UNITED STATES - New York Common Retirement Fund has added European self-storage properties to its real estate investment program for the first time with the acquisition of a 51% interest in Public Storage's Shurgard Europe operations.

The pension fund has invested $606m (€383.1m) through the transaction as officials are of the opinion there are good continued growth prospects and strong for property in this market, against a limited range of existing stock, and development of new properties is therefore a good way to invest in the future.

New York Common had no previous exposure to self-storage properties in its real estate portfolio prior to the transaction with Public Storage, but it did invest $40.5m in self-storage through the index funds of its private equity asset class.

New York Common has bought into a significant existing portfolio in Europe, spread across several counties as there are currently 20 properties in the United Kingdom, 21 in Belgium, 10 in Denmark, 53 in France, 11 in Germany, 33 in the Netherlands and 26 in Switzerland.

Shurgard Europe is expected to continue to grow the company through the development of new properties within those nations, and the operation will continue to be run by its Brussels-based management.