Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) plans to double its real estate portfolio this year, but is delaying initiatives while it asesses the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a board meeting report by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, the $41.8bn (€54.8bn) pension fund had sought to increase the asset value of the portfolio from $500 to $1bn.

It was planning to do this through several new investment strategies – including the development of modern office space and service-oriented retail in the San Francisco Bay Area – designed to outperform the broader market.

The pension fund told IPE Real Assets: “The impact of the coronavirus on real estate valuations is unclear at this point, but we expect the economy to recover and do not anticipate any permanent impairments.”

It said: “The implementation plan contains our estimates, but the actual amounts may be different.”