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DALLAS-After months of alluding to the deal in earnings calls, Trammell Crow Co. and Principal Real Estate Investors have aired a joint venture plan to build $750 million to $1 billion of class A office buildings in select US markets within five years.

Colin Murphy is fund manager for TCC’s side of the JV while John Frandson is Principal Real Estate Investors’ program overseer. The Dallas-based TCC first hinted to shareholders about the development program in its fourth quarter 2005 earnings call.

Additional details will follow, but Murphy has told GlobeSt.com that the first two spec projects will be announced in the coming days for Houston and Austin. The JV program will be put into play in “a number of cities,” but the press release cited some top picks as Austin, Houston, Dallas, Scottsdale, AZ and Los Angeles County.

Jim Groch, TCC’s chief investment officer, says the office development program “is consistent with our stated strategy of creating capital programs and funds that provide investment opportunities.” And, he adds, the industry can expect additional funds or programs to launch this year.

“In addition to providing a predictable pipeline, this transaction offers investments of potentially better value than individual property acquisitions,” says Frandson, managing director of structured equity for the Des Moines-based Principal Real Estate Investors, the investment arm for Principal Global Investors.

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