GLOBAL - USAA Real Estate Company and Gables Residential Trust have formed a joint venture for the acquisition and development of apartments in the US worth a combined $400m (€295m).

The ownership interest in the properties varies from one property to the next. David Fitch, president at Gables, said: "The split of ownership varies from a 50/50 to one where USAA owns 80% and us 20%."

Some properties have already been moved into the venture, including three development projects - the 333-unit Gables Fairmount in Dallas, the 306-unit Gables Bering in Houston and the 281-unit Gables Upper Rock in Rockville, Maryland.

Fitch said: "These properties were chosen because they were located in markets Gables was overweight in and locations where USAA had an interest in buying assets."

Pat Duncan, chief executive at USAA Real Estate, said: "The venture represents a unique opportunity to strategically add premiere multi-family assets to our portfolio of investments. 

"We look forward to building a strong relationship with the Gables team and engaging in future opportunities. We feel Gables is one of the premiere apartment developers in the country."

Gables said it would focus future investment in its core markets, such as Washington, D.C., Florida, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Diego. 

The apartment REIT is also looking to expand into Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Gables has created joint ventures with other institutional players in the past, such as Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Company and JP Morgan Asset Management.