Arkansas Teacher Retirement System plans to invest $280m (€225m) in real estate in 2021 with a focused on funds that can capitalise on market distress.

According to a board meeting report, the pension fund has been advised by The Townsend Group to focus on non-core opportunities and to take a cautious approach to committing capital to core real estate.

Arkansas Teachers has also been advised to reduce its exposure to property types negatively affected by COVID-19, such as retail and office, while increasing its weighting to apartments and industrial.

It is still waiting for a partial redemption of its $200m investment in the open-ended UBS Trumbull Property Fund and most recently committed $40m to the Mesa West Real Estate Income Fund V.

Mesa West is seeking to raise $1bn for the fund, according to Arkansas Teachers, to provide senior loans on value-add real estate assets in the US.

Arkansas Teachers has plans to invest $50m in infrastructure in 2021.