UNITED STATES - Ohio Public Employees Retirement System is making some headway in its plans to invest $1.35bn ($1.004bn euros) in real estate this year.

The pension fund had allocated $300m to invest in closed-ended commingled funds in 2007 as well as agreeing to invest $75m each into Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI and Colony Investors VIII funds

Blackstone Real Estate Group, the commingled fund manager for Partners VI, is looking to make international investments in public to private real estate deals, office buildings in recovering markets and as well as hotel repositionings.

Colony Capital is behind the $4bn capital raising for Investors VIII, a true international fund looking for property deals in North America, Europe and Asia to generate a potential gross IRR return of 20% with a 2.2x equity multiple.

Ohio PERS is now in the middle of due diligence on other close-ended commingled funds, including a potential commitment of $75m to the Five Arrows Realty Securities V managed by Rothschild Realty.

Other commingled funds being considered are partnerships managed by Beacon Capital Partners and LaSalle Investment Management but decisions on these will be made later this year.

Ohio PERS is just starting to place the $400m capital it has earmarked this year for open-ended commingled funds.

And while no decisions have yet been made, Ohio PERS is thinking about making a $58.8m commitment to the Prudential Property Investment Separate Account II (PRISA II), managed by Pramerica Real Estate Investors. A final decision to be made sometime during the second quarter.

Ohio PERS has allocated $650m to be acquired through its separate account managers this year but the amount invested so far is just $116m.

These assets contributed to the purchase of core industrial properties in the Southeast region of the United States totaling $30m, completed by Great Point Investors.

Its other separate managers seeking deals are LaSalle Investment Management and Sarofim Realty Advisors.