UNITED STATES - New York State Teachers Retirement System has added a mix of international, opportunistic and structured finance funds to its real estate portfolio totaling up to $250m (€171.1m).

The pension fund decided at its January 31 to place €50m in the Perella Weinberg Real Estate Fund I as this allocation does not exceed more than 20% of the European opportunistic fund's capital commitments.

A further $50m was committed to the Cerberus International Real Estate Partners Series Two which has a global investment strategy.

And the final international fund allocation was $50m into the PLA Residential Fund II - a commingled fund managed by Pramerica Real Estate Investors which is projected to have total equity raising of $1bn and has already seen interest from other pension funds including a $150m commitment is Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Investment strategy on the fund is to invest in high-end residential projects in Mexico, created either as single-family projects or condos being developed within a resort.

Demand for these kinds of projects is being created by an improving economy affecting the middle class in Mexico.

NYSTRS has also made two commitments to structured finance mezzanine debt funds -  a $75m allocation to BlackRock's Carbon Capital Fund III, along with $100m to the Lehman Brothers Real Estate Mezzanine Partners II - as the pension fund thinks there are going to be very strong investment opportunities available in mezzanine debt given the dislocation in the debt markets.

NYSTRS' real estate portfolio was valued at $6.9bn to the end of June 2007, representing 6.5% of $104.9bn in assets under management at that time.