PORTLAND, OR-Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust is working toward its first investment in the US. The Toronto-based company says it is negotiating the acquisition of two retail centers in Oregon with a combined 500,000 sf of space upon completion by the developer, SmartCentres of Toronto, which also would manage the properties from its office in Richmond, BC.

Calloway anticipates an initial investment of US $10 million in approximately 50 acres of land. Upon completion, an aggregate investment of approximately US$35 million is expected. Calloway anticipates that the additional investments would be made on an ‘earn-out’ basis and provide Calloway with a 6.2% to 6.4% pre-negotiated return in the first year of completion.

The properties include a 240,000-sf center in Portland and a 260,000-sf center in Albany. The developments would be anchored by large format retailers. Completion of the developments is anticipated by early 2010.

In explaining the investment, Calloway president/CEO Simon Nyilassy says Calloway’s formula of investing in newly constructed, large scale centers with SmartCentres, its primary development relationship in Canada, has worked well in Canada. “Both Calloway’s and SmartCentres’ major tenant base is comprised of international retailers,” he says. “We believe this formula can be applied successfully elsewhere.” he says.

Under the recently announced rules governing taxation of trusts, REITs can make over $1 billion of foreign investments without risking the company’s status as a tax-exempt entity.

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