GLOBAL – The New York State Common Retirement Fund has approved a $200m (€150m) commitment into the AREA European Property Enhancement Program, a commingled fund managed by AREA Property Partners. 

The real estate manager is still marketing the fund looking for additional commitments.

According to an email from New York Common, the fund has a regional investment strategy in Europe, placing capital into properties located primarily in Western Europe. 

The fund will make investments in existing properties considered value-added.

New York Common and AREA have a long-standing investment history of placing capital together in the same investment strategy. 

The pension fund wrote in an email that a total of $225m has been invested by New York Common with AREA in the past. 

The relationship for this investment strategy began in 2004 with a $75m investment. 

It was expanded in 2008 when a commitment of $150m was approved.

According to the pension fund's website, it also works with AREA in asset repositioning, redevelopment and change of use for underutilised properties in the state of New York.

New York Common has a real estate portfolio valued at $9.4bn, as at 31 March 2012. 

The pension fund uses a variety of structures to invest in real estate, including buying properties directly, joint ventures, commingled funds, co-investment funds, fund of funds and mortgage loans. 

It does already have some exposure to European real estate on a direct basis, namely Shurgard Europe a joint venture managed by Heitman that buys, develops and operates a self-storage portfolio in Europe.