REAL ESTATE - Washington State Investment Board has approved new real estate commitments totaling as much as $1.3bn (€983.6m).

The pension fund allocated up to $750m for an investment into GMS International, LLC, run by real estate manager GMS Realty.

The strategy for this allocation will be the acquisition and repositioning of shopping centers - typically neighborhood and community shopping centres.

There will be a variety of markets considered for this capital. Some will be in the US, in the West Coast markets in northern and southern California, Seattle and Portland. Some of the deals for the relationship will be in international markets, including Mexico.

The new commitment by Washington State represents a follow on investment with GMS International. In June of 2006, the pension fund made a commitment of up to $750m with the same manager.

Washington State has made an investment of up to $500m into its Global Co-Investment, LLC entity. The pension fund has been working on creating this for the past few years.

The investment plan here is co-invest with all of the pension fund’s previous real estate partners. This will allow the institutional investor to put out more capital into specific real estate transactions that it thinks are attractive.

Some of the managers it has done business with include Morgan Stanley Real Estate, Fillmore Capital Partners, Principal Real Estate Investors and Warburg Pincus.

The final real estate investment was a commitment of $50m into the Emerging Beachfront Land Investment Fund, LP, managed by Lime Tree Capital Partners.

The investment fund has a specialized strategy of investing in entitled and undeveloped beach front land. The markets that it will be looking at are the Asia and Pacific regions of the world.