UNITED STATES - New York State Teachers Retirement System has expanded its mortgage portfolio with two recent transactions totaling $130m (€90.6m).

The pension fund has provided a $40m loan on the 625 Madison Avenue office building in New York City, and was made directly by the pension fund to the property owner without the inclusion of a estate manager.

NYSTRS had previously provided a loan on the property which still has a balance of $96.4m but officials said they felt the property was supported by strong economics as the current occupancy rate of the office building is 98%.

The asset was first developed in 1929 and was updated in 1956 and 1988.  The property totals 567,061 s.f. (52.6760m2).

The pension also has approved a $90m blanket mortgage on a portfolio of five office buildings in the National Business Park in Annapolis Junction, Maryland - with the assistance of broker Holliday Fenoglio Fowler - which generates 7.25% interest.

Pension fund officials believe that the property had held its occupancy well through the current economic climate, at 92%, especially good as the construction period of the 594, 562 sf. business park was 1990 to 2007.

At the same time, NYSTRS has also approved a $100m commitment to the Energy Capital Partners II infrastructure fund: a $3.5bn commingled fund invested in North American assets.

It has also extended contracts with two of its real estate managers for another 12 months. 

Cohen & Steers Capital Management, which invests in domestic REITs and real estate operating companies, manages a portfolio for NYSTRS valued at $89m to the end of March, while Prima Capital Advisors has been signed to manage a CMBS portfolio worth $124.5m for another 12 months.