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MCLEAN, VA-The high streets of Ukraine’s second-tier cities will soon be getting a retail facelift, as a joint venture of Marbleton Property Fund, Alfa Bank Ukraine and Griffin Investment Partners will acquire and redevelop selected locations there, creating a €100-million (about $144 million) portfolio. The first acquisitions are expected in the first quarter of 2008.

Each partner has committed €10 million in equity capital to the venture, called Metropolitan Properties, which will invest in value-add properties and then begin redeveloping, repositioning and retenanting them.

“We see strong demand by retailers who are targeting the dynamic consumers throughout Ukraine,” said Richard Sobel, CEO of Moscow-based Alfa Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm that is a co-founder of Marbleton Property Fund. “We look forward to working with local and international retailers as they grow and expand their businesses, particularly in Ukraine’s regional cities.”

The venture brings together investors from the US and Europe. Marbleton’s other co-founder, McLean-based JER Partners, is the private equity investment arm of the J.E. Robert Companies. The fund, which closed in June 2007, invests in all real estate sectors in Russia, the Ukraine and other Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

Griffin Investment Partners, which develops and manage real estate in Central Europe, has implemented this strategy in its home country of Poland and is looking to expand into Ukraine and other CIS countries.

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