NORTH AMERICA – The New Jersey Division of Investment will be moving forward on making a commitment of $140m (€103.4m) into the Wheelock Street Real Estate Fund II.

This commingled fund is being marketed as a real estate opportunity fund. 

New Jersey’s commitment would cover 22.4% of the fund. 

Wheelock is looking at a total capital raise of $625m.

The company will only be investing capital in the US, pursuing a focused, fundamentally driven investment strategy. 

From a property type perspective, the fund will invest in hotels, residential land/homebuilding and retail. 

It will also consider other property types on a selective basis where the firm’s principals have extensive experience. 

These include office, apartments and student housing.

New Jersey made a $100m commitment to Wheelock Street Real Estate Fund in December 2011. 

It also made a $50m co-investment into the commingled fund one year later.

In other news, the Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement System has approved its real estate investment plan for 2014. 

The plan sets aside $64m of real estate investment for the calendar year. 

As much as $25m will be considered in new core strategies. 

The pension fund’s consultant, ORG, will seek opportunities to increase the portfolio’s retail exposure through either public or private market vehicles.

Santa Barbara County has plans to invest up to $20m in either value-add or opportunistic strategies.

This will be accomplished through commingled fund commitments. 

The pension fund wants to capitalise on distress or other unique market conditions and manager capabilities. 

Around half of this capital will be set aside for international funds.

The pension fund is going to consider up to $5m for a special public REITs accounts that would most likely be retail.

Around $10m of the investment plan has been set aside for co-investment opportunities. 

The pension fund is looking to re-invest dividends from its $4m in core open-ended commingled funds.