Washington State makes two real estate moves

UNITED STATES - Washington State Investment Board is taking action to make two significant real estate deals which give it additional US and global investment positions.

The pension fund will commit another $500m (€368m) with Evergreen Real Estate Partners, having worked with the firm in 2004, but this time seeking a global investment mandate compared with its previous domestic position.

Evergreen will take a two-pronged investment strategy, making entity-level transactions in real estate operating companies as well as developing structured joint ventures.

Both propositions will invest in companies owning a variety of real estate, including the usual property types of office, industrial, retail and apartments, as well specialist areas such as self storage, senior housing and parking garages.

At the same time, Washington has signed a deal allowing Hometown America, owned by the pension fund, to invest in "active adult apartment projects" targeted at people over the age of 55, whereas the firm was previously only allowed to invest in manufactured housing properties.

Barry McCabe, president of Hometown America, said the shift does not detract too far from its existing remit albeit the company, now with assets of $2bn and 137 manufactured communities, has additionally been given approval to expand on a global basis.

"Around 40% to 45% of our manufactured communities are held by active adults and we think this is a growing market that we can branch into. Most of our activity will be with the development of new projects, as there haven’t been many of these properties built in the past," added McCabe.

Hometown America is looking to build apartments ranging in size from 200 to 500 units and a sizeable chunk of the projects will be located in regions where Hometown America already has a presence, such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Texas.

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