OAK BROOK, IL-Inland Real Estate Corp., based here, is forming a joint venture with Pine Tree Institutional Realty LLC, headquartered in Northbrook, IL, to develop shopping centers. The joint venture has agreed to develop $100 million in new shopping centers per year for the next four years, says Mark Zalatoris, chief operating officer for Inland Real Estate Corp.

Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC, an affiliate of Pine Tree Institutional Realty LLC, will handle site selection, acquisition, development and some leasing services. Besides providing capital, Inland will assist with leasing for “mid-box and local small tenants,” Zalatoris says. Developers tend to specialize more in signing the major big box tenants with it “taking a little bit long to completely lease up the center with complimentary smaller tenants,” he says. “Jointly, we can complete the development faster.”

The shopping center developments will primarily be in the Midwest and will generally range in size from 75,000 sf to 300,000 sf, and three projects are already planned for this year. The joint venture recently closed on land in Fort Wayne, IN. The approximate $37 million development will be about 300,000 sf and have a “big box” anchor that will occupy approximately 100,000-sf, Zalatoris tells GlobeSt.com. Zalatoris says they were still in discussions with an anchor and could not disclose the retailer. Construction should commence this summer with the first main tenant to open late this year or early next year. The joint venture is also “actively pursuing” developments in suburban Indianapolis and St. Joseph, MO.

Inland has generally purchased shopping centers after they have already been developed and stabilized. Inland plans to own the shopping centers long-term, Zalatoris says. The firm plans to buy out the partner at a cost lower than it would be if Inland was purchasing a fully developed shopping center and receive “above market rates of return,” he says.

While Inland has joined up with developers before for single projects, “Pine Tree is the first one we have made a longer term commitment to,” Zalatoris says. Inland has worked with Pine Tree on various projects for more than 10 years and has purchased about a half-dozen properties from the company, he says. Pine Tree has acquired more than 50 properties valued at more than $450 million since its founding in 1995. John Haahr and Travis King with Silver Portal Capital of San Diego, advised both parties in the negotiations for the joint venture.

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