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NEW YORK CITY-Locally based ING Clarion Partners and Montecito Medical Investment Co. have joined forces to acquire medical office facilities throughout the US. The JV has already purchased four properties for a total investment of more than $90 million.

The four buildings total 466,000-sf and are the El Dorado in Tucson, Vero Beach Medical Suites in Vero Beach, FL, Gwinnett Medical Office in Lawrenceville, GA and Knoll I & II in Columbia, MD. Broad Street Advisors advised Montecito on the deal and Robert Rizzi, EVP for Broad Street, was the broker for the four transactions. The details of the individual transactions were not disclosed including the seller, building size or sale price. A spokesperson for ING Clarion says “We prefer not to comments on the specifics of each individual transaction as we are building a portfolio which will be measured by overall performance.”

The JV will continue to acquire medical office properties and is currently pursuing a number of additional acquisitions, according to the spokesperson.

The move to acquire medical office buildings is fueled in part by the country’s aging population, the move of technology-based services out of hospitals and the increase in out-patient care. The exact acquisition target for 2007 was not disclosed, but the JV plans to continue to actively pursue properties across the country, especially in “the sun belt states along the eastern seaboard down to Florida, and across the southern tier.” Acquisitions will be looked at on a case by case basis.

“We believe that medical office properties hold significant promise for investors in many of the portfolios under our management,” says Edward Rotter, managing director at ING Clarion. “The tenant base is strong and stable, occupancy rates are high, and the current ownership is highly fragmented with few of these properties in the portfolios of institutional investors. We are looking forward to being a part of this exciting new market opportunity.”

Broad Street declined to comment on the deals.

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