(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of RealEstate Florida.)

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Locally based Kolter Group and New YorkCity-based Och-Ziff Real Estate Acquisitions LP have formed a jointventure to acquire $1 billion of residential assets in theSoutheast US. The companies will target developments across thedevelopment cycle, including vacant land, entitled lots, partiallydevelopment communities or completed inventory in bulk, HowardErbstein, Kolter's chief investment officer, tells GlobeSt.com.

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"We believe that the present downturn in the residential realestate market has set the stage for abundant investmentopportunities throughout the Southeast," said Kolter CEO BobbyJulien in a press release. "Och-Ziff's capital markets and realestate platform will enhance Kolter's ability to capitalize onthese opportunities by enabling us to participate in larger andmore diverse projects and investments."

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The JV is setting its sights on the Southeast as it expects thearea to continue benefiting from strong demographic trends once themarket corrects, says Erbstein, adding that short termopportunities will be pursued in the Carolinas, Florida andGeorgia. The broader region will be looked to for long-terminvestments.

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All cash transactions are likely in the near future, saysErbstein. "Regardless, the JV will employ debt as and whenavailable by accessing the partners' respective platforms andrelationships," he says.

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The Kolter Group currently holds residential and commercialprojects with an expected sales value of more than $9 billion.Och-Ziff Real Estate is an affiliate of Och-Ziff Capital ManagementGroup, an alternative asset management firm that currently managesover $33 billion around the world.

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