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CARLSBAD, CA-The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has completed its first major investment in the senior housing industry–a portfolio of seven assisted living facilities, including one in this seaside community.

The portfolio of properties, valued at about $115.5 million, will be owned and operated through a joint venture between CalPERS, the pension fund’s senior housing investment adviser AEW Capital Management, based in Boston, MA, and Sunrise Assisted Living Inc. of McLean, VA, one of the nation’s largest providers of assisted living facilities for seniors.

“These are welcomed additions to our investment portfolio,” says Daniel M. Szente, CalPERS chief investment officer. “They will be important investments in the future given the rapid growth rate of today’s senior population and will assist retirees in the later stages of their lives.”

The seven Sunrise Assisted Living facilities are located in Carlsbad, Naperville, IL; Stanford, CT; Richmond, VA; North Lynbrook, NY; and in East Brunswick/Woodcliff Lake, NJ.

Fannie Mae provided an $81-million first mortgage loan to the CalPERS joint venture secured by the seven properties. The remainder of the investment was financed by CalPERS, AEW Capital Management, and Sunrise Assisted Living, Inc. CalPERS investment was approximately $29 million.

Last year, the CalPERS Board of Administration authorized a $200-million national senior housing program that will invest in independent living, assisted living and continuing care retirement community facilities.

CalPERS has more than $11.5 billion invested in real estate. About $9 billion is invested in core real estate, including apartment, office, industrial and retail properties, while the remaining $2.6 billion is invested in housing, timber and urban in-fill projects.

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