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SAN ANTONIO-Details are still being nailed down, but USAA Real Estate Co., based in San Antonio, and Lewis Friedland, a Dallas-based real estate investor, have teamed to form a private equity firm that will focus on light industrial and suburban office markets in major US cities. The firm is called Cobalt Capital Partners LP and will be based in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

Tom Honeycutt, a USAA spokesman, tells GlobeSt.com that the size of Cobalt’s capital pool hasn’t been set and he declined to give an estimate. The firm also is ironing out its investment criteria. The firm’s strategy includes managing properties it owns and establishing partnerships and venture arrangements with companies in local markets.

Cobalt intends to operate in top-tier markets around the country. Honeycutt listed Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, New York City and San Francisco as likely places where Cobalt would do business.

The firm has no current holdings, “but we expect to change that shortly,” Honeycutt says.Friedland, before forming Cobalt, was COO for American Industrial Properties. He also was the REIT’s chief investment officer until its sale last year. From 1997 to 2001, he directed the growth of its portfolio from $70 million to $650 million in assets. “It’s a great opportunity for us to bring someone of his expertise into us, but leave the flexibility of him being the developer and architect of the private equity firm structure,” Honeycutt says.

USAA Real Estate has more than $2.7 billion in assets under management. Its portfolio includes office, industrial and hotel properties and it invests in real estate operating companies. Its parent company is USAA, an insurance and financial services company based in San Antonio.

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