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DALLAS-A six-week-old REIT has reached its first milestone by breaking escrow with the sale of 200,000 shares, amassing the first $2 million for a $400-million equity fund-raising plan.

Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, which launched Sept. 20, is now in a position to start identifying and acquiring properties, says M. Jason Mattox, senior vice president for the Dallas-based investment group. So far, no properties have been identified, he tells GlobeSt.com.

The initial fundraising has come out of the shoot quicker than its predecessors. “We believe interest will be very strong by breaking escrow so quickly,” Mattox says. Behringer Harvard, which has two years to reach its $400-million goal, is marketing the newest REIT’s shares for $10 apiece. If the goal is reached, the REIT will have $1.6 billion of buying power based on a 75% leverage, according to Mattox.

Mattox says the “min-max offering” targets opportunistic acquisitions of all product types, including land, in the US and abroad. To date, Behringer Harvard has bought only in the states although its other funds also are embedded with international buying power.

The group’s Short-Term Opportunistic Fund I LP “blazed trails,” Mattox says, citing its market introduction as the first non-traded publicly registered product offered to financial planners. “This fund follows that trail. We’re really building on the popularity of our previous fund.”

At this stage, Pennsylvania investors are the only ones ineligible to participate. The door opens to them when sales hit 2.4 million shares.

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