Ian Ritter is national online editor of GlobeSt.RETAIL.

OAK BROOK, IL-Inland Real Estate Corp. and the New York Teachers’ Retirement System have formed a joint venture to acquire up to $400 million of neighborhood and community centers in the Midwest over the next two years. Inland will manage and lease the properties.

Inland is contributing eight centers to the deal, and NYSTRS will put $50 million toward the transaction. Inland officials say they will add $100 million to purchase more centers if needed.

“Our partnership with NYSTRS will enable us to further diversify our capital resources, and will allow us to enhance our growth by expanding our core strategy of acquiring high-quality shopping centers in infill Midwest markets,” says Mark Zalarotis, Inland Real Estate Corp.’s COO, in a statement.

Inland Real Estate Corp., based here, is owned by the Inland Group of Cos. and operates 139 centers in the Midwest. The Inland Group also owns two other shopping center investment trusts that own centers on the West and East coasts.

Last month the company acquired Deer Trace, a 24,210-sf retailer center in Kohler, WI, for $4.6 million. Inland Real Estate Corp. is a publicly traded company that was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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