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DALLAS-With investment circles buzzing about reciprocal crossings of the Atlantic, the London-based Strategic Real Estate Advisors Ltd. is steering a $1-billion equity fund to acquire US properties, primarily in the South.

Pierre N. Rolin, chairman and CEO of StratREAL, tells GlobeSt.com that the expectation is to invest the equity pool in “12 to 18 months in the South.” StratREAL’s geographical definition differs somewhat from the US delineation, but the capital is pointed squarely at major metros in Sunbelt states from Florida to California. “We’re aggressively buying in the Southwest right now,” he says, citing the most recent deal, Four Westlake Park at 200 Westlake Park Blvd. in Houston.

Rolin says the target markets, for now, are Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tampa and California at large. But, Rolin has deals ready to close in the pipeline in a few other US cities, the details of which he’s keeping close to the vest until they close. He’s also scouting for deals in Canada and Mexico. The equity majority will be used to acquire office properties in primary and select secondary markets, luxury retail, warehouse-distribution space and residential assets in joint venture arrangements.

StratREAL is the exclusive special property adviser to Ansbacher, the subsidiary of Qatar National Bank, for the new Prime 1 International Real Estate Fund, which has cleared its first $200-million closing. Rolin says the lion’s share of the pool is directed at the Southeast and Southwest because “we see that’s where the demographic growth is.”

And, given the capital pool’s source, states like Texas also rank high on the buy list due to their oil-rich economies, Rolin explains. That could, he adds, translate into “special situation” acquisitions like land leases, a commercial arena pumping billions of revenue into economies all along the Gulf Coast and pushing inland as far as the underlying mineral reserves stretch.

“You have a lot of very well-organized Gulf family offices, government-linked banks and their reserve funds and investment authorities, and real estate investors and developing companies expanding beyond their regions,” Rolin says. For his investment groups, their bricks-and-mortar’ sweet spots are Texas, California, Florida, New York and select points in between.

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