UNITED STATES - The State of Wisconsin Investment Board is in process with making new investments in real estate totalling $250m (€183.9m).

The largest of the two deals will be approximately $200m invested into a real estate debt strategy as the pension fund is keen to take advantage of the lack of US debt sources available in the market.

The investment strategies played here could include a combination of whole loans, mezzanine debt and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), as part of a core and valued-added sector within of its real estate portfolio investing in apartments office, industrial and retail properties.

The pension fund is also working towards a $50m commitment to the Prudential Senior Housing Fund IV commingled offering as it previously invested in the sector through Pramerica in 2006, with a $50m placement.

The senior housing strategy would see Pramerica buy privately paid-for independent living and assisted living senior housing properties across the US. And this will then allow Wisconsin to benefit from the growth of the senior housing industry and place its Senior Housing Fund IV investment into the value portion of its real estate assets.

Exact dates on when Wisconsin will commit to real estate debt and senior housing has yet to be decided.

The pension fund had invested $2.7bn, or 4.1% of its $64bn in real estate by the end of September 2009.

Wisconsin also has $1.49bn of unfunded commitments in real estate so the total allocated to real estate was $4.2bn or 6.4% of its total plan assets against a target 6% allocation.