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CHICAGO-Newcastle Ltd. has formed a $500-million investment platform to buy up properties in the metro area. Michael R. Haney, president and chief executive officer of the locally based company, says in a statement that the firm will focus on strategic purchases, but he provided no examples.

The company’s capital comes from institutional and private investors. Haney says in the statement that the purchases will focus on the city and the downtown areas of suburbs. The company will target most types of commercial property, as well as multifamily sites, and will run the gamut of challenged buildings to successful properties, as well as new developments.

“The magnitude of the platform reinforces Newcastle’s commitment to Chicago,” Haney says. “Our financial wherewithal and ready capital will give us the speed and credibility we need to become a preferred buyer in the urban market.” He did not return calls for comment. Recent company transactions include the sale of Barat College in Lake Forest on behalf of DePaul University.

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