NORTH AMERICA – The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) has earmarked more than $215m (€164m) in new real estate commitments.

The pension fund invested $85.4m of equity into the purchase of the 421-unit student housing project Wilson University Gateway at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In return for its equity, the scheme now holds a 100% ownership stake in the property. 

The investment was made through Wisconsin's separate account manager, Blue Vista Capital Management.

The pension fund has allocated $70m of capital to Wilson HCF Wisconsin Holdings 3, LLC managed by Heitman and structured as a separate account that has a debt investment strategy.

The investment plan calls for the account to provide new debt for properties located in the US, focusing on the four main property types of office, industrial, retail and apartments.

SWIB has now made four separate commitments with Heitman for the debt separate account.

A $100m allocation was made during the third quarter of 2012, and a total of $120m was placed into the programme in 2010-11.

The pension fund has also approved a $60m commitment into WESCO III, a joint venture with Essex Property Trust

The investment strategy is to acquire apartment complexes where Essex already has an established operation, including Northern and Southern California and Seattle.

SWIB has a real estate portfolio valued at more than $5.6bn as at the end of 2012.

In other news, the Montana State Board of Investments has approved $65m in new commitments into core, open-ended real estate funds. 

The pension fund will place the new capital into four existing core funds in which it has already invested. 

It said it had not yet decided how the new allocation would be divided.

At the end of the third quarter of 2012, Montana had investments valued at $35m with the Clarion Lion Property Fund, $37m with the INVESCO Core Real Estate Fund, $110m with the JP Morgan Strategic Property Fund and $62m with the UBS Trumbull Property Fund.