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(To read more on the multifamily market, click here and to read more on the debt and equity markets, click here.)

NEW YORK CITY-Morgan Stanley Real Estate and Atlanta-based Lane Co. have entered into a $150-million joint venture. The effort will invest in apartment acquisitions, condominium conversions and new development in major metropolitan areas throughout the southeast. It is the first time the duo has partnered on a project.

“The JV allows us to take advantage of opportunities that exist in the southeast, which has very strong multifamily demographics,” says Lane Co. chief executive officer Bill Donges. He adds that the venture will be weighted more heavily toward apartment acquisitions and will target “high-quality locations for core through value-added acquisition opportunities.”Scott J. Levitt, vice president, senior acquisitions director for Lane, tells GlobeSt.com the investments will take place over a two-year period with four to six acquisitions expected. He adds that apartment communities will be a target because the investor is looking for balanced returns.

“Multifamily is a highly sought after property type,” notes Dave Hardman, managing director and head of US Real Estate Investing at locally based Morgan Stanley. He says Lane’s apartment expertise will enable the venture to deliver the “high risk-adjusted returns that multifamily investments provide.”

Lane’s projects include apartments and condominiums in Atlantic Station and the Radius condominiums in Hollywood, FL. In September, the company acquired Broadway Station Apartments in Myrtle Beach, SC, which it will convert into condominiums.

Since 1991, Morgan Stanley has acquired more than $68.7 billion of real estate assets worldwide and currently manages $38 billion in real estate assets on behalf of its clients. Using its own capital, the firm also originates upwards of $11 billion in commercial mortgages annually.

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