NORTH AMERICA – The Virginia Retirement System has approved a $200m (€153m) allocation to the Pritzker Apartment joint venture.

Under the terms of the partnership, the pension fund will serve as the main equity partner, while Pritzker will serve as the operating partner, identifying new development opportunities. 

The strategy will be to invest in new apartment development projects in selected markets around the US. 

Apartments are one of the few main property types where there is much new development, largely due to the fact many of the top markets have overall vacancies of less than 5%, and there is strong demand for new projects to be constructed. 

Appetite for the new activity has been seen mainly along the East and West Coasts.

The joint venture represents the first time the two parties have done business together.
There will be a three-year investment period for the capital.

Virginia currently has a real asset portfolio valued at $4.6bn and total plan assets of $53.9bn. The real asset sector includes both real estate and infrastructure.

Unlike many large public pension funds in the US, Virginia has no targeted asset allocation for real estate. 

If the pension fund sees an attractive investment opportunity, it will place capital into the sector.