 10% or $17m.
There has been one just transaction committed to the venture so far: a forward commitment to invest in two industrial logistic buildings totalling 1.3 million s.f. (117,800 square meters) in Belgium's Golden Triangle worth €55m.
Construction on one of the buildings has begun and the other is still in development planning stage.
FirstCal Industrial Europe has an investment strategy of investing in new development projects and buying existing assets that need to be improved in Belgium and the Netherlands.