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PORTLAND, OR-Retail developers Fred Bruning and Jean Paul Wardy have changed their company’s name from Center Oak Properties to CenterCal Properties. The move comes one year after the California State Teachers Retirement System replaced Oaktree Capital Management as the company’s money partner.

The new name has been registered with the state since January, but the duo only recently made the name change official. January is when CenterCal LLC–the JV between CenterCal and Center Oak—made its first acquisition, the new Bridgeport Village development in Tualatin, OR, from a joint venture of Center Oak and Opus Northwest.

The CenterCal LLC joint venture was stoked with $105 million. CalSTRS put up $100 million and Bruning and Wardy put up $5 million. The JV will invest primarily in the development and repositioning of retail shopping centers on the West Coast.

One of CalSTRS’ stated goals for 2004 was to increase its exposure to development level retail investments. CalSTRS chose Center Oak on a recommendation from its advisor, Principal Real Estate Investors, who was tasked with identifying “best-in-class” operators for potential partnerships.

According to CalSTRS, the venture is pursuing a two-tier approach to investing in retail real estate: Opportunistic/value-add projects from the ground up or requiring significant redevelopment activities; and core-plus opportunities that may be transferred from its opportunity portfolio following stabilization or lower risk assets acquired directly from third parties.

Bruning was not available Thursday afternoon for comment on the current status of the JV and the properties it currently holds. A June report from CalSTRS shows that CalSTRS has funded about $61 million of its $100-million commitment.

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